Philippines: Hydroponic veggie farming takes off in Basilan

People in Basilan are experimenting with something new to them that they expect to earn the province the tag “hydroponic agriculture capital” of the Bangsamoro region. Many Muslim and Christian residents of Basilan are now studying hydroponic farming, being promoted by their provincial government that has a facility operating like a show window of how it can be done.

Gov. Jim Salliman said Saturday the project is meant to boost food production in the backyards to end dependence on the Zamboanga peninsula as a supplier of vegetables that can also be produced locally.

Some of those trying to learn the intricacies of hydroponic vegetable propagation are now reforming former members of the Abu Sayyaf who had been reintroduced by the provincial government to the local communities after renouncing their membership with the group in batches in the past five years.

Kalim Saratul said Saturday he has been collecting recyclable half-gallon ice cream containers since last month for a hydroponic garden, after having seen a video on how their provincial government is doing it in a facility open for public viewing. “This is my way of showing support for efforts of our provincial government to educate us on the importance of self-reliance in food production,” he said.

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