Press Release
September 16, 2016

Villar welcomes DSWD personnel, faculty members to Villar SIPAG Farm School in Bulacan

Sen. Cynthia Villar opened the doors of the Villar SIPAG Farm School in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan to personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and faculty members from different parts of the country.

"As you can see, we are not only catering to the training needs of our farmers. The farm school is a venue for learning for everyone. We are very fortunate to have DSWD supervisors with us today. I urge them to share their learnings on urban farming to 4Ps beneficiaries," Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said.

The DSWD personnel, numbering 130 from all over the country, are the Supervisors/Implementors of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Villar said important inputs will be gathered to help the project of the DSWD-United Nations World Food Programme, which specifically called for the inclusion of hunger, food security and nutrition topics in the different Family Development Sessions.

Villar also noted that aside from providing beneficiaries with rice subsidy, there is also a proposal for DSWD to coach and mentor Pantawid Pamilya households to become independent and self-reliant through backyard or communal gardening.

The Tarlac Agricultural University delegation composed of 60 faculty/professors from different state universities and colleges all over the country are undergoing a seminar on sustainable agriculture, food security and climate change at TAU in Camiling, Tarlac. They included a trip to Bulacan to take part in the training course of Daisy Duran, owner of Duran Farms and the Villar SIPAG agriculturist, on urban gardening.

The Bulacan farm school is the second site of Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), a foundation initiated by the Villar Family headed by former Senate President Manny Villar, and the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of real estate giant Vista Land. The 4-hectare Villar SIPAG Farm School in Bulacan has a training area, a dormitory with nine double-deck beds, farm house and kitchen area. It also features a vermi- composting facility, kitchen waste composting facility, greenhouse, starting livestock of native chicken and swine, and aquaculture of red tilapia.

Similar to the first farm school, it also promotes the Farm Business School modules of the Agri-business Training Institute and the United Nations' (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that will enable farmers to operate their family farms as business enterprises and increase their income potential, which will also further develop the agriculture sector and pave the way for inclusive growth.

The first Villar SIPAG farm school is located at the boundary of Las Piñas and Bacoor City. Since its opening in 2015, it has given numerous trainings on vegetable production, mushroom production, livestock and poultry production, sweet corn production, orchid cultivation, bamboo propagation, cut flower production, charcoal making and beekeeping to farmers around Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.

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