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Epson, WWF-Philippines complete food shed project in Tarlac

Through the Food Shed Farming Enterprise Project, which was launched in 2023, Epson and WWF-Philippines have established two food sheds in Barangay San Jose de Urquico and Barangay Batang-Batang.

Epson Philippines and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, in their shared aspiration to making the Philippines a more food-sufficient nation, completed their joint initiative of empowering communities in Tarlac City to grow their own food through sustainable agriculture-based livelihood.

Through the Food Shed Farming Enterprise Project, which was launched in 2023, Epson and WWF-Philippines have established two food sheds in Barangay San Jose de Urquico and Barangay Batang-Batang. The food sheds provided 60 households (30 households in each barangay) with local access to over 70 kilos of fresh vegetables, from eggplants, chili, and squash. The income generated from future harvests will be set aside as group savings. The project is supported by the Tarlac City Agriculture Office in the conduct of all activities, while the Barangay Captain and Kagawad Head of Committee on Agriculture will oversee the operation and management of the food sheds beyond the project term.

“We are proud of our work in empowering local communities in Tarlac City with the help of WWF-Philippines,” said Epson Philippines President and Director Masako Kusama. “These initiatives, which enable communities to become more self-sufficient in their food supply through agriculture-based livelihoods, align with our overall vision of sustainability—that anyone, whether they be a business or a community, can operate sustainably, enabling both present and future generations to live securely.”

Apart from the construction of the food sheds, 47 community members (20 from Brgy. San Jose de Urquico and 27 from Brgy. Batang-Batang) participated in training interventions on three areas, namely: 1) cultivating leafy and fruiting vegetables, 2) establishing effective financial management systems, and 3) value chain upgrading or market linkage.

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Community members were educated on the value of saving and managing finances, as well as the concept of Group Savings and Loans Associations. The project also implemented capacity development and technology transfer on food shed farming systems, including an introduction to food security; requirements for establishing food sheds; soil sterilizing, seed sowing, and composting; integrated pest and disease management; nutrient management; Kratky hydroponics production; basic poultry management and husbandry; and proper harvesting and handling.

Epson employees were also engaged in the initiative, as it offered volunteerism opportunities, with over 180 employees participating through the construction of the food sheds or as attendees to WWF-Philippines’ Panda Talks sessions. The Panda Talks discussed topics on plastic pollution and waste management, as well as energy efficiency and conservation.

By having the means to grow fresh and local vegetables, communities have constant access to food at affordable prices and stable livelihoods. The initiative also enables intra-neighborhood access, which brings product prices down and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation and food loss.

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