Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday spearheaded a harvest festival in Barangay Bagong Silangan with a yield of 700 kilos of vegetables.
The city government and Department of Agrarian Reform held the first “Buhay sa Gulay” harvest festival at the barangay’s Luntiang Paraiso urban vegetable farm at New Greenland farm.
“After 41 days, we are very grateful that the New Greenland farm is finally having its first harvest. It is worth celebrating because it was made possible through the collective effort of the government and the farmers of Bagong Silangan,” the city mayor said.
Belmonte is the chairperson of the QC Food Security Task Force.
The project aims to promote the importance of urban farming and empower urban dwellers to have an alternative source of income by producing and selling fresh and nutritious vegetables.
Barangay Bagong Silangan is the city’s first urban vegetable farm under the Buhay sa Gulay initiative of DAR and the Department of Agriculture.
The project is also in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Bread Society International, and the local barangay.
A one-hectare pilot site within the 11-hectare New Greenland farm was planted with green leafy vegetables, such as pechay, mustasa, kangkong, and spinach.
Starting with 70 farmers, the farm has now over 100 farmers jointly growing crops in the area.
Belmonte said through the harvest festival, “we can introduce the farmers to possible markets for their succeeding harvests.”
“The city will be their first market as their produce will be used in our mobile and community kitchen that will feed the most food vulnerable sectors in our city. The QC Female Dormitory, through Warden JSupt Maria Lourdes Pacion, has expressed support to buy veggies from them,” she added.
Apart from the pick and pay harvest itself, the celebration had a booth competition, cooking festival and farmers’ products tiangge.