UPLB, DA-BAR eye edible landscaping as alternative food source in New Normal

Food production and distribution has been limited by the restrictions on movement of people and goods following the guidelines during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine across Luzon and other parts of the country. Thus, to ensure food availability and accessibility, the Department of Agriculture (DA) initiated the Plant, Plant, Plant Program.


In line with the said program, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) refocused its programs to promptly take action to minimize the drastic effects brought by the economy-paralyzing health crisis. One of its core subprograms is the Promotion of Urban Agriculture which aims to ensure sustainable food supply by directly engaging households and communities—urban and rural—on food production. Among the urban farming technologies promoted a revertical gardening, edible landscaping, square-foot gardening, and hydroponics.


Pioneered in 1999 by the late Dr. Leonido R. Naranja, edible landscaping merges science and creativity on growing a garden and producing food. Instead of planting conventional ornamental plants, organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and medicinal plants are used.


Dr. Naranja’s initial efforts on edible landscaping led to the partnership among the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), DA-BAR, and the DA-High Value Commercial Crops Development Program. After Dr. Naranja’s passing in 2010, UPLB continued the project. Since then, the UPLB Edible Landscaping (EL) Team has been an active partner of DA-BAR on promoting edible landscaping.


Currently, the UPLB EL Team has two edible landscaping projects UPLB, DA-BAR eye edible landscaping as alternative food source in New Normal funded by the bureau. The UPLB, DA-BAR eye edible landscaping as alternative food source in New Normal project, “Empowering Different Sectors of the Community through Edible Landscaping,” aims to empower marginalized sectors through the establishment of edible landscaped community gardens. Meanwhile, the project, “Edible Landscaping Technology Promotion and Information Dissemination Campaign” aims to share information on edible landscaping through training and provide assistance in starting and developing landscape gardens.


DA-BAR in partnership with the UPLB EL Team, will be upscaling their previous projects to reach urban settlers and low- and middle- income households. Through this, the bureau hopes to encourage more people to replicate and practice edible landscaping in their backyards.


In the meantime, the UPLB EL Team has been lending a helping hand to assist interested people who wants to adopt the technology. The team provided technical knowledge and distributed planting materials.


Ann Carmeli Estive-Anila, one of the EL adopters, made the most out of this opportunity by introducing gardening to her son. Anila’s grounds feature an edible landscape garden filled with 28 different vegetables, trees, herbs, and medicinal plants. Maintaining their backyard garden served as an experiential learning and bonding activity for Anila and her son  while ensuring that their family will have safe, nutritious, and free food during the pandemic. ### Rena S. Hermoso




For more information:

Maria Charito Balladares

Project Leader

University of the Philippines Los Baños

Los Baños, Laguna

(049) 8536 0716

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