Struggling from the loss of jobs and livelihood brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to put food on the table has motivated some QCitizens to utilize open spaces and grow food near their homes. For urban dwellers, there are many challenges to grow food sustainably, like limited access to land and spaces for food production.
And the good news is, the local government was willing to help. Repurposing urban spaces to establish community model farms for food production is one of the food security action points of the #GrowQC kasama ka sa pag−unlad sa pagkain, kabuhayan, at kalusugan project by the Quezon City Food Security Task Force. The task force encouraged the use and transformation of idle and open spaces into green and edible spaces within the city.
“Dito na rin kami kumukuha ng pang-ulam tapos ine-encourage ko sila, lalo na ang mga nanay na na-lockdown, na magpursige silang magtanim” said Juvy Bado, president of Villa Berde Food Forest Farm in Botocan Quezon City.
Botocan is one of the many dense urban settlements in Quezon City. Due to the pandemic, many residents lost their jobs or sources of income. But they refused to give up, nor sulked in the corner. They established their own food forest farm, and it is one of the community model farms built during the pandemic.
Urban Agriculture is a 10-year program of Mayor Joy Belmonte. It aims to ensure food availability and sustainability in the city. It also provides households the opportunity to produce fresh and healthy food through distributing assorted vegetable seeds and materials to interested households in Quezon City.
In the midst of the pandemic and other challenges, one thing is certain — that the “Bayanihan Spirit” is alive in Filipinos. “Sabi ko nga sa kanila, isa para sa lahat, lahat para sa isa. Etong samahan namin, sama-sama kaming humaharap sa pandemic ngayon at sama− sama rin kami kung ano ang pwede naming maitulong,” said Bado.
The pandemic has definitely brought about numerous challenges and hardships to the country and the whole world. But the GrowQC – Kasama ka sa Pagunlad initiative by the Food Security Task Force continues to show that, through a collective effort, we can overcome the biggest challenges in life. With GrowQC, we seek to empower our communities amidst the new normal. Even with so many uncertainties, the GrowQC initiatives seeks to bring hope and joy to our constituents by educating, encouraging and empowering them to be part of the solution. Indeed, kasama tayo sa pag-unlad ng Quezon City.
We hope to see more neighborhoods coming together. For more information, email us at [email protected] and follow us on FB: GrowQC