Yara Philippines and Urban Farmers partner on promoting urban farming
Yara Philippines and Urban Farmers Philippines have signed a memorandum of agreement to support and help promote urban agriculture in the metro. Yara Philippines’ Country Manager Toby Goodroad and Urban Farmers Philippines Farmer in Chief Louie Gutierrez were present during the signing ceremony at BGC Community Farm, the first urban community farm in Taguig City.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), urban agriculture is practiced by 800 million people worldwide or over one-tenth of the global population. However, in the Philippines, urban farming is underdeveloped.
“I think Urban Farmers’ mission to inspire people to do backyard farming, to utilize the land in the city is something we are very interested in,” said Goodroad. “Crops need nutrients. Yara will provide highly sustainable nutrients, giving the best yield to the land here.”
“Farming is not a sexy career for young people. They would instead go digital,” observed Gutierrez. “We want to envision farming not only from the soil but digital as well. We hope to include more technology into farming to get the youth and the people more excited.”
Yara and Urban Farmers
Yara is a fertilizer company with the mission to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet and to deliver profitable and responsible solutions for agriculture and the environment.
Yara’s partnership with Urban Farmers, a project driven by a passion to ease the emotional and social burden brought by COVID-19, aims to enhance the growing community activity by providing food, employment, and opportunities to people. The BGC Community Farm, more known as the farm in the city, is a sustainable and safe space that advocates for deeper appreciation of agriculture and host healthy recreational activities. Here, people can volunteer as urban farmers or adopt a pod. They can also buy fresh produce, seedlings, gardening materials and merchandise. Urban Farmers also oﬀer agriculture workshops for kids and adults.
Why the need for urban farming?
Population growth and urban expansion have put increasing pressure on food security. As populations grow, more people need to be fed, and with agricultural lands being converted to accommodate urbanization there has been a growing concern on food shortage hence, poor nutrition. Moreover, the rising fuel prices and supply chain issues had food prices soaring. Still, many hope to find solutions to the country’s food problems.
One of which is urban farming like what is being done in the BGC Community Farm. It is committed to provide a scalable solution to the problem and have more cities adopt the same model in the future.
Encouraging urban farming
Yara Philippines oﬀers a variety of premium products with complete formulations best suited for urban farming.
“Yara will oﬀer the same products that we would use if we were in Benguet and other vegetable area in the country,” added Goodroad. “We’ve got lots of experience not just in the knowledge side of growing crops, but most importantly we want to get the most yield out of the small piece of land that we have. That’s the best we can do from a sustainability standpoint.”
“The prices of vegetables have gone up. It is in our best interest to start growing our food, especially in the city,” said Gutierrez. “If we are to plant here and Yara can provide crop nutrition solutions thru their fertilizers and trainings, then we can create more yield even in a limited space. This is going to be a good project.”
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