Department of Agriculture and MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Advocacy, Empowering Urban Gardening and Affordable Healthy Diets for Filipinos

The Department of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) and Nestlé Philippines through the MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Advocacy, today announced a collaboration that will advance efforts to promote urban agriculture as an easy and practical way to help Filipino communities achieve food self-sufficiency, while improving their access to and consumption of more plant-based food.

Through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed earlier this year, the three-year partnership will enable DA-BPI and MAGGI to jointly conduct skills-building activities that demonstrate sustainable ways of growing vegetables in the home, or under-utilized areas of communities, schools and other urban spaces, while enriching families’ abilities to create nutritious, delicious and balanced meals using their own homegrown produce.

“Everyone has a role to play in food security, and the key to ensure that Filipinos will always have FAITH – or Food Always in The Home – is to work together,” said Director Glenn Panganiban, Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry. “Through this partnership, we can teach more Filipinos to grow their own food by providing proper mentoring and assistance, as well as other forms of support from the government and private partners like MAGGI.”

MAGGI will be responsible for creating programs to engage with communities, which include on-ground and online workshops featuring expert agriculturists from DA-BPI who will teach science-based methods of vegetable crop production in limited spaces. Meanwhile, the MAGGI culinary team will coach participants on how to use their vegetable harvest in making Sarap Sustansya dishes that are delicious, nutritious, budget-friendly, and guided by the Pinggang Pinoy food plate model. “Nestlé Philippines believes in a collaborative approach to building communities, and we are proud to stand alongside the Department of Agriculture in inspiring a farm-to-fork movement among Filipino families and communities,” said Joey Uy, Corporate Affairs Head, Nestlé Philippines. “We believe that food security is key to the health of all, and that there’s no better way to build a strong nation than by ensuring that healthy food is accessible to everyone.”

The Department of Agriculture

Under the agreement, MAGGI will produce and distribute learning materials on vegetable production and affordable plant-based recipes, as well as starter kits that contain planting essentials such as seed trays or basic implements; along with compost and various vegetable seeds produced by DA-BPI.

The Department of Agriculture

A significant part of the partnership is the relocation of the MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Garden to the DA-BPI center of excellence in Los Baños. With the garden now fully established, it will serve as a demo farm and learning facility to share best practices in vegetable production, particularly for entrepreneurial individuals and communities who are interested in generating income from growing and selling their produce. Opportunities to replicate the MAGGI Sarap Sustansya garden in the different satellite offices of the DA-BPI nationwide are being explored to serve as a venue for gardening, agripreneurship and cooking workshops for communities surrounding the satellite offices.

Year of milestones for the MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Advocacy

The 2023 MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Advocacy kicked off this July, as part of the brand’s celebration of Nutrition Month. The various initiatives under the advocacy during this month-long observance was anchored on theme, “Healthy Diet Gawing Affordable for All”. The advocacy emphasized the accessibility of good nutrition, beginning with the Nestlé Kasambuhay for Good Festival at the Quezon City Memorial Circle where DA-BPI conducted a urban gardening lecture and MAGGI held a live cooking demo.

The Department of Agriculture

It also launched the Sarap Sustansya Farm School Program with Department of Education (DepEd) Region 6, reaching more than 3,000 young farmer students. Under its partnership with DepEd Western Visayas Farm Schools, MAGGI has workshopped its principals and coordinators on Sarap Sustansya cooking, regenerative farming, and entrepreneurship in food service or agricultural enterprise. MAGGI also provided teaching materials and essential farming tools to assist faculty and students in propagating their school farms and vegetable gardens. To culminate the program, Farm School students will take part in a region-wide competition that will put their newly-acquired crop production, culinary and business skills to the test.

DepEd has also begun its preparations for the MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Kusinaskwela Cook Off in tandem with Nestlé Wellness Campus. This coming schoolyear, more than 1,000 public elementary schools and junior high schools in seven key regions will compete in a cooking contest that imparts the value of minimizing food waste and strict budgeting in preparing a delicious and balanced meal. Putting vegetables in the spotlight, the Cook Off will also utilize vegetables from the schools’ Gulayan sa Paaralan.

The Department of Agriculture

“The MAGGI Sarap Sustansya advocacy is a long-term commitment that allows us to bring the brand’s purpose to life – which is to help Filipinos cook and benefit from the fresh food they love and believe in every day.” said Rosalyn Simba, Business Executive Officer – Food and Dairy Culinary Business Unit at Nestlé Philippines. “The MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Advocacy has been a platform for us to raise awareness on the impact of simply good food on quality of life, and this year, we have expanded the advocacy to give our youth a deeper appreciation of sustainable agriculture and food production as a possible business opportunity in the future.”

The Department of Agriculture

MAGGI is also committed to continued cooperation with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and the National Dieticians’ Association of the Philippines (NDAP), sharing data resources on the prevailing nutrient deficiencies in the Philippines and working closely with them to enhance fortification of MAGGI products.

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