SoCot approves P1M for veggie seeds production

Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, PDC chair, said they approved the proposed intensified vegetable seeds production project as part of their continuing efforts to improve the province's agricultural sector.

The PDC is composed of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, municipal mayors, department heads, members of the Coalition of Social Development Organizations and other sectors.

Fuentes said the proposed project will draw its funding from the P2 million released to the province by the Department of Energy (DOE) as share for hosting power generation facilities pursuant to Energy Regulation 1-94.

She said the project will receive a funding of P1.103 million while the remaining amount will be allocated to a proposed cluster sanitary landfill development project.

Provincial Agriculturist Reynaldo Legaste said the intensified vegetable seeds production project primarily aims to produce 670 kilos of vegetable seeds such as ampalaya, eggplant, squash, upo, pole sitao, okra, cowpea and patola.

He said the project — which would utilize the "food always in the home" (or FAITH) model at the Provincial Scion Grove, Nursery, Research and Demonstration Farm in Sitio Pedregosa, barangay Rizal in Banga town — will be used to promote food security and sufficiency in the province.

FAITH is a nutrition program being advocated by the provincial government.

"The project intends to establish 10 FAITH garden modules in each municipality and city of the province," Legaste said.

To complement this, he said they will conduct 11 batches of trainings on vegetable production through the FAITH model and also hold a Farmers Field Day at the FAITH model in Banga.

Legaste said the seed production component of the project will be implemented during the first cropping at the demo farm in Banga.

The second cropping cycle will involve at least 10 sites per municipality and city following the FAITH model.

He said the seeds that would be supplied for the program will be collected or recovered at the rate of 200 percent in terms of quantity to help expand the dispersal program.

"The seed production dispersal program will last for three to six production years. By that time, the genetic purity of seed materials would have already deteriorated to its minimum level," Legaste added.