The agriculture department is seeking a partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the country that will promote agriculture, particularly urban gardening, in the premises of academic institutions.

DA assistant secretary Noel Reyes said Tuesday in a virtual presser that the partnership with the academic community will institutionalize urban gardening.

Around mid-March, the Philippines imposed an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which raised concerns about food supply shortage in many cities and provinces.

Local government units (LGUs) including Puerto Princesa City encouraged residents to engage in vegetable gardening to help sustain their food needs.

“Talagang iko-consider ng Department of Agriculture ang partnership with DepEd para ma-institutionalize [ito para] beyond COVID-19, meron tayong urban gardening sa ating mga paaralan. Hindi lang sa DepEd kundi sa SUCs din,” he said.

Reyes said that Agriculture Sec. William Dar is calling on the SUCs to utilize their spaces and practice agriculture not just planting vegetables but also with other methods of farming that could be explored depending on the size of the area that will be utilized.

“Nanawagan si Sec. Dar sa ating mga kaibigan sa state universities and colleges, malalaki ang espasyo nila na pwede pagtamnan. Hindi lang vegetable, pwede mag-integrated farming, meron tayong livestock, depende sa size ng SUCs,” he said.