Government agencies continue to pour in support for Tampakan’s ‘survival garden’
TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato, July 24 (PIA) – Tampakan’s survival garden project continues to gain support from national government agencies.
In a recent visit to the area, South Cotabato 1st District Representative Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles along with officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) pitched in their commitments for the development of the survival garden.
According to Cong. Bañas-Nograles, they are discussing the possibility of passing a bill to declare the area as an eco-agrisite to protect and institutionalize the program.
I commend the local government of Tampakan for a very good project. The government needs to focus on these kind of programs especially here in Mindanao because we are considered as food basket,” Cong. Bañas-Nograles said.
We have to maximize the productivity, but first we have to improve the road network and establish a food hub so we can have an easier link to the market,” she added.
The Department of Agriculture 12 also identified the possibility of putting up nurseries equipped with water system to improve the production of highland vegetables.
“Our High Value Crops Development Program and Regional Agricultural Engineering Division will conduct site validation to check the feasibility of the establishment of nurseries and a tissue culture laboratory in the area,” Regional Executive Director Arlan Mangelen said.
Mangelen said their team will check other possible projects that can be implemented to further develop the area as a potential farm tourism destination.
Earlier this month, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority 12 also approved the training of 50 beneficiaries on vegetable pest control. The training is free of charge and, while on training, beneficiaries will receive financial allowance and other support.
In response to the offer of support from national government agencies, Tampakan Mayor Leonard Escobillo said the municipal government is glad that their effort to promote food sustainability is being recognized.
We are thankful that national government agencies appreciate our effort in promoting food sustainability not only in Tampakan but also in nearby towns, Mayor Escobillo said.
We hope that with this convergence, we can fast-track the development and maximize the potential of the area because this will be a huge help especially to our local farmers, Escobillo added.
Only about four months old, LGU Tampakan’s Survival Garden was first developed as a response to the coronavirus pandemic and was intended to ensure sufficient supply of food for communities affected by the community quarantine.
Members of the Blaan tribe residing near the area were tapped by the local government to maintain and assist in the farming of vegetables and other crops. Vegetables grown in the site include Chinese pechay, raddish, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, string beans, okra, pumpkin, upo (bottle gourd), among others.
The 21-hectare farm site is situated on top of a hill at Sitio Salway in Barangay Tablu, some 1,800 meters above sea level. The garden has a panoramic view of Mt. Matutum on its south side. (ORVR)