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After maximizing suitable areas for vegetable production and poultry raising in the provincial offices and research stations of the Department of Agriculture Region IV-CALABARZON, and distribution of vegetable seeds for household and community gardening to local government units, the regional office continues to engage with other government offices, universities, and other institutions, which have idle land, that can be converted as farm areas or food production sites in line with the Department’s vision of a food-secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.

Regional Director Arnel de Mesa said that the regional office will provide its full support, in terms of technical and production assistance, to those institutions that are willing to transform their idle land or area into the food production site.

“This way, we will help support our objective to secure food productivity, food supply availability, food accessibility, and food price stability,” Director de Mesa said.

For instance, on May 8, 2020, Assistant Regional Director for Operations Mr. Dennis Arpia and Field Operations Division Chief Engr. Redelliza Gruezo visited Camp Riego de Dios in Tanza, Cavite to meet with Col. Diosdado E. Peji, FA General Staff Command of the Philippine Army, to discuss the latter’s plan to develop available areas in the camp into an integrated diversified organic farming system.

According to Col. Peji, about 18 to 30-hectare land in the camp can be used to realize the said farming system. Once operational, the harvests will be given to the soldiers and nearby communities, and can also be used for relief efforts.

“Knowing and practicing agriculture is the best way to combat hunger,” Col. Peji said.

To kick off the plan, training on organic vegetable production started on May 7, 2020, for more than 60 soldiers and some individuals residing nearby the camp.

Newly-installed Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer for Cavite, Mr. Felix Jocelito H. Noceda said that after 16 weeks, a field day or harvest day will be conducted that will also mark as the graduation day for all the trainees.

The regional office also provides assistance to other army camps like Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, and Camp G. Nakar in Lucena City, Quezon. ● (RFL, DA-RAFIS)