The initiative of the barangay officials of Barangay Nabitasan in the district of La Paz, Iloilo City, is currently yielding positive results after they created a community garden known as “Gulayan sa Nabitasan.”
Nabitasan Elementary School houses the community garden.
According to barangay councilor John Jesner Perce Punsaran, chairman of the Committee on Livelihood and Job Opportunities, the barangay council sought to empower women amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, so they decided to establish a communal garden. The project got finished in March of this year.
Punsaran said that with the assistance of the volunteers and barangay residents, they were able to grow a variety of crops such as sweet potato, eggplant, okra, kangkong, gabi, alugbati, ampalaya, patola, kalubay, and others.
In addition to vegetables, herbal plants are cultivated, which people may ask for when they get ill.
Volunteering taught indigent mothers and residents how to cultivate plants, and they could put their knowledge to use when they ventured into backyard gardening.
“As chairperson of the Livelihood and Job Opportunities Committee, I realized that this project is a must-have, especially during this pandemic where many residents have lost their livelihood, and of course, this project wants to empower not only our indigent mothers but also our male volunteers,” Punsaran told Panay News.
Gulayan sa Nabitasan is managed by around 16 volunteers who visit the community garden daily to care of the plants.
Gulayan sa Nabitasan ensures the community’s food security. The harvested crops are sold at a lower cost to inhabitants of the barangay and nearby areas. The rest of the harvest is given to the Iloilo City government’s community kitchen and pantry, and a feeding program for children was established.
Also, they were able to provide seedlings to residents who expressed an interest in growing vegetables in their backyards.
“The project aims to offer community food security and sell goods at a cheaper cost. At the same time, we have an extension initiative that seeks to help our people via feeding programs, community pantries, and community plantrees. We also give seedlings to women who are not volunteers to help them get started with backyard gardening,” Punsaran said.
Gulayan sa Nabitasan was Barangay Nabitasan’s entry in JPT Ediscape-Level Up 2021, the judging day took place last Monday, Sept. 6./PN