May 29, 2024

The Ifugao State University (IFSU) launched its home gardening initiative dubbed Muntanom Ta Waday Kanon (MTWK) program, which aims to engage families to grow crops on lots near their homes to augment food supply while on quarantine.

Through the MTWK, the Search for Best Home Gardens was born. Participants are recipients of the agricultural training programs of the IFSU and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority conducted in three barangays of Lamut.

MTWK provided seeds and techno-guides to the trainees. However, with clamor from other sectors, the contest expanded to cover all municipalities of the province. The Search for Best Home Gardens-kids edition was also launched. 

“IFSU has always been a partner in the continuous development of communities. The unusual situation that we are in calls for extraordinary solutions. IFSU responded in several ways including this MTWK program. This mainstreams backyard gardening which is a proven approach to household food security and family nutrition. It provides easy access to diverse and organic food,” said IFSU President Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon.

As of today, at least 78 participants signified their interest to participate in the Search for Best Home Gardens-adults’ edition. For the kids’ edition, 67 youngsters registered. The results will be announced in June.

Winners and participating families will receive cash, seeds, growing media, and other prices from IFSU. The selection committee is composed of agriculture and extension experts of IFSU.

IFSU Vice President for Research, Development, Extension and Training, Dr. Dinah Corazon M. Licyayo, said the MTWK is the university’s way to connect and provide opportunities to fellow Ifugaos at this time of crisis.

“Most of our students are sons and daughters of farmers. By assisting farmers, we can be assured that our students will be back after the quarantine and finish what they have started. It is truly a difficult time for all of us and as members of the academe, we are one in the campaign to rise as one,” Licyayo said.

With the initial success of the program, IFSU is now considering to integrate additional components to the MTWK. IFSU intends to distribute seeds and small ruminants to Ifugao farmers during and beyond the quarantine. This plan will help farmers to recover from the crisis.

MTWK kids’ edition will also instill appreciation on agriculture and provide a productive activity among children at home. With their participation, the value of healthy living by growing safe and nutritious food in their backyards will be imbibed in them.

IFSU, in its 100 years, owes its beginnings to agricultural programs. Today, IFSU gives back to communities through the same program it has started with, hoping that this will rekindle the love in farming. – Press release