Read about the Let­tuce Har­vest Fes­ti­val at the Ur­ban Farm School of Sen. Cyn­thia Vil­lar in Las Piñas City. The sen­a­tor in­vited Al­lied Botan­i­cal to show­case their seed va­ri­eties and tech­nol­ogy for pro­duc­ing salad va­ri­eties. The demo also served as a traini

Agriculture - - Contents - BY JULIO P. YAP, JR.

42 page

A con­sid­er­able num­ber of par­tic­i­pants com­ing from the cities of Taguig, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Cavite, and from the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Pateros in Metro Manila who are un­der­go­ing train­ing at the ur­ban farm school which is lo­cated at the Molino Dam, F. Dela Cruz, BF Re­sort Vil­lage, Las Piñas City, par­tic­i­pated in the event.

The par­tic­i­pants, to­gether with Vil­lar and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the ABC, har­vested dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of let­tuce which they them­selves sowed and­cul­ti­vated us­ing Con­dor qual­ity seeds.

The ur­ban farm­ing pro­gram is spon­sored by the Vil­lar SI­PAG (So­cial In­sti­tute for Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion and Gov­er­nance) and ABC.

The trainees ex­cit­edly har­vested the dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of let­tuce like the Ty­rol (Ro­maine-Midi Cos), Green Wave (Batavia), Carlo Rossa (Stan­dard Red), NRBL 2 (Triple Red), Grande (Ice­berg), Green Fril­lice (Batavia), and Green Tow­ers (Ro­maine-Large Cos) which are all very pro­lific – and of course, or­gan­i­cally grown.

They also had the op­por­tu­nity to learn how to har­vest the dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of herbs that were avail­able at the ur­ban farm.

Af­ter­wards, they were treated to a lecture ses­sion to know the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the let­tuce they har­vested, and a cook­ing demo was con­ducted, both led by the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the ABC, to teach them on how to de­li­ciously pre­pare the leafy veg­etable at a very nom­i­nal cost.

A ques­tion and an­swer por­tion capped the ac­tiv­ity where

dif­fer­ent Con­dor qual­ity seeds were given as prize for those who won.

The ABC is pri­mar­ily aimed at de­vel­op­ing veg­etable va­ri­eties to suit lo­cal grow­ing con­di­tions, in­clud­ing breed­ing for high­yield and re­sis­tance against lo­cal pest and dis­eases.

Strong re­sis­tance and su­pe­rior adapt­abil­ity mean less de­pen­dence on en­vi­ron­men­tally de­struc­tive pes­ti­cides, the ABC said.

“Pro­vid­ing our farm­ers with the op­por­tu­nity to learn from the best, and at no cost to them, is one way of help­ing our food pro­duc­ers im­prove their yield, and in­crease their in­come,” Vil­lar pointed out.

As chair­per­son of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Agri­cul­ture and Food, Vil­lar is op­ti­mistic that the trainees will be able to learn the ba­sics of­mod­ern farm­ing pro­ce­dures­be­ing ini­ti­ated by the ABC – the only 100-per­cent Filipino-owned seed com­pany which also has a re­search and de­vel­op­ment pro­gram.

“The ABC has a solid pro­gram for lo­cal­ized breed­ing. The com­pany prides it­self with its rigid se­lec­tion and breed­ing of trop­i­cal veg­eta­bles. Throughits tieups with var­i­ous for­eign com­pa­nies, the ABC is pi­o­neer­ing on seeds and fer­til­izer tech­nol­ogy which will ben­e­fit the Filipino farm­ers,” the lady sen­a­tor said.

Un­der the ur­ban farm­ing pro­gram, the par­tic­i­pants learned the proper way of plant­ing veg­eta­bles by uti­liz­ing mod­ern farm­ing meth­ods and tech­nolo­gies.

The weekly train­ing ses­sions also in­cluded val­ues for­ma­tion, ca­pa­bil­ity build­ing, and so­cial en­trepreneur­ship.

The par­tic­i­pants were also pro­vided with op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate mar­ket link­ages, which will en­able them to sell their pro­duce.

“We will con­tinue to work hand-in-hand with var­i­ous groups and or­ga­ni­za­tions to pro­vide our farm­ers with train­ing pro­grams and work­shops through­out the year. I ex­pect to see more peo­ple be­com­ing in­ter­ested in farm­ing as we spread the word that we have an ur­ban farm school which is of­fer­ing free and qual­ity train­ing pro­grams,” she said.

On the other hand, the ABC said this is part of the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to the Filipino farm­ers and con­sumers, as well as its ob­jec­tive of ed­u­cat­ing the youth and pro­tect­ing our en­vi­ron­ment.

The ABC aims to cre­ate a bet­ter world, and this could be sim­ply ex­pressed through the com­pany’s motto – “En­hanc­ing Agri­cul­ture to Im­prove Your Life!”

Sen­a­tor Cyn­thia Vil­lar leads the Let­tuce Har­vest Fes­ti­val at the Vil­lar SI­PAG Ur­ban Farm School in Las Piñas City.

Dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of let­tuce like Green Wave, Green Tow­ers, Grande, and Green Fril­lice from Con­dor seeds grow pro­fusely and are ready for har­vest­ing at the Vil­lar SI­PAG Ur­ban Farm School.

Dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of herbs, like Arugula Roc­quette, Sweet Basil Gen­ovese, Thai basil, and dill were also har­vested dur­ing the event.

Sen­a­tor Vil­lar (right) ad­mires the Green Tow­ers va­ri­ety of let­tuce be­ing shown to her by Fadriquela dur­ing the har­vest fes­ti­val.

Two ba­lik­bayan friends of Sen­a­tor Vil­lar (third and fourth from left) en­thu­si­as­ti­cally par­tic­i­pated in the Let­tuce Har­vest Fes­ti­val. They were joined by NCR Area Sales Man­ager Dorry Fadriquela (left) and ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant Rowena Bienes (right), both of Al­lied Botan­i­cal Cor­po­ra­tion.

Some of the par­tic­i­pants who are un­der­go­ing train­ing at the ur­ban farm school lo­cated at Molino Dam, BF Re­sort Vil­lage, Las Piñas City, were seen en­joy­ing the har­vest fes­ti­val, which they said was very ed­u­ca­tional and fun.

The par­tic­i­pants are shown pre­par­ing their own ver­sions of veg­etable salad, some­thing they learned dur­ing the live pre­sen­ta­tion and cook­ing demo at the event.

A pasta and salad recipe was pre­pared by the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Al­lied Botan­i­cal Cor­po­ra­tion us­ing the fresh­est let­tuce and herbs har­vested dur­ing the event.

Some of the very tasty and crispy Carlo Rossa va­ri­ety of let­tuce which was har­vested by the par­tic­i­pants.

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