FOUR CIVIC organizations have partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) in increasing food production under its urban agriculture program.

On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar forged a memorandum of agreement with Metro Pacific Investment Foundation (MPIF) President Melody M. Del Rosario, AGREA President Cherrie D. Atilano, Pinas Forward Chief Operating Officer Josemaria Claro, and Project Pearls Operations and Program Director Monica Aclan.

Under the agreement, the DA’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) will give farm inputs, gardening modules, and technical assistance for the maintenance of the community gardens under the care of the civic groups.

“The momentum is already there. Individual households and even communities have started planting. Idle areas should be used for food production and the harvest can substantially contribute to the country’s food sufficiency level,” Mr. Dar said.

“Every effort will always lead to a higher level of food production, ensuring food security for this country,” he added.

Meanwhile, AGREA’s Ms. Atilano said that partnership between the private and the public sector is more important, especially during the pandemic.

“During this pandemic, it is evident that public and private sectors can really work together. We want to empower the communities to start growing their own food and make their food source sustainable,” Ms. Atilano said.

Launched in April this year, the DA’s urban agriculture program was created as a solution to address the food supply disruption caused by the establishment of quarantine checkpoints. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave