SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
20 October 2020 05:29:29 PM
To foster a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of urban gardening amid the pandemic, the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco conducted a webinar on Tuesday entitled “Green Thumb in Action: Let’s Talk About Plants.” The webinar is part of the activities for the HREP Month celebration. As the first resource speaker of the event, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña discussed the advantages of maintaining ornamental house plants. Laviña stressed that cultivation of ornamental plants, especially amid the pandemic, siginificantly boosts health, as plants improve air quality within the home and gardening has been proven an effective means of decreasing stress. She also noted that the country's ornamental industry has been thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the growing interest in gardening during the lockdown, many hobbyists have used their skills and expertise in the niche industry to become successful entrepreneurs, she said. Meanwhile, Bureau of Plant Industry Crop Research and Production Support Division Chief Mary Ann Guerrero tackled how urban farming and gardening can provide families living in urban areas access to nutritious produce amid the lockdown. According to Garcia, innovations such as hydroponics and vertical gardening allow urban dwellers to maintain and cultivate gardens in spite of the limited space in urban areas. Finally, Crop Production Support Section Chief Noli Garcia discussed proper care and cultivation of urban gardens. Garcia also underscored that urban gardening capacitate beneficiaries on value adding to their produce, create livelihood in urban areas, and produce food in metropolis areas. The event was hosted by the House Legislative Operations Department and was attended by over 200 members of the House Secretariat via teleconference.