Can vertical farming and hydroponics work in the Philippines?

Vertical farming and hydroponics are viable solutions to increase food production in the Philippines, given the country's dwindling land and water resources.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) during the Duterte administration actively advocated the adoption of vertical farming and hydroponics under the Plant, Plant, Plant program during the pandemic as a measure to augment the country's food supply and push for the adoption of non-traditional planting systems.

Among the state universities and colleges in the Philippines, it is the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, which is active in developing and promoting vertical farming and hydroponics through its College of Engineering.

CLSU's technology demonstration system clearly shows how viable vertical farming combined with hydroponics is, as it occupies only 72 square meters and can accommodate 88 towers for growing crops. Each tower can grow 70 leafy vegetables as well as herbs, and the system costs P350,000. Based on CLSU's estimate, the 72-square meter system can generate gross revenues of P300,000 per year.

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