DOST’s GALING-PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19 program launched recently “Gulayan sa Pamayanan” as one of its component projects. This project seeks to provide science and technology (S&T)-based livelihood on vegetable gardening in Metropolitan areas as a means to address concerns on food availability and accessibility. Under this project, two urban gardening technologies are being initially adopted in Metro Manila. These are Enriched Potting Preparation (EPP) and Simple Nutrient Addition Program (SNAP) hydroponics technologies.
The Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) has already deployed EPP kits to selected barangays in Las Pinas, Paranaque, and Sampaloc, Manila. SNAP kits will soon be deployed also in these areas. DOST-NCR implements the “Gulayan sa Pamayanan” project with monitoring guidance from DOST’s- Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development through its Agricultural Resources Management Research Division.
Gardening for food in the city where land and space are limited was once impossible to urban settlers. Now, urban gardening is gaining interest in the cities especially in Metro Manila. This interest to plant more has become a growing possibility for city dwellers. The COVID-19 lockdown periods have driven most of them to plant their own food at their own homes. Besides, government programs are pushing for urban gardening to address food security and nutritional well-being of the Filipinos.
Of the many technologies, vegetable urban gardening is the most feasible and adaptable for “stay at homes.” With the right production system, materials, and inputs, one can enjoy harvesting fresh clean, ready-to-cook veggies right at their own space. The households are not just the ones who can benefit; communities with idle lands can be converted into communal urban gardens and serve as a venue for hands-on trainings and seminars.