The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 and the provincial government of Cagayan signed on June 23, 2020 a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the massive seedling production.

The MOA signed by DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn C. Bambalan and Governor Manuel N. Mamba is in response to Republic Act 11469 otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which calls for cooperative undertaking to mitigate the impact of the public health emergency due to COVID-19.

This will also ensure “food security by providing planting materials for the establishment of backyard vegetable gardens to augment the basic needs of Cagayan families and community.”

The massive vegetable seedling production will be done through the Mechanized and Modernized Forest Nursery (MMFN) located in Solana town.

The modernized nursery is a five-hectare facility built by the DENR to aid in seedling production for its National Greening Program. It is equipped with imported and modern technology facilities that employ up-to-date methods of seeding, germination and propagation.

As stated in the MOA, the DENR thru the PENRO shall cooperate to produce vegetable seedlings in the MMFN and designate a particular area in the nursery for vegetable seedlings production. It shall also allow the use of facilities in the nursery for vegetable seedling production, including the provision of reusable plastic seeding trays.

The DENR shall supervise the nursery operations relative to vegetable seedling production and provide labor to complement the workforce of the provincial government.

For its part, the provincial government thru its Provincial Agriculturist shall provide inputs to include seed stock, soil medium mixture, basal fertilizer, and insecticides/fungicides as needed. It will also provide technical assistance and labor complement in the production of vegetable seedlings.

Gov. Mamba said the youth are the priority beneficiaries of the partnership since they are now convinced to engage in vegetable raising.

The seedling trucks of the MMFN shall be used for the delivery of vegetable seedlings for planting while the provincial local government unit (PLGU) is tasked to collect the seedling trays from beneficiaries to be returned to the nursery.

The parties target to produce two million seedlings by end of 2020.

PENR Officer Ismael T. Manaligod reported that since April, more than 800,000 seedlings of eggplant, bottle gourd, squash, hot pepper, tomato, bitter gourd and sponge gourd have been produced by the MMFN.

DENR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Marcos G. Dacanay, Atty. Manaligod and OIC, Provincial Agriculturist Danilo P. Benitez witnessed the signing of the MOA.#