Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

Philippines: Dept of Ag bolsters health and nutrition, urban agri, food security initiatives

The Department of Agriculture (DA) showcased culinary demonstrations by Filipino chefs as well as best practices being implemented in Rizal Park's Urban and Rice Gardens during the launching of its Garden-to-Table Cooking Caravan in Manila on April 30.

With the theme, "Panalo ang Nutrisyong Pilipino," the cooking caravan is an information and advocacy campaign that was made possible through the collaborative efforts among three DA operating units—the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), the National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP), and the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP)—as well as the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) and Pilmico Foods Corporation.

It aims to encourage Filipinos to produce their own food especially in the urban areas and promote healthy eating habits.

DA Undersecretary for High Value Crops Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero underscored the importance of the Garden-to-Table Cooking Caravan in localizing solutions for food insufficiency and nutrition deficiency and in adhering to every Filipino's right to food—which the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines as "the right to feed oneself in dignity."

"The Philippines' undernutrition is recorded at 29 percent of the population. Isa kada tatlong bata younger than five years old suffer from stunting. Micronutrient deficiency is also a problem—38 percent of infants, 26 percent among children aged 12 to 23 months, and 20 percent of pregnant women are anemic. So we aim to address this by looking at ways to repackage our Gulayan sa Barangay, sa Paaralan, at sa Bayan in a way that is now connected to food consumption. Itong Urban and Rice Gardens natin ang magiging living testimony that food need not to be expensive and can be grown locally in your backyard," the DA official shared.

Established in March 2021 by the DA-BPI, the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the NPDC, and private sector partners, the two gardens are located at the west end of the Burnham Green of Luneta. They serve as food production areas, green spaces, and learning hubs on best agricultural practices in the middle of the bustling metro.

"We connect food with parks because the cultural value of food is very personal and yet we also have to understand the very reason of our culture and heritage. Thus, we will further enhance this project and provide the business model which can be replicated in all local parks throughout the country. We will repurpose and create a platform to bring in musicians, chefs, restaurants that have pop-up stores outside Metro Manila to showcase what they do, and of course our farmers and partners to provide a model in growing healthy, nutritious, and sustainable food even in the Metro," Usec. Natividad-Caballero added.

The said caravan is also a culmination of this year's Filipino Food Month (FFM) celebration—which is annually headlined by the DA, the Department of Tourism (DOT), the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM)—by honoring Philippine culinary traditions and heritage as well as local farmers, fisherfolk, animal raisers, agri-preneurs, and food producers and mobilizers.

"Ang dami nating pagkaing Pilipino, kailangan natin itong i-diversify to make it more sumptuous at magandang tingnan. Nandito ang HVCDP—we integrate solutions para makita at i-share ng ating farming communities ang solutions na ito," shared DA-HVCDP Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban, who also heads the DA-BPI and the DA-NUPAP.

Expressing full support for the DA's Garden-to-Table Cooking Caravan, NPDC Executive Director Cecille Lorenzana Romero also conveyed positive anticipation that the caravan will truly lead the Filipino people towards a food-secure and healthy Philippines.

"As we embark on this collective journey, let us showcase our vegetables and fruits from our very own loving and caring hands and strengthen the bonds between families, communities, and regions through our shared advocacy of advancing the benefits of good nutrition and healthy lifestyle," she said.


Publication date: