Manila - Neophyte Solon Seeks To Institutionalize Integrated Urban Agriculture, Vertical Farming

Manila - Neophyte Solon Seeks To Institutionalize Integrated Urban Agriculture, Vertical Farming

Manila - Neophyte Solon Seeks To Institutionalize Integrated Urban Agriculture, Vertical Farming

Published May 8, 2018

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

A neophyte lawmaker has cited the need to institutionalize integrated urban agriculture and vertical farming in the country to ensure food security, and address hunger and poverty.

Rice farming /  Facebook / Manila Bulletin File Photo

1-Ang Edukasyon partylist Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. made the proposal following the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) self-rated poverty survey results showing that the number of Filipinos who consider themselves poor fell to a record low of 42 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

“Urban dwellers can grow substitutes to rice using less land and less space than rice farms. Corn and root crops can be cultivated in urban farms. Gardens of public schools can grow these crops and meet the carbohydrate needs of their urban poor students,” he said.

He said integrated urban agriculture and vertical farming do not require lots of land compared to rice farming.

“Integrated urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing of agricultural products from animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry and horticulture in or around a metropolitan village, town and city. In vertical farming food from plants cultivated using indoor agriculture methods of growing produce in vertically stacked layers using geoponics, hydroponics, and aeroponics,” he explained.

Belaro filed HB 7526 proposing the institutionalization of integrated urban agriculture and vertical farming in the country to ensure food security, to promote livelihood and to regenerate ecosystem functions in metropolitan areas.

Under House Bill 7526 or the proposed Integrated Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming Act, schools and local governments shall be the key implementors of urban agriculture and vertical farming.

“LGUs can put open spaces and idle lands to good use with vertical farming and urban agriculture, while campus gardens can do more than just have ornamentals and herbs,” Belaro said.

The assistant majority leader said the LGUs can also encourage or give incentives to homeowners associations, neighborhood associations, and community and/or people’s organizations to participate in urban farming activities within their areas.

“Idle and/or abandoned government lots and buildings owned by either national and local governments or available land resources in state universities and colleges can be conducive for growing crops, raising livestock and producing food using said methods, provided that these are compliant and subject to safety standards such that of DOST and other pertinent agencies,” he said.

Belaro proposed that for universities, colleges and training centers, both public and private, integrated urban agriculture and vertical farming can be required as an advanced elective course for students pursuing Agriculture, Practical Arts, Home Economics, and other agriculture-related courses.

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