CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--The Department of Agriculture in Region 10 (DA-10) has already distributed 23,508 packets or around 877 kilograms of vegetable seeds in Northern Mindanao to cushion the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis on poor families.

“In line with the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte during his State of the Nation Address, the agency continues to strengthen its efforts in providing vegetable seeds to various stakeholders through the Plant, Plant, Plant program,” said Carlota Madriaga, DA-10 Technical Director for Operations, on Thursday.

Kelvin Kent  Giron, a teacher of Camaman-an National High School, said they also benefited from DA's seeds distribution as part of the Department of Education Division of Cagayan de Oro's launching of the "My Pet Plant", that aims to encourage children to venture into urban gardening as they continue to learn their usual subjects.

“The school plans to distribute the vegetables during the opening of classes this August to prepare students and parents to a learning modality during this health crisis,” Giron said.

Jhon Ketz Gayla, a technician of the City Agriculture Office here, said the seeds received from DA will be given to the Barangay Nutrition Committee in Barangay Pagatpat.

On the other hand, Acting Municipal Agriculture Officer Neptali Ambos of Lantapan, Bukidnon said they will be distributing the seeds from DA for the town's “Hatod Serbisyo sa Barangay” program.

“We will be giving out the seeds to the 14 barangays and various schools in our area, as support to their ‘Gulayan sa Paaralan’ endeavor,” Ambos said.

Since the Covid-19 crisis broke out in March, DA-10 said its "Plant, Plant, Plant, Program" (Agri 4Ps) has gained numerous stakeholders and implemented activities to ensure sustained food production, availability, food accessibility, and affordability.

Lovellie Neri, a Special Education teacher coordinator of Lapasan National High School, underscored the program's importance for teachers and parents alike who have ventured into vegetable gardening in schools and in their backyards to augment their food supply.

“For now, our focus is on how to abundantly grow vegetables, and eventually, these will be used as a supplement to the food being provided in our feeding program activities,” Neri said. (PNA)