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PIA Press Release

DA, Gawad Kalinga launch Mindanao 'Bayan-Anihan' project

by Noel T. Provido

Davao City (23 February) -- Goodbye Gutom!

This is the new battle cry of the Gawad Kalinga (GK) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) as they joined forces to address hunger in low-cost housing sites in the country.

Known for its noble objective of providing shelter to the homeless, GK stakeholders also realized that aside from shelter food is another basic human need that must be addressed.

With this, Gawad Kalinga or GK program partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and launched a project dubbed as: Bayan-Anihan, a joint vegetable growing venture completes its package of assistance to help majority of the country's poor.

Bayan-Anihan, which aims to fight hunger by empowering families to produce food for their own consumption, has evolved into a national movement spreading to the various parts in the country under the supervision of GK and the DA's High Value Commercial Crops (HVCC) program.

Speaking during last Wednesday's (February 17) Mindanao project launching in GK Pueblo Antonio Village in Sitio Habana in Toril, Davao City DA-HVCC program director Rene Rafael Espino said there are already 177 sites of backyard vegetable growing project all over the country. Each site has 30 family-beneficiaries.

"As initially targeted by DA, GK and their other project partners, Bayan-Anihan aims to put up such hunger mitigation projects in 500 sites nationwide, of which 312 will be in Luzon, another 92 in the Visayas and 96 more in Mindanao," Espino said.

Of the 96 targeted GK sites in Mindanao, 20 sites are in Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), 40 in Northern Mindanao (Region X), 10 in Davao Region (Region XI), 16 in SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato-Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarranggani-General Santos) (Region XII) and 10 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Espino said DA has provided the agricultural inputs amounting to at least P8 million while the GK, together with state universities and colleges (SUC) partners, conducted the community trainings. Inputs include vegetable seeds, seedling trays, organic fertilizers, weighing scales, fruit trees and medicinal/culinary plants.

Enya Celoso, Bayan-Anihan focal person in Region XI said community trainings have already been completed in 71 sites and other beneficiaries have already planted their vegetables in 29 sites.

"Bayan-Anihan has brought together the government, private sector, and religious organizations to help our local communities break free from hunger and eventually empower them to attain better quality of life," Celoso said. (DAXI) [top]

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