Congratulations to the whole team led by Dr. Ning Felix!
This project is very timely and highly relevant. Increasing awareness on the importance of food security in every community/household is prevalent. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown for more than a month, some households have already started home gardening using distributed vegetables seeds. Recently, DA-BPI is even distributing free vegetable seeds and seedlings. We can also say that most households cook at home and sometimes try new dishes using limited and locally available ingredients. These are good signs currently happening on the ground. We can also already observe the participation from various sectors, including the households. The challenge for this project is how to sustain or complement or further promote these after Covid-19 pandemic or during the new normal environment.
Although this project focuses on the empowerment of Lagunense households through “Pinggang Pinoy,” I hope that this project will also focus on the farmers who are actually producing and supplying the food. There is a need to sincerely identify and address their needs from the ground. Regularly collecting the kind and volume of their produce is not be enough. Determining the reasons behind their farming decisions is vital. Also, how do farmers (especially pioneer farmers) share information and how do we keep or preserve this information should be considered as well. Farmers have to be given proper attention and care since without them, we will not have food on our table. This is also critical in securing and/or encouraging future farmers.
Since the condition or situation of each barangay or household is different, the approach for them to reach the goal/vision is also different. Thus, you may create levels of transition. In other words, better define the different stages for a community/household to reach the vision. You may also check the “Steps in the Conversion Process” mentioned in the book entitled “The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: Principles, Processes and Practices (Gliessman and Rosemeyer, 2010).”
You may also consider the usage of the term “theme community,” which is politically independent entity and is not limited to the borders of the barangay. The scope of the community will depend on the theme.
Anyway, I believe that this project will have a significant impact to Laguna Province. This can also be a good model for other provinces. Looking forward for updates on this project. Goodluck! Stay safe always!