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Urban vegetable farming helps achieve food security


(Editor's Note: Mr. Norberto R. Bautista of the Rizal Technological University originally wrote this article titled "Promoting Urban Agriculture in the Metropolis" that discusses the importance of urban agriculture and vegetable farming in big cities to help achieve food security)

URBAN AGRICULTURE [view video] is not new. It is the practice of cultivating, processing, packaging and distributing food in or around a village, town or city.

It involves the principles in horticulture, animal science, fisheries, and business. Instead of raising vegetables in the province, it focuses production right at home, usually in all available spaces like roof top gardens, backyards, vacant residential lots, in school lots or in community parks. Urban farming usually focuses on food production. However, it may also include recreation and relaxation purposes. Urban farming has been successful in countries like the United States, where vegetables are raised in vacant lots to provide readily available and cheaper crops as it does not involve transporting them from long distances.

The main purpose of Urban Agriculture is to increase the amount of food available to the people living in the city.

Some of the activities involved include:

  1. Planting/raising of small quantities of vegetable crops/small fruit trees;
  2. Cultivation of freshwater fish in containers;
  3. Raising poultry and small livestock;
  4. Raising of houseplants for indoor use (residential or office);
  5. Vermi-composting (earthworm) of garden wastes; and
  6. Gradual introduction of organic gardening concepts.

Urban Agriculture aims to encourage bio-intensive method of food production, to make the activity more efficient.

Furthermore, Urban Agriculture also aims to make available and affordable food items especially common vegetables in the family household and in the city and in effect lower the expenses on these food items. Through close supervision of production, the project aims to encourage the production of healthy, safe, pesticide-free vegetables.

Source: Norberto R. Bautista,"Promoting Urban Agriculture in the Metropolis". The Urban Gardener, 8th Issue Vol. 2 No. 5. May 2009

The Urban Gardener is an official electronic publication (in PDF format) of the Plant Biotechnology Project, Research & Development Center, Rizal TEchnological University, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong city, Philippines. It is published monthly. For more information, please inquire thru emails: or and landline (+632) 534-8267 Local 135 or Fax (+632) 534-9710.
The Plant Biotechnology Project Committee is composed of: Alexander B. Quilang, Norberto R. Bautista, Jovita A. Anit & Carnette C. Pulma.

Go to RTU and Mandaluyong Government partnership in urban vegetable farming

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