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Press Release

26April2021 - QuezonCity,Philippines

The Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes, Inc. (PNFSP) urges the community pantry movement to support Agroecology Initiatives to ensure food safety, accessibility and affordability. PNFSP lauded the community pantry initiatives highlighting people’s capability to address collective challenges and support the less fortunate and marginalized sections of society as they face a crisis like this pandemic.

PNFSP, a network of 24 NGOS nationwide advocating for the right to food, food self-sufficiency and food sovereignty, calls for the community pantry organizers nationwide to sustain efforts to provide food for the poor by initiating, supporting and enhancing agroecology programs in the urban centers and rural communities.

According to Beverly Mango of PNFSP, the long line of people in the growing number of community pantries nationwide is a manifestation that the country’s food security is aggravated by the pandemic and is in dire condition. “In 2019, the Philippines got a pre-pandemic Global Hunger Index (GHI) score of 20.1 which according to the GHI tool, indicates a serious level of hunger. You could just imagine the hunger situation now that the country’s economy dived down in 2020 due to quarantine protocols where a big number of people became jobless and local production was affected.” she added.

PNFSP described agroecology initiatives as people’s efforts to produce chemical-free, sufficient, affordable and nutritious food for the Filipino people. This, according to Mango, will not only help address food insecurity but will also contribute in rehabilitating the environment for a healthier ecosystem.

PNFSP cited ways on how the community pantry organizers can support or initiate agroecology initiatives - helping to lobby for a communal space from LGUs where community members can establish their community vegetable gardens and donating garden tools/farm tools, open pollinated vegetable seeds and other organic inputs. Mango also added that aside from material support, they can also offer time and knowledge based on their expertise like in installing community-based micro irrigation projects and renewable energy systems that will help lessen the cost of production as well as helping in environmental rehabilitation and protection.

PNFSP also noted that though many people’s organizations in different regions of the country are already implementing agroecology programs, the government should step up in assisting these initiatives and ensure land to the tillers through a genuine agrarian reform program and sustained appropriate agricultural support to farmers. ##


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