President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said pursuing urban agriculture programs will boost the country's capacity to address poverty, ensure food security and protect the environment at the local level.
Marcos on Wednesday launched the Halina't Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay, Kadiwa'y Yaman, Plants for Bountiful Barangay Movement (Hapag Kay PBBM) at the Rizal Park in Manila.
The Hapag kay PBBM merges two programs of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). The DA's Green Revolution 2.0 Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement aims to increase local production of fruits and vegetables by turning urban and rural areas into patches of green, edible landscapes.
It encourages people to grow their own food and other kitchen ingredients close to home, which improves access to affordable, safe, nutritious meals every day.
To complement this, the DILG implemented the Halina At Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay movement, which aims to build community gardens in every barangay to diversify food sources and contribute to food security within each neighborhood.
With the fusion of these two programs, Marcos expressed confidence that the public will practice unity and urban agriculture even on a small scale.
"I am certain we will be able to quickly and effectively promote urban agriculture in the entire country and to foster greater ties among residents at the barangay level," he said.
The President said the government must continuously develop more innovative solutions to address hunger and make nutritious food available to every Filipino.
Marcos also highlighted the key role of villages in the Hapag Kay PBBM program, saying they are "the essential partners in the national government in this endeavor."
"Given their awareness of the needs of their constituents, they are well-positioned to find and implement solutions that best fit their context, their conditions, and their circumstances," the President said.
"This program is yet another step toward strengthening the capacity of barangays to adopt sustainable agriculture initiatives, even in the small scale," he added.
Marcos, who also sits as DA secretary, asked the public to support the Hapag Kay PBBM program to help communities recover from rising prices, the impact of calamities and other threats to food security.
"With your cooperation, we will not only make this endeavor work but it will help you, your communities and our country overcome present and future challenges," he said.
Source: Manila times