The VILLAR Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG) recently conducted a seminar on urban agriculture and agri entrepreneurship in an effort to encourage the public, especially the youth, to grow their own food.
The one-day seminar, in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Calabarzon, was held at the VILLAR SIPAG Farm School in Bacoor, Cavite and was attended by 50 participants, 18-30 years of age and members of 4H, Sangguniang Kabataan and students taking up agriculture courses.
Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairman of the Senate Committees on Environment and Agriculture, emphasized that food security and availability are two essential needs of every developing nation such as the Philippines.
“Agriculture plays a critical role in this scenario and is the most important industry that could address the said concerns,” Villar said.
The veteran legislator added that due to modernization and the fast-paced conversion of agricultural lands to commercial areas, people in the urban areas find it difficult to practice farming and have become dependent on agriculture produce from the rural areas.
“What we try to promote through the seminars that we do is that fruits and vegetable production should not be limited in rural areas. We could actually grow these in our backyards and in any available space. Urban families can grow their own food through the adoption of various urban agriculture technologies, which we teach at VILLAR SIPAG,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
The development programs of ATI focus on enhancing the capabilities and discovering and utilizing the potentials of the youth as viable partners in community building.
“We hope to excite our urban youth in urban farming so that they could help promote this to their friends and groups. After this seminar, we are hoping that they will acquire more knowledge with the market and income opportunities that can be derived from agriculture, ” the lady senator said.