Consolacion execs unveil ‘hydroponic’ farms in 2 brgys

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THE municipal government of Consolacion, northern Cebu launched its first-ever greenhouse farms with hydroponics system on Friday, July 29, 2022.

Nelia Valle, who heads Consolacion’s agricultural office, told SunStar Cebu the farms are situated in Barangays Polog and Nangka and were made through a joint coordination between the municipal government, the town’s local farming communities and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The farm sites use hydroponics, a method of growing plants without the need for soil.

With the hydroponics system, the production is maximized, as is area usage. It is also efficient in terms of water irrigation compared to traditional farming and assures that the products are 100 percent free from pesticide chemicals, added Valle.

Valle said each farm site currently grows seven varieties of lettuce and other leafy vegetables.

At the launching, Consolacion Mayor Teresa “Nene” Alegado spearheaded the first cropping, where the public took advantage of the products sold at P30 per kilo.

Valle said aside from selling on-site, they plan to supply their products to local markets, observing the volume of demand and supply of the harvested products soon.

Initiation

Valle said the project was initiated in 2021 during the term of then town mayor Joannes “Joyjoy” Alegado to help revolutionize food production in the town.

The project was made through a joint coordination between the municipal government and the local farming associations in Consolacion and made possible by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Central Visayas.

Valle said the project is part of the stimulus package proposed by the DA under the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” (Republic Act 11494), which aims to accelerate the recovery and bolster the resilience of the Philippine economy and support urban agriculture.

Valle said they personally applied for the program during the first quarter of last year.

After their application was granted, the DA downloaded around P2 million in funds to the town in June 2021, wherein the municipal government allotted about P50,000 for the farming training and shouldered the costs in the areas where the project would take place.

Training and preparations

After being granted funds, Valle said they and their town’s agricultural sector underwent one-set hands-on training to ensure the well-management of the project for four days.

They also took the responsibility of rehabilitating the farming areas with farming association partners that were based in the two barangays.

Valle said once they are fully knowledgeable of the farming process, they will invite farmers in the town through the help of their association partners to facilitate the sowing and harvesting of the products, particularly for the second cropping.

They would share the product’s income, Valle added.

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