CEBU CITY – Various local government units (LGUs) in Central Visayas have begun implementing the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Gulayan sa Barangay (GSB) program, in line with its thrust of increasing food production and ensuring availability.
The region has established more than six GSB model farms – three in Siquijor, and one each in Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental, John Dennis Ranario, DA-7 (Central Visayas) coordinator for its High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), said on Friday.
The GSB targets to set up 345 farms in the region – 110 in Bohol, 80 in Negros Oriental, 42 in Siquijor, and 113 in Cebu.
Ranario said the program aims to ensure that households have access to diverse nutritious food through community and backyard gardening.
“This program will also contribute to food security in the rural and urban areas through improved local sources of quality food,” he said.
Under its guidelines, the program will give priority to nutritionally vulnerable provinces and regions, based on the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022.
The GSB is a collaboration among various government agencies, among them the National Nutrition Council, local government units (LGUs), and Agricultural Training Institute.
The DA-HVCDP provides inputs, such as vegetable seeds, and technical assistance, such as demonstration and maintenance, while other agencies conduct training and seminars.
The LGUs identify the barangay sites where the GSB would be established, based on such criteria as the size of the area, availability of water source, and households with the required farm size.
In Cebu province, the municipalities of Barili, Argao, Ronda, and Dumanjug have established model GSB farms that grow eggplant, string beans, bitter gourd, and tomatoes, among others.
DA-7 Executive Director, lawyer Salvador Diputado, said this is one of the continuing programs of the DA that is gaining popularity, especially during this time of the pandemic.
Diputado added that because of Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s call to increase food production, LGUs have welcomed the GSB and committed to supporting the DA’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” program. (PNA)