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Philippines: Agribusiness advocate Jiggy Manicad promotes backyard, urban farming

With inflation cited as Filipinos' top concern in a survey released by OCTA Research this December, agribusiness advocate and host of the TV show "Agripreneur" Jiggy Manicad is calling on more Filipinos to support backyard and urban farming as one solution to increase food security amid rising prices and supply disruption.

"What we are experiencing today is food inflation. The prices of vegetables, meat, and other commodities are getting higher, and poorer Filipinos are suffering the most. Of course, there are many large-scale solutions that need to be enforced to ensure the adequate supply of food nationwide, but there are methods we can personally try as well to ease that burden — and these can be done from home," explained Manicad.

"When we think of agriculture, we think of big farms outside the city, and our first point of contact with our food is only when we purchase at the market or at the grocery. But this mindset needs to change. We need to think of agriculture as something we can also do on our own, and it can be as simple as starting a small backyard farm or container garden to grow food items," he added.

"When it comes to urban farming, the key is to think small. Start with one container inside your home or one small space in your garden, then start expanding once you see results," Manicad urged.

For Filipinos on a budget, the Agripreneur host pointed out that seeds from vegetables and fruits consumed can be used. Seeds, seedlings, farming tools, and starter kits are also being distributed for free by local government units and barangay offices, national agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, and civil society organizations.

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