THE National Government launched an urban agriculture program on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, aimed at increasing sustainable agriculture activities in the country amid continuous efforts to fight poverty and hunger.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the launching of Halina’t Magtanim ng Prutas At Gulay, Kadiwa’y Yaman, Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement (Hapag Kay PBBM) at the Rizal Park in the City of Manila.

The program will encourage the public to grow their own food close to home, which Marcos said will improve access to affordable, safe, and nutritious meals every day.

Hapag Kay PBBM is composed of two programs combined into one. The first program is the Department of Agriculture’s Green Revolution 2.0: Plants for Bountiful Barangays Movement, which Marcos said aims to increase local production of fruits and vegetables by turning urban, peri-urban, and rural areas into patches of green, edible landscapes. The second program is the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Halina’t Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay Movement.

The DILG program seeks to build community gardens in every barangay to diversify food sources and to contribute to food security within each neighborhood.

Marcos expressed confidence that Hapag Kay PBBM will further increase the country’s capacity to address poverty, ensure food security, and protect the environment even at the barangay level.

“With the fusion of these two programs, I am certain we will be able to quickly and effectively promote urban agriculture in the entire country and to foster greater ties among residents at the barangay level,” he said.

“This is a good beginning but we must continuously come up with more innovative solutions to address hunger and make nutritious food available to every Filipino,” he added.

On February 27, Marcos launched the first Kadiwa ng Pangulo in Cebu City.

The Kadiwa ng Pangulo program is a market linkage facilitation program of the DA, headed by Marcos, which aims to make products such as rice, fish, poultry, livestock, fruits and vegetables, and other basic commodities accessible, available and affordable to poor families.

It eliminates several marketing layers, allowing producers to earn bigger profits from directly selling their produce. (SunStar Philippines)