To ensure food sustainability during this pandemic, the DA has successfully implementeed the Gulayan sa Barangay project in collaboration with the different Local Government Units (LGU) of Central Visayas.

“Central Visayas has established more than six sites model farms for the GSB, three farms in Siquijor province, and one in Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental, respectively,” John Dennis Ranario, DA7 HVCDP coordinator said. The GSB under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of DA7 has targetted a total of 345 sites in the region.

Of these, Bohol will have 110, Negros Oriental 80, Siquijor 42 and Cebu 113 sites. Ranario shared that among the program objectives, is to ensure households access to diverse nutritious food via community and backyard gardening. โ€œThis program will also contribute to food security in the rural and urban areas through improved local sources of quality food,โ€ he added.

According to the program guidelines priority areas to be established with the GSB are those that are nutritionally vulnerable provinces and regions as per Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN 2017-2022). The GSB is a collaborative effort of the different government agencies such as the National Nutrition Council, LGU, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).

The DA HVCDP is tasked to provide inputs such as vegetable seeds and technical assistance such as demonstration and maintenance, while other agencies are tasked to conduct training and seminars. The Local Government Units (LGU) will be the one to identify the site in the barangay where the GSB will be established based on the criteria provided, such as the size of the area, and availability of water source, household with required farm size, among others.

In Cebu province, the municipalities of Barili, Argao, Ronda and Dumanjug are among those LGUs that have established a model GSB farms. These farms have planted different types of vegetables, such as eggplant, string beans, bitter gourd, and tomatoes, etc. DA7 regional executive director Atty. Salvador D. Diputado, bared that this is one of the continuing programs of the DA that is gaining popularity especially during this time of pandemic.

He added that because of the call of Secretary William Dar to increase food production, LGUs have welcomed the GSB and committed to support the Secretary’s Plant,Plant, Plant program.