Vegetable stakeholders show off eggplant varieties. Photo by Armand M. Galang
TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija – A major nutrition program of the local government spared residents of this first-class municipality from the burden of skyrocketing vegetable prices.
Mercy Pabula, chief of the municipal agriculture office (MAO), said Thursday the unprecedented increase in prices of agricultural products, came when almost all households have various plants in the backyards under the town’s Gulayan sa Barangay and Gulayan sa Paaralan program.
“Sa likod-bahay po nila ay may taniim silang isang plot na talong, isang plot na okra at iba pa,” Pabula said.
Under the program, all residents are encouraged to make vegetable planting a lifestyle. They plant any kind of vegetables in plots or containers.
All the 53 barangays have also developed areas for vegetable gardens, including vacant spaces and road shoulders.
Pabula noted that this town has been proclaimed as vegetable basket or “gulayan capital” of Nueva Ecija by virtue of a sangguniang panlalawigan resolution.
On the other hand, farmers gained from such high prices, she said: “Talagang kumita po. Nakita po natin na ang ating mga magsasaka ay kumita po sa gulay.”
This developed as agriculture officials and stakeholdersin Nueva Ecija joined the Go Gulay Field Day hosted by hybrid vegetable seed producer SeedWorks Philippines in its Experimental Station here on Jan. 20-22.
“Yan po ang napaka-importante, yang kalidad ng binhi,” the Pabula said. “Huwag po sana yung isang tanim lang ay konti lang ang aanihin.“
SeedWorks Philippines North Luzon Area sales manager Simeon Bautista said: “We have been consistently highlighting the advantages of hybrid crops that are high-yielding, highly tolerant to plant diseases, and resilient to adverse weather conditions with fruits that are of highest quality for the discerning consumers. We agree with the industry sentiment that sustainability is most crucial these times.”
During the field day, SeedWorks showcased eleven high-yielding hybrid vegetable varieties such as Prolifica Eggplant, Exotica XL/Long Green Hot Chilli Pepper, Upright Red Hot Chili Pepper, Banahaw Green String Bean, Winner Bitter Gourd, Viagrow Ridge Gourd and Black Mamba Watermelon Dark Green.
These also include Panay Sweetheart Watermelon Stripe, Ultima Big Squash, Sakto Butternut Squash, and Sweet Ninja Sweet Corn.
“Through its hybrid plant varieties and advanced crop science technology, SeedWorks has been supporting the national government’s long-term goal to make the country a self-supporting and self-sustaining food producer. During the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the company backed DA’s ‘Plant, Plant, Plant’ program that distributed vegetable seedlings to households nationwide so they can cultivate crops for their consumption throughout this crisis,” Bautista said.