Agriculture Magazine, a publication of Manila Bulletin, is staging an Urban Agriculture Trade Show, from May 1 to 3, at the Rockwell Tent, Estrella St., Rockwell Center, Makati.
The event aims to promote the trend of growing food crops in urban areas like Metro Manila, no matter how limited the space is. People in the city now grow fruits, vegetables, and even fish that can, at the same time, reduce the food expenses of the family.
The trade show will showcase creative ways of growing food crops and raising animals around the home and in vacant lots of subdivisions. Such creative techniques will be showcased in the exhibit booths as well as discussed in lectures and seminars that are open free to the public. Here’s a sneak peak on some of these innovative processes.
One doable technique of growing veggies is called Simple Nutrition Addition Program or SNAP, which will be demonstrated by Jose A. Santos, a professor at the Institute of Plant Breeding of University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). The technique involves the use of recycled styropor boxes where lettuce, pechay, pepper, tomato, and others can be grown. The technique has been successfully adopted by a cooperator in Marikina City in the last three years as well as in Mindanao and in other places.
Edible Landscaping and Pest and Insect Control
Edible gardening, which Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr. of UPLB will discuss at the trade show, refers to the growing of vegetables instead of ornamental plants at home. Veggies could, of course, be planted in combination with ornamentals. Dr. Sanchez, the new chancellor of the UP College of Agriculture, got his PhD in landscape architecture at the Tokyo University of Agriculture. Another expert from Los Baños, Dr. Pio Javier, will discuss how to control pests and diseases of plants in organic farming and gardening.
Fruit Trees in Container
Another creative technique is the growing of fruit trees in containers, which this columnist will tackle, having done it for the past years. Container-grown fruit trees can yield full-sized fruits as long as they are adequately nurtured. Pomelo, balimbing, makopa, lemon, Abiu, guava, and many others are highly suitable for planting in containers. Use of the right planting medium, regular fertilization, and provision of ample light and space are important.
Advocacies and Partners
The Urban Agriculture Trade Show is also in support of the advocacy of Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food. Only recently, she launched her model urban garden in Las Piñas City which she will help duplicate in other places in the Philippines. Among Agriculture Magazine’s partners in the tradeshow are the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP), Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Soils and Water management (BSWM), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), UPLB College of Agriculture, and the International Society of Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS).
Make sure to attend the Urban Agriculture Trade Show. Available will be fresh fruits and vegetables, processed farm products, organic food products, wellness products, and many more. The trade show is open free to the public.
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