LOOK: DA, BuCor launch food security program using prison facility’s produce
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) have launched an agro-industrial program using produce grown from the country’s prison facility, in a bid to achieve food sustainability.
In a statement on Friday, BuCor and DA said that the urban farming program called “Gulayaan sa Pamahalaan” was done in compliance with the government initiative to make use of BuCor’s available lands for agricultural purposes.
During the program at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the program’s purpose includes boosting the public health as people would have access to healthy food products amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dar also noted that it is good to start urban farming or urban agriculture now because it would remain, even after the problems brought by the COVID-19 are solved.
“Urban Agriculture will be here this day, whether under new normal or any situation for that matter. Mayroon tayong minimithi na Food Always in the Home (FAITH), kasi alam natin na itong paglaban sa Covid-19 ay ang malakas na kalusuga,” Dar said.
“When we are able to choose the right food that we eat, then this will give us the booster to improve and heighten our Immune System. Sana po magtagumpay tayo, itong ating Partnership ng DA with the BuCor and we can replicate this to other Camps of BuCor,” he added.
The DA chief also assured that the department would always be available to extend help to BuCor in terms of utilizing its lands for agriculture, and for enhancing security in the country.
BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag meanwhile thanked DA, expressing solidarity with the department’s agricultural projects.
“Whatever arrangement (it) is, the Department of Agriculture will always be there to partner with the BuCor in regard to enhancing security in this country,” Dar stressed.
“Let’s sustain this project over time, let’s put up a sustainability plan for this project to be continued even beyond the time that we will no longer be here to support, to self-sustaining, business model, and be the model that we can, start working so that we build up the capacity of the PDL. So let’s have them part of enhancing food security for themselves and for their family,” he added.
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