SEARCA conducts lecture for better vegetable growing

THE Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has organized a three-day training workshop on vegetable production at Salvacion National High School, Busuanga town in Palawan province.

The training workshop, through the School-plus-Home Gardens Project, is in line with the project's commitment to build the capacities of agricultural extension workers in local government units (LGUs) and educators from Busuanga and Coron in providing technical assistance on crop production and improving soil productivity in the school gardening activities of target schools.

According to Dr. Glenn Gregorio, SEARCA director, the training workshop is a joint undertaking of SEARCA, Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI), Department of Education (DepEd)-Bureau of Learner Support Service, DepEd Division of Palawan, Kansas State University, Salvacion National High School and Regalo ng Kilit Foundation.

Culminating on July 21, 2022, the training workshop was attended by at least 30 school heads, Gulayan sa Paaralan or GPP and school gardens' coordinators, and agricultural extension workers from LGUs of Busuanga and Coron trained by experts from PSFI.

SEARCA said the participants learned and experienced hands-on training on soil sampling techniques and routine/chemical analysis, and cultural management practices of some vegetable crops.

They also learned identification and control management of some of the economically important pests and diseases of vegetable crops in their localities, and crop suitability using climate maps and agro-climatic requirements of vegetable crops.

According to SEARCA, the training workshop initiative may serve as experiential learning for participants in enhancing crop production and vegetable gardening activities not only in schools but also in their homes and local communities, which may contribute to addressing issues on food and nutrition security, rural poverty and unemployment.

SEARCA said the training workshop also featured lectures and hands-on activities on basic practices required for vegetable crop growing which include soil sampling and analysis; land preparation; and seedling establishment.

Also included in the lectures were crop cultural management practices; production of organic fertilizers, pesticides and soil amendments; commodity planning and crop suitability analysis; and farm planning and budgeting.