Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Friday partnered with Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones and Agriculture Secretary William Dar to develop a seven-hectare lot in Barangay Bagong Silangan into an urban vegetable farming site.
Dubbed “Buhay sa Gulay,” the project primarily aims to promote the importance of urban farming and empower urban dwellers to have an alternative source of income through producing and selling fresh vegetables.
“We are happy to finally launch our Buhay sa Gulay. Aside from providing 70 residents in New Greenland an alternative source of income, we also ensure that they find enjoyment in managing and producing products from their own farm,” Belmonte said.
Buhay sa Gulay in Barangay Bagong Silangan is the Department of Agrarian Reform’s second urban vegetable farming project with a local government unit, replicating the success of its urban faming project in Tondo, Manila.
Quezon City has also partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Bread Society International for the beneficiaries’ needed trainings and capacity building.
“This project is a huge help for our Quezon city residents, as this can provide them with an alternative source of income and food supply. We are positive that other cities in Metro Manila would replicate this project because this is a strategic solution to address issues of food production and sufficiency, and livelihood needs of Filipinos in urban communities,” Castriciones said. Rio N. Araja
Belmonte signed a memorandum of understanding with the two government agencies and barangay officials to formalize the partnership.
Beneficiaries would be trained by farmer scientists from DAR-CALABARZON, while the DA will provide them with machineries and tools.
The farm is expected to produce 765 metric tons of vegetables, including 29.7 tons of eggplants, 0.7 tons of string beans, 350 tons of pechay, 280 tons of mustasa, 25 tons of squash, 80 tons of okra and 20 tons of ampalaya.
Through the Buhay sa Gulay, Belmonte is also aiming to be a sustainable and climate resilient city by developing alternative housing models for the beneficiaries as New Greenland is a flood plain that endangers traditional housing designs.
Apart from Buhay sa Gulay, the city has also initiated “Grow QC: Kasama ka sa Pag-unlad sa Pagkain, Kabuhayan, at Kalusugan program” which promotes the significance of urban agriculture and food security considering the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Rio N. Araja