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Legarda on how to alleviate malnutrition and improve food security

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Legarda on how to alleviate malnutrition and improve food security
According to three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker, Loren Legarda, the nation can achieve food security by providing stronger support for the agriculture sector and by promoting urban farming and the establishment of rural farm schools.
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Supporting agriculture, promoting urban farming and establishing rural farm schools

MANILA, Philippines — Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker, Loren Legarda stressed the importance of providing the necessary support for agriculture, promoting urban gardening and rural farm schools around the country to address hunger and malnutrition and to achieve food security.

“In the 2021 first quarter survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations, an estimated 4.2 million families experienced involuntary hunger or hunger due to lack of food to eat. While this was an improvement from the September 2020-level where 7.6 million families were affected, the statistics is still alarming,” Legarda said.

“Our country is abundant with natural resources if only we know how to source and utilize these properly. We have to provide our people with the kind of support that will have long-term benefits to effectively reduce, if not eliminate, hunger and malnutrition in the country. Let us achieve food security by providing stronger support for the agriculture sector and by promoting  urban farming and the establishment of rural farm schools,” Legarda said.

Legarda said that if the government provides adequate support and intervention in the agriculture sector, especially for small and new farmers, “we are not only providing income and livelihood but the support they receive will equate to a more bountiful harvest and lower production costs. Whereas, urban farming promotes self-sufficiency by teaching the public to produce their own food at the comfort of their homes or in their respective communities.”

House Bill 8385 or the Integrated Urban Agriculture Act, which was co-authored by Legarda, was earlier passed on third reading by the House of Representatives. The proposed measure seeks to promote and institutionalize urban agriculture as a sustainable land use system.
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Legarda, co-author of the Rural Farm Schools Act under Republic Act 10618 that calls for the establishment of rural farm schools to provide alternative delivery mode of secondary education, also said that the proliferation of rural farm schools in the country will sustain progress in the agriculture sector and will address the ageing agriculture workforce that may ultimately affect agricultural productivity and food security.

House Bill 8385 or the Integrated Urban Agriculture Act, which was co-authored by Legarda, was earlier passed on third reading by the House of Representatives. The proposed measure seeks to promote and institutionalize urban agriculture as a sustainable land use system to address hunger incidence in the country by utilizing idle lands and small spaces to plant and produce food in the community.

“As an urban gardener and weekend farmer myself, I am hoping that the passage of this proposed measure will be given utmost priority because it will address major problems in the society—hunger, poverty and food security. Although we already have current programs that promote urban agriculture, such as the DepEd’s Gulayan sa Paaralan program and the organic backyard and communal farming of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, having all Filipinos involved would yield greater improvement in the country’s food security, while at the same time promoting public awareness on ecological and sustainable use of land resources for food production,” she concluded.

Legarda, co-author of the Rural Farm Schools Act under Republic Act 10618 that calls for the establishment of rural farm schools to provide alternative delivery mode of secondary education, also said that the proliferation of rural farm schools in the country will sustain progress in the agriculture sector.
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AGRICULTURE LOREN LEGARDA URBAN GARDENING
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