Dept. of Agriculture is giving away free seeds for people to grow own food amid COVID-19
Seeds and seedlings will be available this week at DA-BPI’s Malate and Quezon City offices as well as regional DA field offices
Mar 30, 2020
Going to the market to buy basic food needs now entails at least three hours of queueing following the strict implementation of social distancing measures. Unless you live in Pasig City or Valenzuela, where roving food markets called “mobile palengke” come directly to people, options are very limited.
The enhanced community quarantine is also taking its toll on farmers, who are finding it harder to transport produce from their farms in provinces to key markets including Metro Manila now that travel restrictions are in place.
The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) thinks the former problem can be solved by encouraging people to grow their own food in their backyards, easing the demand for large-scale commercialized farming as well as decongesting markets.
On its Facebook page, DA-BPI announced that seeds and seedlings are available at DA-BPI Malate (692 San Andres St. Malate, near LRT Quirino Station) and Quezon City (Visayas Ave., Diliman, near QC Circle) offices, which are open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Amid this announcement, DA-BPI still encourages the observance of precautionary measures such as wearing face masks and physical distancing.
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“Sa provinces po, seeds may be availed sa DA regional field offices pati din sa LGUs. Due to the challenges na hinaharap natin, we also encourage you to save seeds mula sa mga binili nyong prutas at gulay,” the agency added.
Seeds and seedlings are also available for pick-up with prior arrangements thru DA-BPI’s hotline 8525-7313/8524-0837.
Given that most speculate that the lockdown is unlikely to end soon with the rising number of COVID-19 cases, it makes sense to promote a kind of self-sufficiency among households.
Previously, DA-BPI has scheduled an urban farming and plant propagation seminar at their Malate office but that has been postponed due to the enhanced community quarantine restrictions.
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The bureau also holds a regular farmers’ market called Kadiwa at the Agricultural Training Institute located at Elliptical Road, Quezon City. There’s also a roving Kadiwa farmers’ caravan that goes around Taguig, Quezon City, Caloocan and Pateros.
Header photo courtesy of Bureau of Plant Industry Facebook page
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