Tuesday, 14 June 2011 12:02
Dipolog City - Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay are the two priority provinces of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Programang Agrikulturang Pilipino-Gulayan sa Paaralan in region 9.
DA-High Value Crops Development Program Regional Coordinator Mr. Marcial Fantone said the two provinces were considered the top priority targets of the program in the region since the two provinces remain to be in the country’s top 10 poorest provinces with high rate of malnourished children.
Fantone said they are targeting to 498 public elementary and secondary schools in the region for the establishment of vegetable gardens. The DA is targeting 42,076 public elementary and high schools in 17 regions nationwide to establish vegetable gardens in the next five years.
Together with the launching of the program in Zamboanga del Norte this June, DA 9 will also provide trainings for the teachers on proper vegetable growing and management.
Under the program, the DA will provide assorted vegetable seedlings and other plant materials to the different schools with the coordination with DepEd.
Aside from DepEd, the DA is implementing the program in partnership with other government agencies like the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, National Nutrition Council, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Local Government Units and the private sector.
“I hope the participating schools will sustain the project to show the children that eating vegetables is important to stay healthy. This would also contribute to the DA’s goal for food security and food sufficiency in the coming years,” Fantone said.
By Alfonso T. Ruda - PIA9-ZDN/BST
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