Press Release
June 16, 2016

Villar launches urban gardening for food security

In line with her advocacy to boost the income of our farmers and improve their living condition, Senator Cynthia A. Villar launched urban gardening for food security during a simple ceremony at Villar SIPAG Farm in Las Pinas City.

Villar said the project, in cooperation with Macondray Plastics Products, Inc. and SM Foundation, will benefit people from various communities, particularly those from Las Pinas City and the neighboring cities of Paranaque and Bacoor, Dasmarinas and Imus, all in Cavite province.

?She said to the participants, the free seminars on urban gardening are in for very interesting topics like the basic of urban agriculture, seed preparation, plant propagation, sustainable cropping, garden management and proper harvesting.

?"Of course, with Macondray, there is the MacPlas Urban Organic Agriculture Advocacy supported by the 7-K Values or what they called the blessings of 'kaalaman, kalikasan, kagandahan, kalakasan, kabuhayan, komunidad at kaanak.' All of these resonate with my and Villar SIPAG's own thrusts, especially on empowering people with employable skills, sources of livelihood and entrepreneurial mindset," said the Nacionalista Party senator.

She related that they are partnering again with SM Foundation aside from an earlier partnership of Villar SIPAG and SM Foundation's Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK).

With MacPlas, SM Foundation together and Villar SIPAG, she said participants can expect complete training on organic urban gardening.

As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Villar said it is her goal to give continuous training and education to farmers and fisherfolks and their families and communities.

"And being an agricultural country, they are all important to us especially on the matter of food security. Food security is dependent on them and not on big food producers," she said. She also cited the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which stated that in ensuring food security, we must remember that only small farmers can feed the world. It also said that 80% of food we consume globally comes from small farmers.

The senator likewise emphasized that about 1.5 billion of people globally are estimated to be involved in family farming in over 500 million small farms worldwide.

"So I have always been saying that we should not belittle small farmers and fisherfolks because they are the key to our food-secured future. They will provide food to our children and their children," said Villar.

Due to this, Villar said we need to help increase the income of farmers, the poorest in the country, who are getting only an average of P150 a day or P4,500 a month, way below the poverty threshold of PhP5,000 a month.

If farmers won't be helped, Villar warned they will just leave their farms. She said their children might no longer continue farming,

"We have to help them become more competitive so their income will increase and they will not stop farming or producing food for the future generation of Filipinos," further stated Villar.

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