The Department of Agriculture (DA) will develop at least 110 hectares of farm areas in San Mateo, Rizal to supply basic food items in Metro Manila. Together with the local government unit, the DA will provide an initial budget of P2.5 million for the Food Basket for Metro Manila Project, which is intended to help farmers find a source of income after Typhoon Ulysses hit the province.

“Because of the typhoons that visited our major production areas, we should plant short-gestation crops or those that may be harvested within one or two months in suitable areas, so that we’ll have enough supply in Metro Manila especially by Christmas,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

The agency will supply seeds, implements, equipment, and technical and marketing assistance to farmers in the area. The Food for Basket funding is part of DA’s allocation under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Law. Around P807,000 worth of agricultural inputs have already been delivered to San Mateo.

Acting San Jose Mayor Jose Rafael Diaz hopes that this program will revive the interest of people, especially the youth, in agriculture. The Food Basket initiative is expected to reach other cities in Rizal and other provinces in Region IV-A.