The “new normal” resulting from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak would need wider participation in agriculture among urban residents as an alternative food security solution. To promote further the idea of having urban residents put up their own gardens, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) will be discussing urban agriculture during its first digital brainstorm webinar via Zoom, according to an emailed press release. During the launching of SEARCA Online Learning and Virtual Engagement (SOLVE) webinar, the center will tackle food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the “new normal,” the center decided to use media platforms to reach and deliver information and valuable services to farmers and agriculture research and development stakeholders. By using Zoom and Facebook Live postings, among others, SEARCA strengthens its efforts to break boundaries, both in physical and conceptual terms, to strategically disseminate just-in-time solutions. “SEARCA will use the SOLVE webinar series as a venue to expound on the importance of transformational change to systemically revitalize agricultural systems and strengthen food systems,” said SEARCA director Glenn Gregorio. Through the webinar scheduled on Tuesday, April 28, SEARCA aims to widen citizens’ participation in solving an impending food security problem in urban areas. “SOLVE is SEARCA’s own way of channeling proven and tested solutions to a number of problems in agriculture sector and farm operations,” said Gregorio. “Solutions to these problems actually abound so we are offering SEARCA as a gateway for these information to be made more accessible to farmers, farming families, and farmer organizations,” Gregorio added. Food problem solution During the webinar, Gregorio will talk on “Rethinking food security, Sowing seeds of curiosity: What, Where and How for the Philippines and Southeast Asia.” It will also feature Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Gary Hidalgo, general manager of Farmers’ Factory. Dar will elaborate on the “Plant, Plant, Plant” program as an extensive food problem solution even in farflung rural areas. On the other hand, Hidalgo will share specific urban agriculture approaches like containerized and modular farming strategies. Earlier, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has intensified the promotion of urban agriculture through the distribution of free vegetable seeds and planting materials nationwide. Dar had cited the need to implement all strategies to ensure that the Philippines attain food productivity, availability and sufficiency, especially during this crisis. Dar has been advocating the importance of urban agriculture even before the occurrence of the coronavirus 2019 outbreak.