QUEZON City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Sunday touted the city’s local urban farming project that is already providing food for a local school feeding program.
“We have been implementing urban farming to wherein we get our produce for the feeding program,” she said.
Launched in 2010, the “Joy of Urban Farming” project aims to spread green thumbs among city dwellers by creating urban farms that focus on organic produce and innovative gardening methods.
With the help of the Department of Education, the project is now being implemented in schools its “gulayan sa paaralan” (school vegetable garden) initiative.
“At present, we now have 166 organic urban farms here in Quezon City,” Belmonte said.
The urban farms can also be found in different barangays, churches and areas maintained by various non-government organizations from Districts 1 to 6.
According to the vice mayor, the concept was pioneered in Quezon City in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture.
“The Joy of Urban Farming was started in partnership with now Tourism Secretary and then DA Undersecretary Berna Romulo Puyat. At that time, she wanted to promote urban agriculture in the cities of Metro Manila, and no other city was willing to undertake this project thinking in their minds that agriculture was something that should be constrained to the provinces,” Belmonte said.
The city’s urban farming also serves to protect the environment by promoting eco-friendly and inexpensive food choices.
“Climate change is happening, and it is real. The Philippines being one of the most vulnerable [countries], it is but natural for us to start responding in a more concrete way because our food choices can and actually do make an impact on the environment,” the vice mayor said.