25 May 2019, Abulalas Elementary School, Malolos, Bulacan. Over 300 native and organic vegetable seeds, seedlings and cuttings; along with 10 native Philippine fruit bearing trees were delivered to Abulalas Elementary School at Abulalas, Hagonoy, Bulacan last 25 May, made possible through the generosity of 21 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Patrons from Accenture in the Philippines.
10 local administrators from the Abulalas ES, 3 Barangay Tanod Officials and 10 students from the school and community attended the theoretical part of the training during the 8-10 am session, consequently being equipped to in turn share new knowledge in Food Forests with other members of the community.
Vic Cruz and 3 members of the Hagonoy Fish & Farmers Cooperative were also in attendance to ensure sharing of techniques with his Cooperative, who help FEED manage and maintain mangrove nurseries and planting sites in Bulacan.
Using organic seeds procured from IIRR and the Bureau of Plant Industry, the participants were able to practice seed extraction, drying, identification, storage, organic composting and nursery establishment work prior to actual preparation of the site and planting.
Some examples of the nutritionally important vegetables produced and planted at Abulalas Elementary are: Amaranth (kulitis), Long-fruited jute (saluyot), Philippine spinach (talinum), Moringa (malunggay), Cowpea (paayap), Lima bean (patani), Tomatos (kamatis), Ash/white gourd (kundol), Pigeon pea (kadios), Winged bean (sigarilyas) and Okra. A complete set of planting tools (two professional shovels, 6 hand shovels, 6 hand rakes, 1 large hoe, garden spray and watering bucket) were also delivered to the school by FEED in collaboration with Accenture in the Philippines. An additional 300 organic native Philippine vegetables seeds were also provided to those trained for them to take home and install in their back yards or indoor gardens. The indigenous Philippine trees planted at the school were: 2 duhat, 2 tamarind, 2 kalamansi, 2 starfruit and 2 rambutans.
The training was attended and facilitated by FEED’s One Child, One Tree partners also based in Bulacan, represented by the Sali family of Hagonoy, Bulacan – pioneers and volunteers who have always supported FEED planting initiatives in Bulacan and elsewhere.
FEED coined its “Food Forest” Training of Trainers program by integrating the principles and practices of the integrated agro-forestry & science-based approach recommended and guided by FEED’s first Living Legacy partner the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and the “Bio-Intensive Gardening” of the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction.
Working with climate smart interventions is the only way forward in helping to tackle malnutrition in public elementary schools, particularly those in remote areas or prone to climate risks, such as droughts or floods – which happen to be increasing in frequency and intensity throughout the Philippines.
As world population increases, the need for more productive and sustainable use of the land becomes more urgent. Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has varied benefits, including increased biodiversity and reduced erosion.
Photo Journal – Accenture in the Philippines Supports FEED through Eco-Advocacy!
Climate-Smart Villages in the Philippines: Scalable platforms for local adaptation initiatives
March 11, 2019 (By Kimmy Baroidan)
“Agriculture accounts for one third of the employment in the Philippines, making it a key sector. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) estimates that the agricultural impacts of climate change would cost the country 26 billion pesos per year through 2050. Being a developing country, the Philippines cannot afford such big losses. Smallholder farmers are the most vulnerable and at risk to the impacts of climate change on livelihoods, food security, and nutrition in rural areas.
At a global level, agriculture, together with land use and forestry, contributes to one third of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a significant driver of climate change. However, agriculture can also be part of the solution offering many opportunities to mitigate GHG emissions. Climate-resilient or climate-smart agriculture (CRA/CSA) is one of these opportunities. With an appropriate approach, CRA/CSA can also effectively deliver on food security, nutrition, and livelihood development goals. Well-designed programs can also address the differential impacts that climate change is having on women. Local governments play a pivotal role as a platform for delivery of local solutions.
According to FAO, CRA/CSA entail greater investment to manage risks, understand and plan for possible adaptive transitions towards new farming systems or livelihoods, and exploit opportunities for reducing or removing GHG emissions, where feasible. Its principles are adopted in the Philippines through the Department of Agriculture Systems-Wide Agricultural “Climate Resilient Agriculture” as the national framework for adaptation and mitigation in agriculture and fisheries.”
About Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG)*
In response to the 1984 economic crisis in the Philippines, the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) developed a bio-intensive gardening program in the Province of Negros Occidental to increase food availability for Negros islanders.
Two years after bio-intensive gardening was introduced in 1986, the rate of malnutrition had dropped from 40% to 25%.
Bio-intensive gardening aims to rebuild and maintain soil fertility through nutrient cycling, diversified cropping and deep-bed preparation on small-scale plots (200-500 sq. feet). Bio-intensive gardens contain a diverse range of indigenous crops which minimizes the opportunities for pest outbreaks and preserves indigenous seed varieties. Families with these gardens can save cash that they would normally spend on food or non-food essentials for the family. Bio-intensive gardens may also produce enough food for families to sell the surplus and still meet their own nutritional needs.
FEED VP of Operations Diane Penales (pictured above), who conducting the theoretical, practical and technical training elements of the Food Forest program explained to the participants: “that the easier part of such environmental efforts in planting, is the planting itself, despite planting in early morning til noon heat. The toughest part is the maintenance and monitoring, which is guided by an annual calendar of which vegetables to plant and harvest during which seasons (wet/dry). Which is why, the selection of an appropriate school in need of such intervention/help – as well as the local leadership – are critical factors in their selection.”
This is FEED’s 4th Food Forest installation and training in Bulacan, but its 6th to date since conceiving the program last 2018.
- Dampol Elementary Receives Additional Support for its Food Forest & Garden (9 April 2019)
- ASPEN Plants 2nd Food Forest & Garden for Dampol Elementary School, Bulacan (29 March 2019)
- Oracle Sponsors Bio-Intensive Garden & Food Forest for Anihan Technical School (28 April 2018)
- British School Manila Adopts Food Forest for the Poor (17 March 2018)
FEED runs a number of Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – such as mangrove planting for coastal protection or ridge reforestation plantings; One Child, One Tree; Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG) for nutrition in public elementary schools and other spaces; Climate Change Survival 101 and other LIVING LEGACY programs – customised environmental engagement activities for individuals and organisations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.
Tree-Planting with FEED: Video
Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us last 24th of June 2017 to get a good idea of how FEED plantings go: https://youtu.be/KROn4rjVqBg
© Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.