In 2016, the Philippines was one of the leading food exporters in Southeast Asia, and the country was even the top distributor of pineapples in Asia and exported more than three million tons of bananas to Asian and the Middle East countries.
However, the Philippines still falls short in locally providing some of the staple foods for a typical Filipino’s hapag-kainan (dining table). For the past years, the country has been importing rice, poultry, corn, garlic and at least two million tons of vegetables annually.
Many factors contributed to the shortage of food security in the Philippines including poverty, low agriculture production, food accessibility and climate change impacts, according to a 2017 country review by Brain Trust Inc.
Hunger and malnutrition affect the poor most. The Ecology Action predicts that in less than 40 years from today, the world might run out of soil to farm or grow food.
A Smart Farming Solution
Bio-intensive gardening is a low-cost and simple farming technique that focuses on improving soil quality. This method aims to support food security and environmental programs by helping impoverished communities, urban dwellers and small-scale farmers to make the most out of their plot of land.
Unlike conventional farming, it utilizes smaller space, deep soil penetration, composting, intensive planting and companion planting. The deeper penetration under the ground allows roots to absorb more nutrients and increase yield of produce.
Research shows that bio-intensive farms use up to 75 percent less land, 50 to 100 percent less fertilizer and almost 88 percent less water than conventional farming. In the previous years, environmental organization Haribon Foundation has helped teach indigent communities on how to grow fruits and vegetables in their own backyards.
Using Smart Gardening as a technique, these communities were able to serve nutritious food to their families.
Learn Smart Gardening
This tree planting season, Haribon invites citizens to get their hands dirty and learn how they can make their backyard garden a productive plot of land, the smart way! On October 14, Haribon’s farming experts and community partners will conduct a training that will impart practical knowledge on bio-intensive gardening, soil nutrients, crop rotation that uses less water and fertilizer, and provide tips on locally-grown vegetables, all in a day’s field trip to an actual tree nursery in Caliraya, Laguna.
To register, simply visit Haribon’s Facebook page fb.com/goharibon and sign up via the Smart Gardening Training main event page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.