CALOOCAN CITY, July 3 (PIA) -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-National Capital Region (TESDA-NCR) has rolled out its pilot urban agriculture and capacity building project at the Armed Forces of the Philippine Officers Village in Taguig City recently.
The community-based training and agriculture project, which aims to transform pocket vacant spaces in cities into urban farms, is in line with the directive of TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapena to intensify its agriculture-related training programs.
Lapena led the launching and opening ceremony of the urban agriculture project through a virtual conference with the officers and residents of the Armed Forces of the Philippine Officers Village Association, Inc. (AFPOVAI).
In his message, the TESDA chief lauded TESDA-NCR and AFPOVAI officers led by its President PCSupt Felipe Buena, Jr (ret) and Chairman of the Board PDir Leocadio Santiago, Jr (ret) for initiating said project.
The community-based training program will provide skills training on growing media mixing, sowing of seeds and proper management, container gardening, hydrophonics, composting and pest and disease management, among others.
These competencies are envisioned to enable the AFPOVAI residents to transform their vacant lands into community urban farms through planting assorted vegetables, herbs, spices and common crops.
"This community-based training program can be the start of a new movement to popularize and mainstream urban farming," Lapena said.
"We look forward to seeing the AFPOVAI transformed into healthy green patches very soon through this urban farming development project," he added.
The said program will be carried out by the TESDA Women's Center, a TESDA Technological Institution under the auspices of MuntiParLas TaPat District of TESDA-NCR through blended learning methodology.
In line with the health and safety guidelines under Resolution No. 47 series of 2020 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the theoretical classes will be delivered via online sessions while the on-site planting demonstration will be conducted by batches of 10 participants each. 78 residents in the 24 village areas have been identified as initial participants of the training program.
"I hope that this project will serve as a model for other communities and barangays in Metro Manila, and that the green and healthy concept of "Farm to Table" will be embraced by more and more of our kababayan," Lapena said.
Meanwhile, the same urban farming project will be implemented in selected communities in Manila and Quezon City next month under the Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) mandated under Executive Order 70.
The PRLEC, chaired by TESDA, is an inter-agency body that oversees and implements convergence program that seeks to reduce poverty in conflict affected areas and urban poor communities. (PIA NCR)