WWF Philippines, BPI Foundation tie up to establish hydroponic farms

WORLD WIDE Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation said they have entered into a partnership to establish so-called “food sheds” — modular, multilevel hydroponic farming structures — in rural areas.

WWF Philippines said in a statement Wednesday that the project hopes to promote food and livelihood security in remote areas.

The project, known as PagSibol, hopes to improve food production in WWF Philippines’ partner communities via hydroponic growing facilities, in which crops are grown not in soil but in liquid, infused with mineral nutrients.

“These food sheds that the BPI Foundation is helping us to put up will guide our communities to further, more sustainable prosperity,” WWF Philippines project manager Muneer Hinay said in the statement.

WWF Philippines said food sheds are low cost and need less land than open-air farms. They also come with space to raise poultry.

It added that the roofed structure will protect the crops from the elements, with the hydroponics enabling year-round cultivation.

“With the added, consistent production provided by a food shed, each of the PagSibol projects’ partner communities will be able to provide for their needs, while selling any surplus for additional income,” WWF Philippines said.

According to WWF Philippines, food and livelihood security remains an issue with an estimated 5.2 million Filipinos experiencing hunger last year and about 4 million out of work as of January 2021.

WWF Philippines said the partner communities include Barangay Bantog, Tarlac City; Barangay Dolores, Ormoc City; Barangays Balugo and Sibulan, Negros Oriental; Barangay Ara-al, La Carlota City; Barangay Mailum, Bago City; Anajawan Island, General Luna, Surigao del Norte; Barangays Basagad, Balo-i and Binuni, in the municipality of Bacolod, both in Lanao del Norte; Barangay Tigbalabag, Zamboanga City; Barangay Kidalapong, Malita, Davao Occidental; and Barangay Dailag, Arakan, North Cotabato. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave