In light of the government’s thrust to promote urban farming, the Department of Agriculture (DA) unveiled the Urban Agri Hydro Hub Learning Center at The Pop Up Katipunan in Quezon City on Wednesday.
“This launching serves as our first step in reaching our goal. Today, we established our country’s first urban farming hydroponic research and training facility to overcome food shortages and heal hunger in the Philippines,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in his speech.
The project is a collaboration of the DA, the Philippine Association of Agriculturists Inc. (PAA), University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Institute of Biology, and The Freshest. Dar was joined by PAA Chairman Roberto Rañola Jr., UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo, Food Security Ambassador James Reid, and Fiona Faulkner and Jeff Oh of The Freshest during the inauguration of the facility.
The DA said the new Learning Center is composed of two facilities: the hydrofarm, which can grow 576 heads of lettuce or about 18 kilograms per lifecycle, and the Hydro Hub lecture hall.
Lectures on hydroponics, vegetarian/vegan culinary demonstrations, and pop-ups will be regularly conducted at the Center, according to the DA.
In cooperation with the Department of Education, the Learning Center’s first training program was attended by 39 elementary students from Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, Pasig, and Marikina.
“I believe that we need the youth, represented by our very own James Reid. He is now the role model for the youth, advocating and promoting urban farming. So, the youth would be the infomediaries,” Dar said, adding that the next training aims to involve high school students and reach out to more cities.
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Philippines News Agency