Sunday, October 24, 2021

‘Plantdemic’ gives birth to new businesses, securing food for future

PARADISE. Up in the highlands of Cebu is a two-hectare plant sanctuary, Blooms and Greens, owned by Jaime Chua. Located in Bonbon, Sudlon 2, Cebu City, the farm has over 5,000 kinds of plants. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, more Cebuanos resorted to plant growing, collecting and selling to keep themselves busy while being locked in their homes. / KATLENE O. CACHO

THE Covid-19 pandemic has paved the way for a “plantdemic” where people got hooked on home gardening during the lockdown period.

The plant craze, which helped Filipinos cope with the negative impact of the pandemic, has also given birth to a flourishing plant selling industry.

Plant Momma owner Sheila Ruiz said many Cebuanos got interested in plants, whose rising demand led her to plant and sell ornamental plants, a new venture which eventually took off.

Ruiz said collecting plants became a diversion for many people during the pandemic and her company took it as an opportunity to move forward.

“There was a rise in demand in the market for ornamental plants, specifically the rare ones. There was a growing demand from serious plant collectors,” said Ruiz, during the Cebu Business Month 2021 Entrepreneurship Coffee Table discussion on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Food security

Filipino Cebuano Business Club chairman Rey Calooy, during the same discussion, emphasized the need to educate millennials on food security.

“We have to inculcate in the minds of our children that food security is very important. This is the mindset of survival,” he said.

Calooy raised a concern on the country’s long-standing aim on food security when the future generations don’t know how to plant.

“How could you be fully secure if our new generation doesn’t even know what the different types of plants are? We have to be prepared and share the mindset of food security,” he said.

By maintaining a garden in one’s home, Calooy said, an individual can cut back on food expenses which eats a big chunk of the budget.

“You can cut back a big percentage of your expenses when you have a garden. Sixty percent of your budget goes to food, so if you have a garden, it can decrease expenses in half. That’s about 30 percent in savings,” he said.

“This is how we teach people on how to save and prepare for the future,” Calooy added.

Aside from the saving and learning experience gardening contributes, Calooy said it also benefits an individual since it is a physical activity.

He added those who are interested should be educated on the different types of plants whether they are in it for the short, medium or long term. (JOB)


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