Urban agriculture technology may answer the problem of lack of space for vegetable production

by Admin-Phmp

By Allan Mauro V. Marfal

Those without the so-called “green thumb” may find urban agriculture technology to be the answer to their woes and perhaps help in addressing concerns on food security in the country.

Some Filipinos also hesitate to try gardening due to the limited space. However, a project by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) will make urban agriculture easier and less challenging.

In a broadcast statement, Adoracion Armada, the officer-in-charge of the DOST-PCAARRD’s Agricultural Resources Management Division, said that there are indeed many technologies available for urban agriculture or urban farming.

She shared that under the Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives toward National Goals (GALING) – PCAARRD project, two major technologies can be effectively used by Filipinos, the Enriched Potting Preparation (EPP) and the Simple Nutrients Addition Program (SNAP) hydroponics as experienced in selected barangays of the National Capital Region (NCR).

EPP is a technology that promotes the production of pesticide-free crops using recyclable plastic bottles, a potting medium, water, compost soil extract, and seeds or cuttings.

Meanwhile, SNAP hydroponics is an alternative system for growing plants without soil. It uses an inert medium and a nutrient solution containing essential elements needed by the plant to grow.

As for the question of whether a rural farmer can be an urban farmer and vice versa, Armada said, “Definitely yes, because an urban farmer grows in urban areas or cities where there are limited spaces. And when you go into rural areas, especially areas with limited space, you are still an urban gardener because you also use the urban gardening technology being used in urban areas. So, you can grow vegetables in both areas.”

She added that you can also use EPP and SNAP hydroponics in small areas with limited space in rural areas. EPP is usually used for small spaces because you can grow many vegetables in a small space in your backyard or terrace. Using the vertical gardening technology in small areas, you can produce even more, thus enabling households to be self-sufficient, at least in growing common vegetables for daily consumption.

Armada believes that urban agriculture could be a huge help in addressing current challenges, especially in food security in the country.

“It is a great response to food security because it’s very important to grow our own food in our own backyard at this time. It’s very useful because we don’t need to go to farther areas and transport the vegetables that we grow,” she said.

Under this project, the DOST-PCAARRD conducted a series of field monitoring visits wherein majority of participants and beneficiaries are residents who lost their livelihood during the pandemic. Aside from learning urban gardening skills, they were also oriented with the concepts of financial management and were trained in basic entrepreneurship and marketing.

To know more about the DOST-PCAARRD’s urban agriculture project, you may visit their official website at www.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph or their official Facebook page: https://facebook.com/PCAARRD.

This project of DOST-PCAARRD is aligned with the thrust of the current administration of Sec. Renato U. Solidum Jr. under the four strategies, namely: human well-being, wealth creation, wealth protection, and sustainability, where enhancement of agricultural productivity through research and development falls under the first two strategies. (DOST/STII) 

Photo caption: Adoracion Armada, the officer-in-charge of the DOST-PCAARRD’s Agricultural Resources Management Division, explains the project on urban agriculture and how it can help various local communities in the country become self-sufficient in food production.

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