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The importance of urban gardening

Photo credit: Google

Youth community gardeners care for more than 1,400 plants at the Cadillac Urban Gardens in Southwest Detroit.

Urban agri can boost food security in cities—DA

A mixture of urban agricultural production technologies can enable cities to produce their own food, complementing the government’s efforts in the countryside to maintain food security in the country, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Exploring Negros Occidental: the "Organic Capital" of the Philippines: http://ati.da.gov.ph/ati2/sites/default/files/u278/29.jpg
Exploring Negros Occidental: the “Organic Capital” of the Philippines: http://ati.da.gov.ph/ati2/sites/default/files/u278/29.jpg

At the launching of DA’s  urban agriculture project in Las Piñas City on February 4,  Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that urban agriculture can provide additional source of fresh and safe food and extra income for urban residents, among other benefits.

The project is implemented in partnership with the DA Regional Office for CALABARZON, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

Urban gardening in Davao (Philippines): Jojo ROM's A-risers : https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/riser2-jojo-rom-285968_2051946656569_1181604134_31935796_8041270_o.jpg
Urban gardening in Davao (Philippines): Jojo ROM’s A-risers : https://desertification.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/riser2-jojo-rom-285968_2051946656569_1181604134_31935796_8041270_o.jpg

Among the production technologies proposed by DA are edible landscaping, green riprapping, aquaponics and container gardening.

 

Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.): https://adaptation-fund.org/sites/default/files/HM_Manila_Philippines_Velas.jpg
Backyard gardening in Manila (Ph.): https://adaptation-fund.org/sites/default/files/HM_Manila_Philippines_Velas.jpg

Norby De La Cruz, a resident of Las Piñas and a container gardening enthusiast cited the benefits his family has gained from urban agriculture.

“On the financial aspect, we are able to save since we no longer have to buy some of the vegetables, herbs and spices we need in our kitchen,” De La Cruz said.

Organic lettuce garden in Quezon City Circle (Ph.): http://www.pampangatalents.com/04_Gallery/Philippines/Manila/Memorial-Circle/Urban-Farming/slides/Garden-Lettuce_Organic_Farming.JPG
Organic lettuce garden in Quezon City Circle (Ph.): http://www.pampangatalents.com/04_Gallery/Philippines/Manila/Memorial-Circle/Urban-Farming/slides/Garden-Lettuce_Organic_Farming.JPG

He also mentioned that during emergencies, they have a ready source of food. He likewise shared that having more plants in their house gives them more fresh air, and that gardening has become his way to exercise and contribute to the clean and green program of the city.

Urban farming in Caracas (Venezuela): http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/516/cache/earth-day-urban-farming-venezuela_51635_600x450.jpg
Urban farming in Caracas (Venezuela): http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/516/cache/earth-day-urban-farming-venezuela_51635_600x450.jpg

Alcala said that urban agriculture may not be able to produce all what city dwellers need but this is a way to increase awareness on agriculture and the government’s programs to ensure food security.

Read the full article: Philippine Information Agency

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.