BAGUIO CITY – As a support to ensure food availability and sustain production, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Baguio continues to promote urban agriculture through the distribution of free vegetable seeds and planting materials.
Trainings are being conducted to update and enhance the knowledge and skills of urban gardens and those interested in vegetable production, and through capacity building.
Divina Jose, BPI Baguio Training Coordinator explained the agency encourages households to grow in their backyards to produce fresh and healthy food for their family.
BPI Baguio recently conducted a training on Organic Vegetable Production which discussed activities with regard to urban gardening and the importance of seed production and sharing.
For the city, gardeners are encouraged not only to produce fresh vegetables but as well as to save seeds for the next planting schedule, vegetables usually grown in backyards for fresh produce and seeds as planting materials are pechay, beans, garden pea, radish, lettuce, and tomato. Some lowland vegetables that can be grown are lady’s finger (okra), eggplant and bottle ground.
At present, BPI-Baguio has collections of different varieties of beans, garden peas, potatoes, and others which are products of research and can further be multiplied for future use.
Organic farming refers to ecologically-based production systems in producing food and fiber. Organic farmers use ecological management strategies to improve soil fertility, prevent soil erosion, promote biological diversity and management of pests.
Urban gardener and seed producer Carolina Fanged in her sharing during the training stated that prior to being a full-time urban organic farmer and seed producer, she underwent the process of gathering appropriate information on organic farming and seed propagation.
“I was challenged to save seeds because of my mother-in-law who shared with me her beans for me to have my own supply of fresh organic vegetables for my family, aside from other beans that have been shared with me by my friends which I planted and propagated. And when I met Ma’am Divina, I offered her my seeds and in return, BPI trusted me to propagate some of their seeds varieties which I did,” Fanged added.