Yara Philippines and Urban Farmers Philippines have signed a memorandum of agreement to support and help promote urban agriculture in the metro.
Yara Philippines’ Country Manager Toby Goodroad and Urban Farmers Philippines Farmer in Chief Louie Gutierrez were present during the signing ceremony at BGC Community Farm, the first urban community farm in Taguig City.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), urban agriculture is practiced by 800 million people worldwide, or over one-tenth of the global population. However, in the Philippines, urban farming is underdeveloped.
“I think Urban Farmers’ mission to inspire people to do backyard farming, to utilize the land in the city is something we are very interested in,” said Goodroad. “Crops need nutrients. Yara will provide highly sustainable nutrients, giving the best yield to the land here.”
“Farming is not a sexy career for young people. They would instead go digital,” observed Gutierrez. “We want to envision farming not only from the soil but digital as well. We hope to include more technology into farming to get the youth and the people more excited.”
Yara and Urban Farmers
Yara is a fertilizer company with the mission to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet and deliver profitable and responsible solutions for agriculture and the environment.
Yara’s partnership with Urban Farmers, a project driven by a passion to ease the emotional and social burden brought by COVID-19, aims to enhance the growing community activity by providing food, employment, and opportunities to people.
The BGC Community Farm, better known as the farm in the city, is a sustainable and safe space that advocates for a deeper appreciation of agriculture and hosts healthy recreational activities.
Here, people can volunteer as urban farmers or adopt a pod. They can also buy fresh produce, seedlings, gardening materials, and merchandise. Urban Farmers also offers agriculture workshops for kids and adults.
Why the need for urban farming?
Population growth and urban expansion have put increasing pressure on food security. As populations grow, more people need to be fed, and with agricultural lands being converted to accommodate urbanization there has been a growing concern on food shortage hence, poor nutrition.
Moreover, the rising fuel prices and supply chain issues had food prices soaring. Still, many hope to find solutions to the country’s food problems.
One of which is urban farming like what is being done in the BGC Community Farm. It is committed to providing a scalable solution to the problem and having more cities adopt the same model in the future.
Encouraging urban farming
Yara Philippines oﬀers a variety of premium products with complete formulations best suited for urban farming.
“Yara will oﬀer the same products that we would use if we were in Benguet and other vegetable areas in the country,” added Goodroad.
“We’ve got lots of experience not just in the knowledge side of growing crops, but most importantly we want to get the most yield out of the small piece of land that we have. That’s the best we can do from a sustainability standpoint.”
“The prices of vegetables have gone up. It is in our best interest to start growing our food, especially in the city,” said Gutierrez.
“If we are to plant here and Yara can provide crop nutrition solutions thru their fertilizers and training, then we can create more yield even in a limited space. This is going to be a good project.”
Yara is the world’s leading crop nutrition company and a provider of environmental and agricultural solutions. It operates in over 60 countries, with a proven track record of strong returns.
Founded in 1905, Yara is focused on a positive food future that creates value for its customers, shareholders, and society as it delivers a sustainable food value chain.
The company has taken the lead in developing digital farming tools for precision farming, working closely with partners to improve the eﬃciency and sustainability of food production.
Yara also focuses on clean ammonia production to enable the hydrogen economy, driving a green transition of shipping, fertilizer production, and other energy-intensive industries. For more information, visit www.yara.ph.
Sustainability Concepts Organization Inc. is a registered non-stock, non-profit organization that started as a borrowed 530sqm vacant lot in Bel-Air 2 and converted it into a sustainable farm that grows fresh produce in the middle of the city.
To date, it has several ongoing projects including Urban Farmers of Bel-Air, BGC Community Farm, NLEX Farm, Partnership Activities to set up Public School Vegetable gardens in Makati and Taguig areas, Bel Air Park Farm, and the Composting Facility in Nepa Q-Mart.