Organic vegetables produced by the farmers of the Mt. Kitanglad Agri Tourism Farm (MKATF) in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon were distributed by the Department of Science and Technology – Region 10 (DOST-10) to about 530 families in Bukidnon on April 24, 2020.
MKATF is one of the sites of the Science for the Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT) program being funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
SciCAT is the result of technological convergence to improve the productivity and capacity for sustainable practices of farms while showcasing their beauty and attraction. The said farm is being supported through the DOST-10 project led by Mr. Virgilio M. Fuertes.
According to DOST-10, vegetables worth P100,000 composed of squash, chayote, sweet pepper, cabbage, and potatoes were turned over to the Malaybalay City office and immediately brought to the Malaybalay City Agriculture Office for packing and distribution to frontliners, waste management workers, and other vulnerable communities in the province.
“We should add vegetables to provide healthier food options to the people,” Engr. Naomie Delos Reyes of the Malaybalay City Agriculture Office said.
Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) and MKATF owner, Benjamin Maputi, Sr. says that he is positive that there will be sufficient food for Bukidnon if farmers will continue working. He added that this is also an opportune time for people to learn backyard gardening for food security.
The 22-hectare MKATF is located at Sitio Sinaburan, Imbayao, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. The farm produces abaca, coffee, citronella, fruit trees, chayote, squash, sweet bell pepper, white potato, turmeric, chemical-free cabbage, and other vegetables. MKATF is currently being transformed into a SciCAT farm enterprise that focuses on integrating comprehensive S&T interventions, such as package of technologies (POTs), value-adding, consultancy services, and access to market.
This initiative is part of the Lingkod Alalay sa Pamayanan (LINGAP) component of the “GALING-PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19” program of the DOST PCAARRD, in support to the Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”
PCAARRD is one of the sectoral councils of the DOST mandated to formulate policies, plans, and programs for science and technology-based R&D in the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR) sector. It coordinates, evaluates, and monitors the national R&D efforts in AANR. It also allocates government and external funds for R&D and generates resources to support its program (Kariza M. Geminiano, Rashia Mae Deva E. Paano, Mary Ranzelle A. Pasang, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).