Press Release
October 17, 2016

Villar lauds 100 trainees on vegetable gardening

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar witnessed on Monday the graduation of the first batch of trainees on vegetable production under the Urban Gardening for Food Security joint project of the Villar SIPAG and Macondray Plastics Products Inc.

Villar, who has been a staunch supporter of undertakings to boost the income of farmers and fisherfolks all over the country, lauded the 100 farmer-trainees from various provinces in the Central Luzon region for their initiative at self-improvement.

The training, called "Vegetable Gardening for Food Security," was conducted in partnership with Macondray Plastics Products, Inc. under its MacPlas Urban Organic Agriculture Advocacy.

She added: "It is with pride and honor that I bear witness today as these 100 trainees end their training. I hope that they will put to good use all the things that they have learned during the past 12 weeks."

The 3-month vegetable production training was held at the 4-hectare Villar SIPAG farm school in Kaypian, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan. The farm school boasts of a vermi- composting facility, kitchen waste composting facility, greenhouse, starting livestock of native chicken and swine, and aquaculture of red tilapia.

The 12-week course covered lectures and hands-on training on the basics of urban agriculture, seed preparation, plant propagation, sustainable cropping, garden management and proper harvesting.

Also on the same event, Villar spearheaded the launching of the Agriculture Training Institution (ATI) Climate Smart Farm Business School modules, which is being promoted by the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The modules are seen to improve the agriculture sector and boost the inclusive growth of farmers by teaching and training them to operate their family farms as business enterprises to increase their income potentials.

ATI Region 3 Center Director Vera Esguerra will head the 10-day session, which will be participated in by 30 participants who are farm owners and 'magsasaka scientistas'.

"I have always believed that our farmers and fisherfolks are the primary players in our bid to sustain food security. We should do everything that we can to help them improve their living conditions," Villar said.

Villar emphasized the need to help increase the income of farmers who are getting a measly average of P150 a day or P4,500 a month, which is below the poverty threshold of P5,000 a month.

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