PAMPANGA

Pangan: Innovative vertical farming

At Close Range

FOR lack of arable space, vertical farming can be resorted to for plants and crops.

The idea of vertical farming was broached to me by Engr. Rem Magtubo of the Agriculture office, Mabalacat City, headed by Rosan S. Paquia, EnP as officer-in-charge.

Engr. Rem, an agriculture engineer, showed me photographs of full grown crops ready to be harvested.

This idea of vertical farming can be implemented in urban areas, but it can be used to optimize plant growth and in soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics. Research shows that other choices of structures to house vertical farming systems include buildings, shipping containers, tunnels and abandoned mine shafts.

Here in the Philippines, people can be very innovative and may find places where they can practice vertical farming like in someone else’s idle lands and even near railroad tracks!

In the light of the pandemic, this idea of vertical farming is welcome news and can feed several people without much fanfare.

In other parts of the world, like in Singapore, almost all vacant spaces were converted into vertical farms. Parks and gardens of green leafy growth abound, making Singapore one big garden. Even high-rise buildings were not spared; they too are planted with plants and shrubbery.

If they can do this in the island-city that is Singapore, the more it can be replicated here in our country, if we are only willing to do so.

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The novel idea is being promoted by the City Agriculture office, Mabalacat City, thanks largely to its OIC Rosan S. Paquia and supported by its Agriculture Engineer, Rem Magtubo and the agriculture technicians.

It is one system worth replicating throughout the city. After all, Mabalacat has several idle lands not tended by their owners. The City Agriculture office would do well if it leads efforts to find out the vacant, untended spaces and plant variety of plants and fruit-bearing trees therein.

Incidentally, what has happened to the plant-a-tree activities of the City Environment and Natural Resources (Cenro)? It could merge its resources with the Agriculture office and plant more, more!


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