by Sheila Mae H. Toreno

ILOILO CITY— Some 140 members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of Brgy. Tanza Esperanza will operate the village’s communal urban garden to be established with the support from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas and the City Government of Iloilo.

Brgy. Captain Wilbur T. Orada said that they have started clearing and preparing the plots to be planted with various vegetables.

“We have already divided the areas into three clusters which will be developed into an urban garden by our 4Ps parent leaders and their members,” said Orada.

On April 30, DA-HVCDP coordinator Jonifer Frades and Agriculturist II Relvin Paragua led the turnover of assorted vegetable seeds and seedlings such as of upo, sitao, lettuce, upland kangkong, alogbati, okra, squash, ampalaya, tomato, pechay, camote tops, bunching onion, and lemon grass. Aside from the planting materials, they also donated water drums and sprinklers.

“Dugay ko na nga handum nga mangin bastante ang pagkaon sa Brgy. Tanza Esperanza especially when it comes to food production. With the help of the city government, we will be able now to use the 900 square-meter private lot for urban gardening,” said Orada.

Once the urban garden is already sustainable, a vegetable market will eventually be put up and will primarily cater to the demand for safe and organically-grown vegetables of the barangay residents.

Meanwhile, OIC City Agriculturist Noel Hechanova thanked the DA for the 800 vegetable seedlings they have already distributed.

“Aside from the Adopt A Barangay Program wherein we distribute seeds and seedlings to barangays with available garden lots, we will also give free seeds to areas where residents are interested to go into container gardening,” he said. With DA’s interventions, the City Agriculture Office is also intensifying its strategies to respond to the increasing demand for vegetables of metro residents.