Villasis school establishes real ‘Farmville’

December 2, 2011 at 8:24 am Leave a comment

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- Unlike the “Farmville” of Facebook, this one is a real farm — Vacant lots are planted to tomatoes, string beans, eggplants, peppers, papayas, choys, squash, gourds (upo) and other kinds of vegetables.

The vegetable farm at the Amamperez Elementary School where vegetables were freshly harvested, evoked envy from ”Farmville” enthusiasts who toured the farm recently.

The field tour was guided by Grandeur Gaspar , marketing supervisor of the East-West Seed Company, Inc. who explained in details the various vegetables planted in the school.

It was participated in by the Sangguniang Bayan members of the town led by Vice Mayor Paz Sison-Rafanan, Councilors Roderick E. R. Mina, Arvin B. Castro, Cheryll Zarate-Tan, Centenielo Ramon R. Costales,Jr.and Rosaro Lopez-Limos.

They were joined by Education Program Supervisor Virgilio R. Barba of DepEd Pangasinan II, barangay officials, teachers, parents and school pupils.

Vice Mayor Paz Sison-Rafanan praised the stakeholders and said that it should be replicated not only in schools but in the barangays of the town.

“I am impressed with the vegetables (which) are fresh with no traces of insect and pest infestations. With this kind of project, food sufficiency could be attained in the years to come,” Vice Mayor Rafanan said during the tour.

The harvested vegetables were cooked during the cookfest competition among the mothers of the school pupils.

It was a fun-filled community day for the culmination of the first phase of the “Tanim sa Kinabukasan” – a partnership project among East-West Seed Company, Inc., teachers and administration of the Amamperez Elementary School, local government of Villasis, Synergeia Foundation, Parents-Teachers Association and the barangay officials in which a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was forged last June 30, 2011.

“This is now the fruition of the Tanim sa Kinabukasan.” Our pupils here were taught on how to plant vegetables and were encouraged to eat what they have planted. I thank the municipal officials headed by Mayor Abrenica, East-West Seed Company, Inc. parents and the community officials for their support in this kind of endeavor,” School head Dr. Jocelyn Ragasa-Mina said.

The “Tanim sa Kinabukasan” is an advocacy project and part of the corporate social responsibility of the East-West Seed Company, Inc. that started in 2009 in two elementary schools in Nueva Ecija. It was replicated in 39 elementary schools in 2010 nationwide..

“ For 2011, we expect to complete the project with more than 40 elementary schools in the country and Amamperez is one of them. This school is the first in Pangasinan and is a model for other schools not only in Villasis but in the province of Pangasinan,” said Nestor C. Menguita, the regional sales manager of East-West Seed Company, Inc. for Luzon.

Menguita further said the company provides free seeds and seedlings to the participating schools in which the focus is for the pupils to learn how to plant vegetables.

“It is ironic that Philippines being an agricultural country is one of the lowest among Asian countries in terms of vegetable consumption. What is even more disgusting is that farmers go to the public markets to buy vegetables, that is why with this kind of advocacy project of our company, we would like that pupils at their early ages will learn the value of planting vegetables both for consumption and additional sources of income,” Menguita further said..

Agricultural Technician Robert Padilla of the town’s office of the municipal agriculturist which provided the technical assistance, said the project has changed the behaviors of the school pupils.

“They love to work in their gardens even up to dusk. The once cogonal area at the slope of the dike was also cleared and planted to vegetables. The pupils including their parents and teachers have been very supportive in all the phases of the project,” Padilla said even as he is hoping that the project will be sustained in the school and in the barangay.

Padilla further said that some of the vegetables were planted on cement bags and sacks filled with compost soil and no chemicals have been used to terminate insects and pests.

“ Cosmos and marigold have been interspersed with the vegetables to serve as insect and pest repellants,” Padilla explained.

Cosmos and marigold are popular ornamental plants with insect repellant properties.

Education Program Supervisor Virgilio R. Barba commended the barangay and school officials as well as the parents for the success of the project which he said is in consonance with the DepEd’s program on “ Sagip Pinoy”.

He also lauded the school head Dr. Jocelyn Ragasa-Mina and the teachers for making the school as the center of excellence for crop production in the entire schools division of Pangasinan II.

The winning entries in the cookfest that caught the tastes and palates of the judges were: ginataang grilled eggplant (3rd) prize, paella de vegetables with hot balls (2nd prize) and barbecue with vegetables with side dish spicy eggplant with tofu (first prize).

Entry filed under: News.

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