CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office recently distributed more than 600,000 assorted vegetable seedlings grown from the 1.26-hectare modernized and mechanized forest nursery (MMFN) in Tarlac, in an effort to support food security in Central Luzon, environment officials said.
Celia Esteban, DENR provincial head in Tarlac, said the vegetables, mostly okra, chili, eggplant, string bean, squash, and petchay, were distributed to over 200 local government units, people’s organizations, indigenous peoples, religious organizations, non-government organizations, and residents and families in Tarlac and Pampanga.
“We used the mechanized nursery to grow these vegetables to provide our people with food during this pandemic,” she said.
She expressed her gratitude to the Department of Agriculture (DA) for providing 11 kilograms of various vegetable seeds for this activity.
According to Arthur Salazar, deputy director for Technical Services of DENR Region 3, the MMFN was mainly intended to produce quality forest tree seedlings for the government’s reforestation program like the National Greening Program.
“We have seen its other potential to produce vegetable seedlings to provide food for our communities,” he said.
During this pandemic, the MMFN will not only cater the production of reforestation species, but will also help in vegetable production to secure food in the region, he added.
As this developed, the DENR has requested for more vegetable seeds from the DA to support more communities.
“It is better to provide our local communities with vegetable seedlings rather than seed, because seedlings would yield food faster and survive better,” Salazar ended.
The P20-million worth MMFN was constructed in 2015 and is the very first in the region in partnership with the provincial government of Tarlac.