Smart’s web series encourages urban Filipinos to do backyard planting

As the COVID-19 pandemic hampered agricultural links to consumers, a number of Filipinos have developed an interest in urban farming and gardening. While it may seem like a simple hobby that can be used to while away time during the crisis, learning how to grow food in our own backyards can significantly help sustain food needs in order to be more food-secure.

To help encourage more people to become plantitos and plantitas and raise awareness on food security, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and the Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) have teamed up to produce a web series called Kalye Mabunga. The series is in support of the government’s ongoing “Plant, Plant, Plant” campaign that encourages people to attain food security at the household level by making available healthy, nutritious food in their own homes.

Each 10-minute episode tackles topics such as choosing which vegetable, fruit, and herbs can be planted in an urban setting. Urban dwellers, especially those with limited spaces, can learn about city space farming, garden maintenance, and proper habits. Episodes on making gardening supplies out of recycled materials, as well as using plants for art projects, aim to encourage parents to get their children interested in plants.

Aside from planting, viewers can also learn how to cook healthy vegetable dishes. An episode on medicinal herbs can help provide more natural remedies for common sicknesses.

Partner guests will also share best practices on how they successfully developed their own backyard farms.

In addition, the series will also feature special episodes for young kids that will aim to educate them about food and farming to make them appreciate the value of agriculture even at a young age.

Kalye Mabunga will run from July 17 to September 24, every Friday at 8 p.m, at the Smart Communities Facebook page.

The online series is supported by the Department of Education Philippines, Bangsamoro Development Agency, PLDT-Smart’s Gabay Kalikasan, and TV5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Inc.