AGRICULTURE Magazine of the Manila Bulletin is staging an Urban Agriculture Trade Show on May 1-3 at the Rockwell Tent, corner of Estrella St. and Rockwell Center in Makati.
The event aims to promote the trend that is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas like Metro Manila, i.e., growing food crops wherever it is possible no matter how limited the space. This is producing healthful fruits, vegetables and even fish that could at the same time reduce the food bills for the family.
The trade show will showcase creative ways of growing food crops and animals around the home as well as in vacant lots in subdivisions. Such creative techniques will be showcased in the exhibit booths as well as in lectures and seminars that are open free to the public.
SNAP HYDROPONICS – One doable technique of growing veggies is called Simple Nutrition Addition Program or SNAP which will be demonstrated by Prof. Primitivo Jose A. Santos of the Institute of Plant Breeding at UP Los Baños.
The SNAP technique involves the use of recycled styropor boxes where lettuce, pechay, pepper, tomato and others can be grown. It is a novel way in that unlike the conventional hydroponics system, SNAP does not use electricity.
The fact is that the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) used conventional hydroponics as a research tool since the mid-90s, but the power crisis then compromised their research because it used electricity-generated compressor for active aeration.
Prof. Santos and his team developed SNAP hydroponics for high-value leafy and fruit vegetables such as lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, herbs, tomato, pepper, cucumber and ampalaya in Marikina for three years now, as well as in Cebu, Rizal and many areas in Laguna. The team developed the affordable liquid plant nutrients used and is available at the IPB.
EDIBLE LANDSCAPING – Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr. of UP Los Baños will discuss edible gardening which is growing vegetables instead of ornamental plants in the home. The 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.
PEST & INSECT CONTROL – 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 – This columnist will tackle growing fruit trees in containers which he has been doing the past many years. Pomelo, balimbing, makopa, lemon, Abiu, guava and many others are highly suitable for planting in containers.
Container-grown fruit trees can yield full-sized fruits as long as they are adequately nurtured. Use of the right planting medium, regular fertilization and provision of ample light and space are important.
SEN. VILLAR’S ADVOCACY – 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 duplicate in many other places in the Philippines in collaboration with other agencies of the government and the private sector.
PARTNERS – Partners of Agriculture Magazine in the trade show include 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), University of the Philippines Los Baños, 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.