DILG’s Initiative to Promote Backyard Farming

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The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the Philippines has launched a campaign called Project Kalinisan (Cleanliness) to promote self-reliance and environmental sustainability in villages across the country. With a focus on keeping communities clean and environment-friendly, the initiative encourages the planting of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables.

According to DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs, Chito Valmocina, the key to the success of Project Kalinisan lies in monitoring and supervising village chiefs. Valmocina emphasized the importance of the Barangay Affairs department in ensuring that cleaning, planting, and maintenance activities are carried out effectively. With over 42,000 barangay officials elected in the previous year’s polls, more than 20,000 of them being newly elected, the DILG aims to provide guidance and support to these officials in implementing the campaign.

Community gardens play a vital role in this initiative, with approximately 25,000 villages already having established their own gardens. Valmocina highlighted that the cost of seedlings for 18 varieties of vegetables is only around P25 (Philippine Peso). By providing seedlings to around 300 families, the total cost would be a mere P7,500. This affordable investment can yield significant benefits for families, especially those in rural areas.

One of the key advantages of community gardens is that they can be started in backyards or even in small spaces where plants can thrive. Valmocina shared his experience as the former captain of Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City, where backyard farms were successfully maintained. Residents used plant pots, pails, tin cans, bamboos, and sacks to grow plants, and they greatly benefited from the vegetables they harvested. Even schools in Quezon City have embraced the idea of having their own plants, contributing to a greener and healthier environment.

Recognizing the potential of urban farming, Quezon City Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte plans to issue an ordinance to promote farming in Metro Manila’s largest city. This move highlights the growing interest in sustainable practices and the importance of local governments in supporting such initiatives. By encouraging urban farming, cities can reduce their dependence on external food sources and promote a more sustainable and self-reliant community.

It is worth noting that the success of Project Kalinisan and similar initiatives relies on the active participation and cooperation of community members. By engaging in community gardening and adopting sustainable practices, individuals can contribute to the overall cleanliness and environmental well-being of their villages. Moreover, community gardens also have the potential to foster a sense of camaraderie and unity among residents, as they work together towards a common goal.

In conclusion, the DILG’s Project Kalinisan is a commendable effort to promote self-reliance and environmental sustainability in villages across the Philippines. By encouraging the establishment of community gardens and backyard fishponds, the campaign aims to empower communities and provide them with a sustainable source of food. With the support of local governments and active participation from community members, this initiative has the potential to create a cleaner, greener, and more self-sufficient Philippines.

Source: The Manila Times

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