P1.8 M approved to enhance backyard gardening in Ifugao
Project Hagabi or Harnessing Agriculture to Achieve a Bountiful Ifugao of the Ifugao State University (IFSU) will be rolled out soon after the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (Pcaarrd) approved P1.8 million for the improvement of the social and economic welfare of farming households in the province.
Dr. Dinah Corazon M. Licyayo, project proponent and vice president for Research Development, Extension and Training, said Project Hagabi takes off from the Muntanom Ta Waday Kanon (MTWK): Response to Household Food Security program, which is a component of the Emergency Response Program against Covid-19.
“Hagabi, in essence, is a cultural material that represents wealth among the Ifugaos. IFSU envisions the project to serve as a practical option of farmers and fisherfolk, the most at risk groups in this current pandemic, towards food sufficiency. The project hopes to ensure food for the family and probably give additional source of income,” Licyayo said.
Project Hagabi will expand the MTWK program to include animal production. It initially distributed seed packs to participating households in nearby barangays of the IFSU. Adult and kid participants are on the harvesting stage this month.
This is also in line with the Plant, Plant, Plant program or the Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat laban sa Covid-19 program of the Department of Agriculture and Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives towards National Goals Pcaarrd Kontra Covid-19 program of the DOST launched in April.
Ten farmer-cooperators from each municipality will be selected to engage in backyard gardening and backyard animal production. They will come from 10 towns in the province, namely Lamut, Lagawe, Kiangan, Banaue, Hingyon, Hungduan, Mayoyao, Aguinaldo, Asipulo, and Aguinaldo.
Farmer-cooperators should first have availed of either the organic agriculture production training or the agricultural crops production training, and other technical trainings of IFSU. They must also have ample space for vegetable production that will serve as a showcase backyard farm for the community.
Participating household/family should have an area of 150 to 1,000 square meters for backyard gardening. For smaller areas with less than 150 sq.m., container gardening can be considered. They shall also have 100 to 500 sq.m. for backyard poultry production. Irrigation source is also a must for farmer-cooperators.
Project Hagabi enforces chemical-free vegetable and animal production. Participating households will be trained to produce concoctions processed from plants to serve as fertilizers and pesticides for their backyard gardens. Natural-based enriched food for animals through natural-feed formulation technology will be required to avoid commercial growth hormones and other additives.
A common community agriculture learning center per municipality will be established for the production of natural-based agriculture inputs. The production of agricultural inputs (concoctions and feed formulation) shall be centralized in the area to ensure that training, supervision, and monitoring will be undertaken and to avoid contamination of the products.
For backyard vegetable production, a farmer-cooperator will receive assorted seed packs.
Under poultry production, a beneficiary will receive four pullets and one native rooster, two drakes, and 18 ducklings (Muscovy). – Faith B. Napudo