The Bio-Intensive Gardening (BIG) has brought about many positive effects in the lives of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program particularly in their daily consumption and nutritional needs. Apart from this, the BIG also has helped the beneficiaries augment their income by selling fruits and vegetables from their backyard and communal gardening.

The same is true with the beneficiaries of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) Program of the 4Ps in Barangay Palinta, Municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

As an Indigenous People’s Group, (Subanen) whose primary source of income is on farming and agriculture, the community had no issues and difficulties starting a Bio-Intensive Gardening in the area. In fact, they were even elated to know that the program encourages its beneficiaries to have a backyard, container, and/or communal gardening.

In partnership with the LGU Municipal Agriculture’s Office, the MCCT beneficiaries were able to acquire seedlings to plant okra, talong, atsal, pipino, mais, kamatis, and paliya. They were able to harvest 50 kilos pipino but only 10 kilos was sold and the 40 kilos was divided and distributed to all beneficiaries for consumption.

The LGU saw that the beneficiaries are able to sustain gardening for their consumption and income augmentation. Due to this positive result, the LGU provided additional support to the beneficiaries to further enhance their skills in farming hence the Farmer Field School (FFS) was created.

The FFS serves as an avenue to provide the beneficiaries helpful strategies in cultivating their gardens. The sessions lasted for 5 months starting May until September of this year. 33 out of 54 beneficiaries were enrolled to these sessions and graduated last September 11, 2018.