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DA to turn military idle lands into vegetable farms

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By Philippine News Agency

MB FILE - New logo of the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines. | Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org (Manila Bulletin)

MB FILE – New logo of the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines. | Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org (Manila Bulletin)

The Department of Agriculture in Region 11 (DA-11) will expand its thrust to promote vegetable production from schools to military camps.

DA-11 OIC-regional director Engr. Ricardo Oñate Jr. and military officials in Davao region agreed to participate in the “Gulayan sa Kampo” project to transform idle lands within military camps into vegetable gardens.

Patterned after the “Gulayan sa Paaralan,” Oñate said the establishment of the “Gulayan sa Kampo” will provide food to soldiers and at the same time would be the source of food for supplementary feeding in the community.

“We will teach our military men the technologies on vegetable production and also showcase their farm to encourage neighboring communities to go into vegetable farming,” Oñate said.

Representatives from various Infantry Battalions (IB) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Davao region already participated in the orientation and hands-on training on vegetable production conducted by the DA-11.

The members of the AFP tried bagging of soil (vermicast, garden soil, and burned rice hull) as part of their hands-on training and a field tour at the vegetable production area at the City Agriculture Office in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

They were also given bag of seeds by DA-11 as their starter kits for the establishment of the Gulayan sa Kampo.

PFC Mariano Mique Jr. of the 3rd IB in Malagos, Davao City said the project will enable them to learn the recommended technologies in growing vegetables.

“We can also share this knowledge to our neighbouring communities. In that way we will be able to show them (civilians) that we are sincere in helping them,” Mique added.

Upon its implementation, DA will also be conducting a search for Best Camp Garden in the region.

Merriel Aglibot, DA-High Value Commercial Development Program (HVCDP) vegetable focal person, said an annual competition will serve as a good vehicle to share the best practices in establishing and maintaining camp gardens.

She added that it will also showcase small-scale food production model in camps for the households and communities to replicate, purposely to promote family food security.

Aglibot said that the winning camp will be receiving agricultural inputs such as vegetable seeds, knapsack sprayers and drums from DA-HVCDP.

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