Edible Urban Gardening in Manila and Cavite

When SM Foundation launched its first Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program in Bacolod, it was envisioned to provide marginal farmers knowledge on the proper vegetable and fruit cultivation using modern technology and organic fertilizers sans the use of pesticides. The end objective was to bring nutritious food to every table of the participants.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is joined by SMFI’s Cristie Angeles and Harbest’s Arsenio Barcelona at the launching ceremony of KSK in Tondo, Manila. Left photo shows Senator Cynthia Villar with Angeles and Barcelona at the launch in Cavite.

The concept of a farmers’ training program in the metropolis was introduced despite the lack of land to be planted with vegetables and other crops. Because of the limited space that a usual vegetable farm requires, this training utilizes any open area available for the demo-garden and use plastic containers as plots. The training aims to reach out to marginalized sector of the city and help promote food security by teaching Manila households the rudiments of planting healthy and safe crops even with the limited spaces in front of their houses.

The program called Edible Urban Gardening was launched recently at the BASECO Compound in Tondo, Manila. The 238 participants were residents of BASECO Compound, and nearby barangays in Tondo, Sta. Cruz and Sta. Ana districts of Manila who will gather at the Corazon Aquino High School for the lecture and training. Among them are 50 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino beneficiaries. The program will benefit 56 barangays. This is SM Foundation’s 98th Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program.

Another edible urban gardening program was also launched at the Villar Urban Farm in San Nicolas I, Bacoor, Cavite with 200 participants.  The 99th KSK program has 33 barangay beneficiaries from Las Pinas and Cavite.

For the edible urban gardening, crops to be planted include lowland and upland vegetables like eggplant, okra, squash, tomato, bitter gourd, camote, stringbeans, raddish, kangkong, and lettuce; and fruits such as watermelons, honeydew, and melon.