A new livelihood project is now being set up by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to benefit the farmers of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), They are set to establish bakeries serving pandesal with talbos ng kamote in the rural areas of the country.
Legal Affairs Office Undersecretary Luis Meinrado Pangulayan said this project is already in the offing as the DAR has already organized an agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organization (ARBO) in San Miguel, Bula, Camarines Sur, and the bakery being set-up, serving with Kamote-Pandesal, is one of the livelihood projects the DAR would provide to them.
“These bakeries are not ordinary because it would produce Kamote-Pandesaal as we call it because it is pandesal made from talbos ng kamote (camote tops),” Pangulayan said during a taped episode of PTV-4s “Kain na!” program, hosted by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. Pangulayan said that talbos ng kamote could be seen anywhere in the country as it grows even in vacant lots and on the roadside. “This vegetable is full of nutrients. We would make pandesal with this plant and use them for business and serve them to Filipino families.”
The Undersecretary added that camote tops requires very low maintenance, free, and it grows in a few days compared to malunggay leaves. “According to research, this plant helps in regulating blood sugar, inhibits the coagulation of the blood, strengthens bones, good for the eyes and improves in menstrual cycles among its other benefits,” he said.
Pangulayan explained that DAR provides training to the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) for this project to make them more productive. “The DAR does not just distribute lands to the landless farmers, the Department also supports them in their economic empowerment,” he said. Pangulayan divulged that this livelihood program is also in support to Nograles’ “Zero Hunger Task Force.”
Nograles is the Committee Chairman of Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty Program (EPAHPP), a government initiative to fight hunger nationwide. Nograles, on the other hand, lauded the DAR for using camote-tops as the main feature of the bakery. “This plant is regularly found in this area and what is good in this project is that the DAR, as always, make good use of this very common vegetable as one of their livelihood projects.