Youth enticed to farm through hydroponics

NONGOVERNMENT group Kids Who Farm (KWH) is utilizing hydroponics to lure the youth into agriculture.

During the current Pista ng Pagkain at Kabataang Pinoy competition held by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca), KWH founder Muneer Hinay mentioned the benefits of hydroponics in serving to deal with meals safety on the native degree.

“In hydroponics, the plant roots absorb balanced nutrients dissolved in water that meet all the plant development requirements. The basic setup is you have a container or grow box, water inside with nutrient solution and an air space so the container is not filled with water,” mentioned Hinay.

Among the vegetation that may be grown by way of hydroponics are lettuce, pechay (snow cabbage), kangkong (swamp cabbage or river spinach), bell pepper, tomato and herbs like basil.

While the sizable portion of meals manufacturing continues to be soil-based or about 95 p.c, producing meals from hydroponics provides benefits. Among these are its modular setup (vertical or horizontal), capacity for monocropping season after season and almost pest-free nature.

Hinay and his daughter Raaina are additionally on the forefront of getting extra of the youth concerned in agriculture.

“I realized that even a small child can actually propose solutions to the pressing problems of food security,” Hinay mentioned.

The father and daughter have been instrumental in collectively establishing KWH's micro city backyard in her college, the Catalina Vda de Jalon Memorial School in Barangay Tumbaga, Zamboanga City. Raaina was solely 9 years outdated then — three years in the past.

Now, KWH not solely has a joint city farming undertaking with Raaina's college, its partnership additionally entails different establishments that additionally share the advocacy to present the youth that agriculture is a worthwhile enterprise. As an incentive to youngsters, they’re ready to carry house and eat what they produce, and get compensation for his or her efforts.

Aside from its partnership with the Department of Education's “Gulayan sa Paaralan,” KWH has a micro farming undertaking with the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula).

Urban farming lectures have been additionally performed for Haven for the Children and Haven for Women services, Rotary Interact Clubs from totally different universities in Zamboanga, Isabela City, youth organizations and the Special Forces Battalion in Basilan.

With its advocacy, it has to date educated greater than 400 youths in city farming.

Hinay, undertaking supervisor for sustainable meals techniques on the World Wide Fund for Nature, additionally believes his house province needs to be meals self-sufficient.

“There's a big opportunity to really make Zamboanga city food secure. At present, it is 40 percent self-sufficient in vegetables. As a city which is the third largest in the Philippines in land area, it's very ironic that we import 60 percent of our food as far as from Baguio,” Hinay disclosed within the Searca seminar.

“When we talk about urban agriculture, a big challenge is space. But the truth is when you have a small space, then what you need is a big mindset,” he mentioned.