A TOTAL of seven urban poor associations in Davao Region are set to receive livelihood assistance through urban farming this 2023, according to the Department of Agriculture in the region (DA-Davao) on Tuesday, February 7.

Under the National Urban and Peri Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP) of DA-Davao, the beneficiaries are from urban poor communities in Tagum City, Panabo City, Mati City, and the municipality of Carmen in Davao del Norte.

NUPAP representative Merriel Bernardo said the program aims to provide training on urban farming practices, farming tools, and seedlings and to utilize open spaces for urban gardening such as empty lots and rooftop areas.

"Livelihood siya (for) personal income (of the beneficiaries). Mag partnership na sila sa local government kung asa nila pwede i-sell kay mostly mga high value crops like lettuce, tomato. Target namo is maka-establish sila ilahang area or common area for gardening," Bernardo said in an interview.

For 2023, the budget for the program is around P10,500,000. This is also the first implementation of the said program in Davao Region after it was approved in 2021.

“Nag partner ta sa Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor. Naga-identify sila sa mga registered urban poor association (as beneficiaries),” Bernardo said.

However, other urban farming programs from DA-Davao are already existing such as greenhouse with hydroponics project, and “Gulayan sa Barangay” and “Gulayan sa Paaralan” programs.

Bernardo said for this year, they are focusing more on urban poor beneficiaries and by 2024, DA-Davao plans to expand the program in terms of budget and number of beneficiaries. ICM