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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Cagayan provincial government are targeting to produce 2 million vegetable seedlings this year to help bolster government’s efforts in providing nutritious food to communities reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cagayan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Ismael Manaligod said the DENR’s 5-hectare modernized and mechanized forest nursery (MMFN) in Solana town has been repurposed for raising vegetable seedlings with the help of the provincial government.

“Some 30,000 seedlings have been raised so far since the effort started last April 23, with the Cagayan Provincial Agriculture Office providing all inputs and technical assistance,” Manaligod said.

Among the seedlings being produced in the nursery are squash, eggplant, gourd (upo), and finger chili (siling haba).

Manaligod said the provincial government provides for the seeds, soil media and fertilizers, as well as the trainings of nursery laborers, majority of them are DENR employees.

He said the vegetable seedlings will later on be delivered to beneficiary-communities identified by the provincial government.

Manaligod said the nursery facility will also continue to produce forest tree seedlings to meet its target of 1 million seedlings for 2020.

In 2014, the DENR built 16 MMFNs or one in every region under the National Greening Program, the government’s flagship reforestation initiative. These MMFNs have a combined capacity of 1 million forest tree seedlings per day. ###