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DA, BUCOR PARTNER UP FOR URBAN AGRI PROJECT – DAR

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) firmed up a new partnership for the Urban Agriculture Project (UAP), which involves the use of available BuCor lands for food production.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar and BuCor Director-General and Undersecretary Gerald Bantag formally launched the “Gulayan sa Pamahalaan” under the UAP with a harvest festival at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City recently.

“Let’s put up a sustainability plan for this project to be continued even beyond the time that we will no longer be here to support it.”

“Let’s put up a sustainability plan for this project to be continued even beyond the time that we will no longer be here to support it. Make it a self-sustaining business model, the model that we can start working on so that we build up the capacity of the Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs),” Dar said.

The agriculture chief added that the PDL should be engaged to be part of enhancing food security for themselves and for their family.

Through the DA-BuCor Memorandum of Agreement for agriculture development, arable land at the NBP reservation will be developed into an agri-fishery site that will help reform PDLs, prepare them for community integration, and support Metro Manila’s food requirements.

In three years, plant nurseries, seed production facilities, breeder farms, fish farms, and composting facilities will be established, while maintaining fruit, vegetable, livestock, and fish farms within the 80-hectare NBP reservation.

“We are optimizing the utilization of the available lands of BuCor.”

“The program is in line with one of the priorities of BuCor which is the implementation of the ‘Gulayan sa Pamahalaan’ Agro-Industrial Project. We are optimizing the utilization of the available lands of BuCor, so we are looking forward to our partnership with DA,” BuCor Assistant Secretary Milfredo Melegrito said.

According to the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Assistant Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban, every seed planted by the partners at BuCor and the PDL symbolizes hope for the future.

The agriculture head challenged the BPI to upscale the UAP implementation through partnerships with different government agencies and private sector stakeholders to help lessen the impact of the pandemic.

Officials present during the event include DA Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Eduardo Gongona, and BuCor Assistant Secretary Gabriel Chaclag. 

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