ABOUT P6 million worth of vegetable seeds were distributed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Davao regional office to different farmer’s organizations, schools, and military campsites as part of government efforts to promote vegetable gardening.

Melani Provido, coordinator of the DA Regional High Value Crops Development Program, said that for this year, the DA regional office in Davao was allotted a budget of P10 million that will be primarily used for distribution of vegetable seeds.

Included in the budget are the commercial-level farmers planting vegetables on at least 300 square meters of land area, Gulayan sa Barangay, Gulayan sa Eskwelahan, and most recently the vegetable gardens in far-flung areas called Martial Lawn.

This project is intended to reach out to residents living in the rural areas of the region that DA could not easily reach out to. Through the military who will manage the garden, the vegetables will be more accessible to the children and the residents living nearby.

Provido added the usual vegetable seeds they distribute are okra, squash, eggplants, and other leafy vegetables as kangkong and pechay.

“For our schools, we sometimes plant these seeds during the Brigada Eskwela. Usually after 45 days of that, there are harvests already. These are then used by the schools for the feeding program of the kids,” Provido said adding that since the Gulayan sa Skwelahan started, it had already been implemented at 3,800 schools regionwide.

The project of implementing vegetable gardening is in partnership with the National Nutrition Center (NNC) Davao Region.

According to Dr. Maria Theresa Ungson of NNC Davao, they encourage urban vegetable gardening in houses to help eliminate malnutrition on kids and breastfeeding or pregnant mothers.

They are currently pushing for edible landscaping where instead of planting decorative and flowers, there would be inclusion of vegetables and edible plants as well such as herbs and other vegetables.