The Regional Integrated Agricultural Laboratory Division (RIALD) of the Department of Agriculture–Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-RFO-CAR) sustains its support for the implementation of Urban Gardening under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program and the ALPAS Kontra CoViD-19 (Ahon Lahat PAgkaing Sapat). These efforts complement the initiatives of DA-CAR Livestock Banner Program, the City Veterinary and Agricultural Office (CVAO), and the Bureau of Plant Industry-Baguio National Crop Research Development and Production Support Center.

RIALD staffs grow vegetable seedlings from seeds obtained from the High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) and CVAO. These seedlings are grown on nutrient-rich soil and nurtured properly to ensure a short maturity rate resulting in an earlier harvest.

In support, the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) under RIALD produces biocontrol agents Trichoderma harzianum and neem solution that vegetable growers can use to control pests and diseases that usually attack vegetables. Trichoderma harzianum is a beneficial fungus that can be used as a foliar fertilizer, decomposer (to be mixed with kitchen waste, animal manure or compost), and soil conditioner (to be mixed with soil). Neem solution, on the other hand, can be used as an organic insecticide against chewing insects.

DA-CAR distributed the first batch of seedlings and biocontrol agents at Brgy. Atok Trail, on April 23. This batch included an estimate of 1,000 pieces of various vegetable seedlings, and 334 packs and 16 bottles respectively, of T. harzianum and neem solution. The second batch of beneficiaries received 20,000 assorted vegetable seedlings, 250 packs of Trichoderma, and 180 bottles of Neem solution, which were distributed at Barangay Sto. Niño Terminal, on May 8. The next distribution is scheduled in two weeks.

According to RCPC Agriculturist Arnel T. Manuel, the DA-CAR will entertain requests for the biocontrol agents. Interested growers can contact RCPC Head Joan Bacbac at 0999 888 2865, or they can send a message through the DA-CAR ILD Facebook Page.