Maitum welcomes Singaporean urban farmer Christopher Leow

Maitum welcomes Singaporean 
urban farmer Christopher Leow
photo by Maitum MIO

SINGAPOREAN urban farmer and TV host, Christopher Leow, with the team from MMG College of General Santos City, Inc., visited Maitum, Sarangani Province on October 2, 2023, to explore the town’s thriving agri-fishery industry. 

The purpose of this visit was to facilitate an exchange of agricultural knowledge and to underscore the crucial role that local agriculture plays in our society.

The team paid a quick courtesy visit to local officials at Maitum’s municipal hall. They also had an opportunity to see the replicas of the anthropomorphic jars on display in the municipal building.

Their visit began at Melvin Awid’s vanilla demonstration farm in Barangay Kalaneg, where they delved into the benefits and substantial economic potential of vanilla cultivation.

The team then proceeded to the Upo Valley Farmers Association (UVFA) in Barangay Upo to check their coffee production. Their visitation continued to Diomrie Farm in Barangay Sison, where they observed the cacao processing methods employed by the farm.

The final stop on their tour was the Bangsi (flying fish) processing site managed by the Women in Development of Sarangani (WINDS) Association in Barangay Old Poblacion.

The visit was facilitated by the Maitum Municipal Tourism Office in collaboration with the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist.

Leow was invited by MMG College to deliver a talk titled “Redefining Green Living with Chris Leow” on September 30. During this enlightening session, he shared valuable insights on the best practices for urban farming in Singapore, along with his innovative agricultural initiatives.

“The main intention was to inspire the students to get in touch with agriculture. Many people often look down on farmers. Having Chris come over is instrumental in inspiring the youth to do the same and reconnect with nature,” said MMG College Vice President Norman Diagan. 

“Coming to Maitum was one of his ideas. We explored what the province has to offer and also visited farms from which we could learn. It’s an opportunity for everyone to become more informed about agriculture in Sarangani or the region,” said Diagan.

“I believe it was a meaningful project. Not only did I share about agriculture, but there was also an opportunity for MMG College and its hospital to utilize some of the experiences I’ve gone through. Using agriculture as a way to improve the well-being of their patients and the community seemed like a good fit, so I decided to collaborate with them,” said Leow.

Leow visited some farm sites in the region and was inspired by their stories. He discovered that the Philippines and Singapore share similar knowledge about agriculture, specifically organic 

farming. Leow emphasized the importance of inspiring the younger generation to explore opportunities in agriculture, viewing it as a vital step towards sustainable development.

“We need to inspire them in a way that is both practical and financially viable, so they will want to do it. It needs to be part of their lifestyle so they won’t dread it. Finding the right product, having business knowledge, and having the whole ecosystem - from government, schools, and the community - every part of that contributes to success,” said Leow.

Leow is a prominent figure in Singapore’s urban farming scene. He has been involved in several significant agricultural initiatives in his country such as Edible Garden City, Urban Rooftop Farm, and NUTOPIA Community Garden. He is also an author, lecturer, and the esteemed TV Host of the farming documentary series “Growing Wild” on Channel News Asia (CNA). With a rich background spanning over a decade in the “Farm to Table” arena, he currently holds the position of CEO at FPS, an innovative Insect Protein Startup.

Through these initiatives, Leow has made significant contributions to promoting sustainable agriculture practices and food resilience in Singapore.

“We have to focus more on appreciating where our food comes from. It’s not just about eating for the sake of it, but we need to appreciate the entire process - from how it’s processed until it

reaches consumers. And eventually, this understanding should inspire them to produce their food in the future,” said Diagan. By Genory Vanz Alfasain


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