The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) initiative to promote urban gardening across the country got a boost with the launch of a P3-million indoor vertical farming project was launched in Makati City.
In a statement, the DA said the Bureau of Agricultural Research provided an initial funding of P3 million for the project dubbed the Enhancement of the Indoor Hydroponics System for lettuce, kale, basil and tomato Production. It will rise in Planters Products Inc.’s facility in the city.
“It will be implemented as a production site and learning center with counterparts from the private sector partners,” said the agency.
During the event, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said ensuring food security was everyone’s responsibility and not just of farmers and fishers.
He also encouraged local governments to allot a higher budget for food security initiatives and pass an ordinance requiring buildings and public open spaces in the city or municipality to provide areas for urban agriculture or edible landscape.
“As much as we could, we need to do local production in a big way. We have to prepare so that we can survive the [looming food] crisis,” Dar said.
Early this year, the DA inked partnerships with the Urban Farmers Sustainability Concepts Organization Inc., the Urban Greens and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction to further its implementation of the Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (Nupap).
“The agreement encourages sustainable crop production, through the establishment of more community gardens; and pushes for safe, available, accessible, and affordable foods to households and communities,” the DA had said.
Nupap aims to achieve food security and provide an alternative source of livelihood, which forms part of the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant program. With a budget of P31 billion, this will address the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to the local food systems.
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