Press Release
June 22, 2020

Villar SIPAG Farm School Reopens with East-West Seeds Foundation for urban agriculture

Sen. Cynthia Villar, advocate of urban gardening, re-opened the Villar SIPAG Farm School Bacoor and resumed training for agricrops production. It was stopped last March because of the quarantine measures.

Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food and director of the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG), built farm schools in Las Pinas and San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan to promote agriculture in urban areas.

The first Villar SIPAG farm school inaugurated in 2015 is located in a 4-hectare lot in the boundary of Las Piñas City and Bacoor. The San Jose Del Monte Farm School, which opened in October 2016, sits in a 4-hectare land in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Both schools have training areas, dormitories, farm houses and kitchen areas. Also featured are vermi- composting facilities, kitchen waste composting facilities, greenhouses, spaces for livestock production aquaculture and cacao plantation under coconut trees.

There used to be times when training programs on Agri-Crops Production were held 3 times a year in both farms. Because of the existing health protocols, the sessions were shortened to 4 full days of 2 meetings a week instead of the regular 3 month course that has 12 sessions. There will only be 20 participants per batch instead of the regular 200 participants per batch before.

Agri crops production will now be like the other courses that accommodate 25 students per batch and will cater to young people. Children (0-20 years old), the elderly (60 years old above), and people with high-risk health issues, are not allowed until further notice.

Villar SIPAG gives this agri-crops training for free in partnership with East-West Seeds Foundation.

The site-based program seeks to capacitate participants with basic knowledge and skills on vegetable production--from land preparation to harvesting, including urban gardening and nutrition education. Villar said this program will aid the public how to do home gardening and will capacitate them to have a ready source of food during this period of health emergency.

Among the crops planted are eggplant, sili, tomatoes, sitaw, upo, patola, ampalaya, corn and kangkong.

The Villar SIPAG Farm Schools also give free training opportunities to farmers in cooperation with other agencies such as the Farm Business School, Cacao Production, Native Animals Production, Aquaculture, Quality Inbred Seeds Production and Farm Mechanization.

The Las Pinas Farm school caters to farmers from the National Capital Region, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon and Bicol Region while the San Jose del Monte City Farm receives students from CAR, North and Central Luzon.

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