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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hydroponics gardening for Pantawid clients in CV

by Minerva BC Newman

CEBU, Jan 01 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-7) in Central Visayas inked recently a memorandum of agreement for the capability training of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries on hydroponics gardening.

DOST-7 assistant regional director for technical operations Ed Paradela said this is the agency’s response to the millennium development goal of poverty alleviation which is also DSWD’s thrust.

Paradela said, the DOST will provide the necessary assistance towards sustainable livelihood to DSWD clients starting with the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries learning hydroponics gardening.

DSWD-7 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program coordinator Aileen Lariba on the other hand stated that rapid urbanization goes with rapid increase in urban poverty.

Lariba added that most cities in its rapid intention for growth soon found out that their own constituents are unable to have stable employment opportunities for the poor.

“They also have increasing problems with the disposal of urban wastes, waste water and maintaining air quality,” she said.

Lariba shared that as DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilya finds ways on how to help the poor cross poverty threshold, the MOA with DOST is part of the convergence strategy among government agencies to equip the beneficiaries with capability trainings on anti-poverty programs.

According to Paradela, hydroponics is also known as urban gardening and it requires very mininal space, minimal or no use of soil and productive reuse of urban wastes such as styropores and plastic containers.

Lariba cited the high cost of food production and distribution that are based on rural production and imports causing the increase in prices.

“With hydroponics technology urban poor can now have access to nutritional produce easier, cheaper and faster since this would decrease food shortage, enhance urban environmental management neutralizes the lack of purchasing power of the poor,” Lariba noted.

DSWD-7 regional director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre bared that barangay Sawang Calero in Cebu City was chosen as the pilot area because it is situated in one of the highly urbanized depressed area of the City.

“The beneficiaries themselves expressed their need to learn alternative vegetable gardening as their response to the threat of malnutrition,” said Macapobre.

Teresa, a mother of 4 in barangay Sawang Calero said, “Naglaum mi nga dili lang ang pagkaon ug utanon ang tubagon sa among pagkat-on aning Hydrophonics apil na usab ang posible nga panginabuhian nga mutabang sa among inadlaw-adlaw.” (We are hoping that hydroponics gardening does not only answer our need for food but also as a means of livelihood and source of our daily income).

Food security and healthy nutrition is probably the best assest hydroponics technology has to offer, revealed DOST-7 ARD Paradela.

Studies show that growing your own food saves household expenditures on food since most poor generally spend 50-70% of their income on food.

“Growing vegetables therefore saves money as well as selling it brings in cash. Urban agriculture is indeed an important strategy for poverty alleviation and social integration, Paradela commented.

It also contributes to the urban ecological system and can play an important role in urban environmental management, DOST added.

According to DSWD-7 this move also supports the beneficiaries’ greening and cleaning program because it turns derelict open spaces into green zones turning it into productive green spaces.

“It does not only clean the unhealthy and dirty areas, it also enhances community self-esteem in the neighborhood and stimulate other actions for improving the community's livelihood and household income,” Lariba said. (mbcn/PIA-7 & DSWD-7/al)

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