Free fruit, veggie seeds for home gardens distributed to promote good nutrition in communities under lockdown

HSBC Philippines
Free seeds Urban Gardening
Fruit and vegetable seeds are being given away by the Department of Agriculture to encourage households to start gardens. Photo from the Department of Agriculture.

To help provide and supplement the people’s food and nutritional needs during the lockdown, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has increased its call and campaign for urban agriculture/gardening through the distribution of free vegetable seeds and planting materials nationwide.

The DA program provides households, especially in metropolitan areas, the free seeds so they can grow their own fresh and healthy food from their backyard.

“We need to explore all strategies to ensure that food productivity, availability and sufficiency is attained, particularly in this challenging time,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar who has been promoting the significance and benefits of urban agriculture even before the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This way, we can help them attain food security even beyond the enhanced community quarantine period in Luzon,” the DA chief added.

The DA, through its Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), has been distributing assorted vegetable seeds and planting materials to interested households in Metro Manila and other urban areas in the country.

The initiative will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing community gardens in barangays with vacant areas so they can plant, propagate, and produce their vegetable requirements, said BPI Assistant Director Glenn Panganiban in his DA report.

The DA-BPI distributes assorted seeds and planting materials of vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, upo, sitao, okra, upland kangkong, mustard, pechay, alugbati, saluyot, and onions.

“We urge the public to join us in promoting this urban agriculture program to ensure a continuous supply of home-grown nutritious vegetables on the tables of every Filipino household,” Secretary Dar said.

Home gardening is a productive family activity during this quarantine period,” the DA chief added.

Especially now while in lockdown, after many hours of binge-watching of movies and shows, doing pretty much nothing, the idea of urban gardening is beginning to sound like a good and attractive idea.

Even if you don’t have any experience or do not have enough space, it’s easy. You can always research online first to gain some idea of what and how to plant in an urban setting.

You can research what best suits you and your space, if you have a backyard and have enough space for a classic garden plot, to raise beds and basic pots.

If you have little space or just have a small patio, you can also use buckets, grow in bags, hanging plastic containers, and even try hydroponics.

Plant a few at first, apply and test what you’ve learned until you get the hang of it. And in no time you’ll be a successful Urban Farmer.

WATCH a Pinoy jeepney turned into eco-friendly Planter Art Project by Larry Gile who advocates urban gardening.

Urban hydroponic gardening is also the advocacy of millennial farmers in the social enterprise, Future Fresh.

SEND CHEERS to the agriculturists of our country for giving away seeds to encourage people towards creating home gardens and food sustainability even beyond the lockdown.

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Eldan Sambatyon
Eldan is an experienced online content writer who finds fulfillment in sharing the good side of the news to Filipinos.