On its 10th Founding Anniversary celebration, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar lauded East-West Seed Foundation and cited its strong partnership with Villar SIPAG to augment incomes of farmers through better seeds, organic fertilizers from composting kitchen and garden wastes,and teaching vegetable garden through Villar SIPAG Farm schools in Luzon,Visayas and Mindanao.
This significant event at the BCG Community Garden in Taguig was attended by; Simon N.Groot -East West Seed Foundation founder and honorary Chairman (via zoom); Hon. Monique van Daalen-charge d’affaires, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands; Dr. Mary Ann F.Sayoc-EWS Group Treasurer and Corporate Secretary; Juan B. Santos-EWSF-President,Ma.Elena van Tooren-EWSF Managing Director; Jose Marie Lopez-EWSF General Manager and Louie Guttierrez-Social Entrepreneur and founder of Urban Farmers.
As the corporate social responsibility arm of East-West Seed Philippines, Villar noted that East-West Seed Foundation envisions healthy Filipinos through increased appreciation, availability, and consumption of vegetables. This is enabled by sharing of knowledge on vegetable production and health benefits.
The senator, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said the partnership with East -West Seed started when their family established in 2015 the Villar SIPAG farm schools to give free training in agricrops production.
“East-West Seed Foundation and our farm schools have a special role in making our farmers competitive and profitable through training programs that will help them produce more and earn more with the help of modern and applicable technology.”
Villar acknowledged that East-West Seed Foundation has always been with them even in their Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao farm schools.
The Villar Sipag began with two farm schools in Luzon–one in Las Piñas-Bacoor that opened in 2015 and the other one- in San Jose del Monte City that opened in 2016.
Since 2020, these two farm schools produced more than 2,000 graduate trainees a year. It stopped its operation in March 2020 due to quarantine restrictions, but resumed in October 2020 training programs for agricrops production, again conducted by East-West Seed.
In the same year (2020), two additional Villar farm schools were built in San Miguel, Iloilo in the Visayas and in Buhangin, Davao City in Mindanao.
Villar said, she also promotes urban gardening and community gardens in the homes, schools and community, by giving them vegetable seeds and organic fertilizers.
“I give away vegetable seeds and compost to promote home gardening nationwide. The seeds came from East-West Seed and the compost from our 67 composting facilities in Las Piñas and 50 composting facilities in Vista Land/Camella locations nationwide,” said Villar.
She further emphasized that vegetable production and consumption is a component of a healthy lifestyle, nutrition awareness and food security in the community through vegetable gardening training.