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Philippines: Quezon City Vice-Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” Belmonte’s campaign “The Joy of Urban Planting”

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Vice-Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” Belmonte speaks during the Organic Fiesta at Quezon Memorial Circle. Photo by Chari T. Villegas

“When I started the program, the problem was the mind-set that farming isn’t compatible in the city. It’s all in the mind-set. You can do vertical garden or start with small containers,” said Ms. Belmonte

Business World Weekender
July 23, 2015

Excerpt:

The city currently has 68 farms of various sizes found in barangays, public elementary schools, daycare centers, parishes, and nongovernment organizations. The city works with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture, which provide financial grants.

But even if city farmers fail to bring their items to market, urban farming is still a win-win situation.

“If they don’t produce [enough] for selling, as long as they can eat their products to decrease the issue of malnutrition, it’s already a triumph,” said Ms. Belmonte.

Urban farming can also be a matter of self-suffiency, especially when calamity strikes. “We still rely on the provinces to deliver our food. [The produce is delivered by] carbon-emitting vehicles that only add to climate change.”

Read the complete article here.