BY NOVA MAE FRANCAS
THE GLOBAL Shapers Community-Davao Hub collaborated with Kids Who Farm to establish the urban community micro-farm project to create hyperlocal food access at the grassroots level.
The project will be piloted at San Roque Central Elementary School in Obrero next month.
Project lead Inna Labao said they aim to promote a renewed appreciation for farming to the next generation of producers aside from providing the community access to safe, fresh, and healthy food.
“Yung concerns about food insecurity, malnutrition, it (project) helps address that. I wanted to create that parang experiential learning for the children to really get to know and appreciate the advocacy of farming and also a potential livelihood for the community,” Labao said.
San Roque Central Elementary School was selected to be the ideal pilot location after being recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd XI as the best role model for its “Gulayan sa Paaralan.”
Labao said the “GrowHouse” to be installed in the school will be approximately 50 square meters, highlighting their proposition that anyone doesn’t need huge tracts of land to grow food.
The farm will grow leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kangkong (river spinach), mustasa (mustard leaves), and pechay (bok choi) using ‘Kratky’ hydroponics technology.
“Ang sa amoa is naa naman sila education in the soil medium. Kaning hydroponics specifically, kaning Kratky ang gwapo ani kay no electricity, no anything. Tubig rajud and nutrient solution. Low-cost ni siya. (They are already educated on the soil medium, so we wanted to introduce Kratsky hydroponics since it does not require electricity or anything, only water and nutrient solution. It is also low-cost),” Labao said.
Labao said the project will be cost-efficient as the Growhouse will utilize reusable materials such as empty milk cartons and cups donated by coffee shops around the city.
Apart from the Growhouse, the school will counterpart in providing learning sessions on Agro-Enterprise Mind Setting and Financial literacy to the students, parents, and other community members.
“Maskin bata pa sila, kabalo na sila unsaon pag-calculate or pag record sa ilang mga harvest, sweldo. Ang purpose sa financial literacy para maka start pud sila og ilahang own savings club (Even when they’re still young, they already know how to calculate their harvest and wages. The purpose of financial literacy is to help them start their own savings club),” Labao said.
Labao said the project set-up is modeled after the Kids Who Farm in Zamboanga City, a non-profit startup and advocacy initiative serving as a platform for the participation of the youth in agriculture.
Global Shapers Community is eyeing to make the project an annual activity with a new location every year, provided that there is a school or private business that could help secure funding to construct the Growhouse and implement the teaching.
The major partners for the project include the DepEd XI, the Department of Agriculture, which offered seeds, Labao Farms for construction materials, the Davao Bloggers Society, and iVolunteer Philippines.
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