Ever since the pandemic started, more and more people have become interested in gardening, specifically urban gardening. That’s because during the quarantine period, purchasing fresh produce had been quite challenging, as supplies were usually sold out due to people buying in bulk to stock at home.
And since people have already developed an interest in urban gardening, the Department of Agriculture launched a campaign to promote it, especially to the youth. (Read: Grow your own garden with these free seeds from the Department of Agriculture)
Now, even private institutions are doing their part in promoting urban gardening and producing your own food, as this also helps improve food security, especially in the city. One of these companies is the San Miguel Corporation (SMC).
Just recently, San Miguel announced that they have turned portions of their head office in Ortigas into small urban gardens where employees can plant their own food. Called the Malasakit Garden, it will become a green space where employees can grow their own produce and help build their self-sufficiency when it comes to food.
“In this time of pandemic, many Filipinos are looking for ways to earn extra income, or at the very least, make sure they have sufficient supply of food,” SMC President and COO Ramon Ang said. (WATCH: GMA Teases New Show About Farm to Table Cooking)
“Realizing the importance of food security, many are also exploring growing their own food. That is why we thought of this simple project to help our maintenance workers, as well as our own employees,” he added.
Employees and workers who grow their own produce have the freedom to either take it home, or sell it for profit at the Malasakit Garden Farmers Market that will be set up in the area.
A Fruitful Partnership
San Miguel has also partnered with non-profit organization SEED Philippines to teach their employees and workers how to properly plant in urban garden settings. (Read: Here’s Why You Must Try Urban Gardening, According to Miss PH Earth 2020)
“They will be the ones teaching our people how to succeed at urban farming. With this, we hope the Malasakit Garden can augment healthy food supply for some of our workers, or serve as an additional source of income,” Ang said.
The non-profit’s advocacy is to eradicate poverty in low-income families through agri-entrepreneurship. They teach organic vegetable production, soil management, planting materials production, and pest and disease management— and will primarily serve as San Miguel employees’ mentors for the first few weeks.
San Miguel hopes that through this initiative, not only will their employees and workers be more food self-sufficient, but also, other businesses be encouraged to convert urban spaces into “functioning ecological spaces and help agriculture flourish.”