Ang Mama Sita Foundation (MSF), kasama ang ilang advocacy groups at organisation, kabilang ang Asian Social Institute, Catholic Women’s League, DTI-Export Marketing Bureau, Export Development Council, Philexport, Seameo Innotech, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Monde Nissin, at Monfort Foundation, ay nagsagawa kamakailan ng tree-planting event sa isang pribadong pag-aari na 12-ektaryang lugar. Ito ay matatagpuan sa Suclaban, Mexico, Pampanga.
Ang sakahan, na ngayon ay nasa ilalim ng pamamahala ng MSF, ay nilayon na magsilbi bilang isang modelong nursery para sa mataas na mabibiling pananim na tutugon sa tumaas na pangangailangan para sa mga raw materials mula sa mga rehiyonal na producer ng pagkain.
“We want these model nurseries to attract agri-investors, especially young entrepreneurs and returning overseas Filipinos who are looking for lucrative and meaningful investments. We will offer affordable planting materials and portions of this farm as investment sites,” ani Clara Reyes Lapus, presidente ng Mama Sita Foundation.
Sa parehong araw, namahagi ang MSF ng audio-visual (AVP) na pagtatanghal sa pamamagitan ng Zoom na kinabibilangan ng iba’t ibang paksa sa ilalim ng malawak na pamagat ng pagpapanatili ng agrikultura.
Ang pagtatanghal ng AVP ay naghatid ng mga mensahe mula sa iba’t ibang mga eksperto tungkol sa kahalagahan ng Araw ng Galleon, ang kahalagahan ng pagsasaka at agrikultura sa pagbuo ng bansa, ang halaga ng pangangalaga sa mga lupang pang-agrikultura, at turismo ng sakahan, bukod sa iba pang mga paksa, sa isang pandaigdigang madla. ng iba’t ibang grupo ng adbokasiya, mag-aaral, media, kinatawan ng gobyerno, at mga concerned citizen.
Sa pamamagitan ng pagpapahintulot sa pagdaloy ng mga pananim at pamamaraan ng pagsasaka sa pagitan ng iba’t ibang rehiyon, ang Galleon Trade, na umunlad sa loob ng mahigit tatlong siglo, ay naging instrumento sa pagpapalawak ng agrikultura. Ito ay isang makabuluhang pag-unlad sa kasaysayan na may malawak na epekto sa mga ekonomiya, seguridad sa pagkain, kultura, at pamana.
“Nations seldom celebrate dates when they fell under colonial rule. The Day of the Galleon is intertwined inextricably with arrival of Spanish colonialism. However not to be overlooked is that the galleon experience had a positive side. It was the vehicle by which our ancestors transitioned from bartering into a money economy and from being simply disengaged island communities fighting each other into Filipinas, a single, united political entity appearing on the global map,” Ani culinary historian and author Felice Prudente Sta. Maria sa kanyang talumpati sa Zoom AVP.
“Day of the Galleon reminds us that every generation needs to handle changes in such a way as to benefit the present and the future. We urge everyone to support a popular movement that continues championing thoughtful and just efforts in agriculture to protect our food security and culinary heritage,” dagdag pa niya.
Samantala, hinimok naman ni Bart Manalang Lapus, Farm Management Officer ng MSF ang pagtatanim ng achuete, tamarind, at bayabas.
“I would like to propose the planting of guava, tamarind, and achiote trees. These species hold the key to transforming our economic landscape and rejuvenating lands that many thought were barren and lifeless. In a world where industries are constantly in search of safe and quality raw materials, it is essential to think beyond the conventional way of planting crops and explore the untapped potential of these trees. Guava, tamarind, and achiote are the unsung heroes that have been quietly waiting in the wings, ready to take center stage in our economic and agricultural revitalization,” ani Lapus.
Sa AVP, naka-highlight din sina engineer Christopher V. Morales, Assistant Secretary at Director ng Farm Tourism Program ng Department of Tourism, Secretary Romulo V. Arugay ng Commission on Filipinos Abroad (CFO), Counselor Lupio Lazaro Jr., Agricultural Counselor ng Philippine Embassy sa Washington, D.C., at Vellie Dietrich Hall, isang tagasuporta ng pagtatanim at consultant ng US Department of Defense.
“Day of the Galleon looks back at a historic voyage that introduced the world to Philippine crops and showcased the incredible bravery and resilience embedded in our Filipino identity. In line with the efforts of the DOT, we are actively championing Farm Tourism as a promising avenue for Philippine tourism. Farm tourism has evolved into a captivating nature and culture-based experience, offering travelers a unique connection to our heritage,” ani Assistant Secretary, Engr. Morales ng DOT.
“Our Filipino migrants abroad, despite their distance from the Philippines keep their ties to their country strong, and this is evidenced in various forms of resources that they have invested in order to support small-scale, high-impact projects that contribute to the social and economic development of the Philippines. From 1990 to 2022, development assistance from migrant Filipinos amounting to Php 28 million have benefitted 22,250 farmers in various provinces. This continued inflow of assistance seeks to augment the initiatives of the national government in order to help our local farming communities,” pagbabahagi ni Secretary Arugay.
Ang dalubhasa at plant advocate ng US Defense Department na si Vellie Dietrich Hall ay nangungulila sa kawalan ng kamalayan sa kahalagahan ng pagtatanim ng mga puno.
“It’s about time the community got together and be educated about the need to plant trees. Planting trees serve as hope, not just for the community but for the nation,” ani Hall.
Ang Embahada ng Pilipinas sa Washington, D.C.’s Agricultural Counselor, Counselor Lupio Lazaro Jr., ay nagtapos ng AVP sa isang mensahe ng pagbati at inspirasyon,
“This bodes well with our mission of promoting sustainable agriculture. I commend the Mama Sita Foundation and its partners for their tireless efforts in promoting farming and agri-ventures, including through the foundation’s model nurseries, which is vital for our country’s economic growth and achieving food security.”
“We want to inspire people, especially the younger generation to plant trees and to take up farming, and look at farm lands in a new light. Farms could be profitable and could generate new revenue streams apart from crop yields such as agro-tourism. Apart from that, planting will rejuvenate our soils and further enrich our botanical bio-diversity,” ayon naman kay Lapus sa pag-uulit ng pananaw ng MSF para sa mga hakbangin na ito.