URBAN farmers participated in this year’s Farmer’s Day festival to raise awareness on the importance of urban farming and the difficulties of agri-business.
Ten urban barangays and 19 upland barangays participated in the festival. This year, urban farming is highlighted since most barangays are located in urban areas.
Two of the biggest challenges to farmers are unpredictable weather and climate change. Upland farmers face pressure as they are the main local food providers.
Renilo Montejo, one of the participants in the festival, explained the farmers’ struggle to earn enough income.
“Getting enough profit is also a big challenge for local farmers as imported vegetables are selling in markets so our local products are sold in cheaper prices.”
Richel Ardyente, from Barangay Pung-ol Sibugay, detailed their challenges.
“Our vegetation often get destroyed due to the harsh weather so we have to use of greenhouse farming. Transporting our products to the city is difficult since it is far so we sell it in our barangay.”
Urban farming are seen as an alternate method for individuals to help farmers since they may not be able to accommodate everyone’s demands. Urban farmers grow organic plants such as leafy vegetables, herbs and spices.
Urban farming makes use of newspaper technology to help grow plants to save time on watering the plants. Decomposing is used as an alternate natural fertilizer. Using recycled materials and planting organic plants can help lessen pollution.
Still, there are also challenges in urban farming. Apolonio Maranga Jr., participant from Barangay Suba, said time is a foe for planting crops.
“It takes time to decompose biodegradable wastes to make fertilizers. But once we have started, it is easy to multiply our plants.”
This year’s Farmer’s Day theme focuses on adapting climate change through sustainable and earth-friendly technology.
We deemed it appropriate to help influence the urban settlers to grow their own vegetables. This is also a part of adapting to climate change.” said Apple Tribunalo, OIC, City Agricultarist. (Jaziel Calumpag, USC Intern)