Communities Engage in the Scoping Activity of School Edible Landscaping for Entrepreneurship Project in Rizal Province

  • By Pauline D. Gonzales
  • 1 August 2023

RIZAL, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), in collaboration with the Provincial Government (PG) through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg), kicked off the scoping activity of community gardens in 17 barangays from seven municipalities in Rizal province on 19–20 and 25–27 July 2023. This activity is part of the School Edible Landscaping for Entrepreneurship (SEL4E) Project being implemented by SEARCA, Rizal Provincial Government, and the Department of Education's Rizal Division Office.

SEL4E is a follow-up project to SEARCA's initiative, "A Participatory Action Research on School- and Community-based Food and Nutrition Program for Literacy, Poverty Reduction, and Sustainable Development," also known as the School-plus-Home Gardens Project (S+HGP). The SEL4E project aims to scale out its model through multistakeholder participation to enhance the nutrition and health of children and their families.

The scoping activity aims to assess the current status, the readiness, and compliance of the community gardens in line with the provisions of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)'s Memorandum Circular on Halina't Magtanim ng Prutas at Gulay sa Barangay (HAPAG). Courtesy calls were made to the barangay captains to present the project's objectives and interventions. SEARCA facilitated scoping interviews with the 17 barangays, namely Barangays Bagumbayan and Malaya in Pililla; Barangays Bagumbong, Lubo, and Sipsipin in Jala-jala; Barangays Cuyambay, Tandang Kutyo, and Katipunan-Bayani (Kat-Bayani) in Tanay; Barangays Santiago, Concepcion, and San Juan in Baras; Barangays Maybancal and San Guillermo in Morong; Barangays Prinza and Dalig in Teresa; and Barangays Tuna and Balibago in Cardona, Rizal.

(Photos by Pauline D. Gonzales, SEARCA)(Photos by Pauline D. Gonzales, SEARCA)

(Photos by Pauline D. Gonzales, SEARCA)(Photos by Pauline D. Gonzales, SEARCA)

The project's implementation guide, training modules, and relevant learning materials specifically tailored for home and community gardening will be crafted according to the needs of the communities in Rizal. Several capacity-building activities will be done to enhance the skills of the community in sustainable food production with the aim of improving food and nutrition security in school and in households.

SEL4E is spearheaded by SEARCA's Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD). SEARCA, along with Synergy Group Operations, Inc. (SGOI) and the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), who provided funds for the project's implementation. With the expanded scope of the SEL4E project in Rizal, SEARCA and SGOI aim to produce a cadre of trained and committed technical staff at the municipal and barangay levels, as well as teachers and school heads, capable of sustaining and scaling up the implementation of the home garden component of SEL4E.