Updated: Apr 30, 2020
East-West Seed Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently celebrated the culminating activities on Community-Based Nutritional Health Promotion and Food Security Program on selected pilot barangays in Capiz, Batangas, Cavite and Antique. As part of the event, each barangay was encouraged to showcase their bountiful harvest by exhibit display. Selected parent leaders were also given the chance to share the learnings they obtained from the program during the closing program.
MARCH 2019. Ribbon Cutting during the Community-based Vegetable Production Program’s Culminating Activity with East-West Seed Foundation, Inc., DSWD and Tanauan City Agriculture Office.
About the Project
Community-based Nutritional Health Promotion and Food Security Program is a partnership between East-West Seed Foundation, Inc. (EWSFI) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which involves DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) Program beneficiaries. Stretching out from the known OMG!-TSK school-based program, this community-based program also aims to capacitate the beneficiaries on the know-how of improved farming technologies in vegetable gardening and to establish communal vegetable gardens where people can grow vegetables as a source of food. It enables the beneficiaries to be productive members of the community and be more self-sufficient in terms of food security. Encouraging the families to grow their own vegetables also ensures the consumption of healthy and nutritious food without spending much.
Through this kind of program, and active participation of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, sustainable environment can be achieved.
Areas of the Gulayan Project
In line with the existing school-based vegetable program of EWSFI, five (5) barangays per cluster were included as recipients of the program. The areas were pre-selected and validated by program officers or DSWD's Municipal/City Links assigned in the area. Among the selected barangays were Lacaron, Daplas, Aganan, Agtanguay and Malonoy from Capiz Cluster; Ambulong, Altura Bata, Malaking Pulo, Janopol Occidental and Talaga from Batangas Cluster; Talisay, Candari, Guia, Mag-aba and Duyong from Antique Cluster; and Palumlum, Upli, Kaytitinga, Bilog and Poblacion from Cavite Cluster, respectively.
Major Program Components
Vegetable Crops Production
The seeds planted on the communal gardens were sourced out from East-West Seed and LGU-DA Office. These are eggplants, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers, bitter gourd, and ridge gourd, pechay, leaf mustard, and upland kangkong, to name a few. These vegetables were commonly seen in a typical Filipino diet.
As part of the program, each household was encouraged to replicate the program to backyard gardening. Popularly known as Container Gardening, this type of growing vegetables utilizes recyclable materials like sacks, old tires, buckets and other containers which can be helpful especially for backyards with limited spaces. This aims to promote the nutritional value of vegetable consumption within the home.
Home gardens will not only provide food security, but also add green spaces in the environment and create leisure among family members.
Nutrition Education Sessions were conducted in 4 barangays, namely: 1) Brgy. Talisay, Pandan, Antique, 2) Brgy. Malaking Pulo, Tanauan City, Batangas 3) Brgy. Altura Bata, Tanauan City, Batangas and 4) Brgy. Daplas, Dao, Capiz. Nutri-Ed session educates the community on the benefits of including vegetables on their meals/diet and also better equip them with the proper ways of preparing vegetables. As part of this session, a cook-off was made during the culminating activity performed by selected contestants of each barangays.
A parent leader from Dao, Capiz also shared her experience after the implementation of the program:
“Mahirap kasi magsimula ng garden lalo na wala kaming sapat na space. Pero yung ML (Municipal Link) namin ay nag-effort upang makausap si Kap (Brgy. Captain) para makapagbigay ng area sa proyektong ito. Mahirap din magbungkal ng lupa kasi ilan sa mga miyembro namin ay ayaw makipag-cooperate. Salamat sa tulong ng aming ML at ng Program Officer ng East-West Seed kaya naisakatuparan ang aming communal garden. Lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa EWSFI kasi kung hindi dahil sa kanila ay ‘di kami magkakaroon ng magandang garden na mapagkukunan namin ng gulay at makakatulong din ito sa aming livelihood.”
Commitment on the sustainability of the program
In terms of sustainability, parent leaders committed to continue the communal gardens by selling their produce and purchasing garden materials to progress the gardens. They also plan to tap the local office of the Department of Agriculture to request for additional provisions as discussed during the evaluation session that was held to assess the overall performance of the project.
Trained participants from DSWD’s 4Ps Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Pandan, Antique Cluster enjoyed harvesting cucumber and tomatoes from the communal garden.