UP trains Puerto farmers on Hydroponics

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Background photo from www.rimolgreenhouses.com
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The University of the Philippines (UP) trained more than 50 individuals on Hydroponics also known as soilless culture technology in Puerto Princesa City at the City Hall on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

The trainees were city government employees, farmers, and representatives from selected institutions and companies who expressed willingness to adopt the technology.

The Hydroponics training is part of the Smart Plant Production In Controlled Environments (SPICE) program funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and implemented by UP led by its team leader, Dr. Jessica Rey.

City Agriculturist Melissa Macasaet said that the training will upgrade local farming technology since Hydroponics can be easily adopted within the households or backyard and even in areas with very limited space since it is soilless technology. Farmers can also go into commercial scale if they wish to earn from it more.

Hydroponics does not use soil but crops are directly planted to water, rice hull, sand or stones and other medium.

“Maganda ang training kasi ito ay tinatawag na Soilless Culture Technology for Urban Food Production. Ito ay expected na mag le-level up ng farming kasi ito ay nasa mas controlled na environment. Pati sa mga maliliit na space ay pwede kasi soilless sya. Maaring gagamit ka ng mga reusable at recyclable materials para taniman,” she said.

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UP has invented solutions which will be applied directly to the water to enhance the growth of the crops. “They will made it (solutions) available locally para ang interesado ay doon bibili sa kanila. Itong solution replaces sa soil doon,” she added.

Crops such as lettuce, pechay, tomato and other high value crops in Hydroponics can be managed better compared to those crops planted in open field, because it is within controlled environment.

“Kung open (field) syempre nandyan ang weather changes, iba rin doon ang water requirement kasi mas mabilis ang evaporation ng lupa,” Macasaet further said.

Many among the farmers who attended the training manifested their intention to pilot test the technology in their respective sites. Macasaet said that this kind of farming system is very promising in Puerto Princesa and will boost the city’s food production.

She said that farmers can choose from different methods of Hydroponics such as Snap method and Dutch Bucket System that uses discarded styropor from fruit boxes. Another method is Ladder-type or A-type that uses PVC pipes or disposable plastic cups. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) on the other hand is an electric-supported Hydroponics.

“Mas maraming mag-replicate kasi pwede mo rin sya ma-commercialize or ma-expand kasi controlled ang environment. May ibat ibang method, so kanya kanya na lang kung ano ang ating pwede e-adopt,” she explained.

This early, aside from few farmers in the barangay, Palawan National School (PNS) and Sitel, a BPO company, already manifested their interest to adopt the technology in their respective sites,Macasaet said.

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