Big yields from easy and simple farm technology – The Kids Who Farm team based in Zamboanga City, accompanied by APC representatives, visited the school garden and other possible microfarm sites in Bendum. The Kratky hydroponic system that will be used is an easy-to-replicate and cost-effective farming technology that can be adopted in other community schools in the uplands.
Liza San Mateo
From January to June 2023, APC is one of 12 schools in Mindanao in partnership with Kids Who Farm (a Zamboanga City-based non-profit startup) and PLDT-SMART for their School Microfarm Project – an enhanced Gulayan sa Paaralan (GPP) or school garden where new technologies in growing crops are applied.
This project aims to “transfer urban agriculture technologies and agro-enterprise development to partner schools while providing access to healthy food and income generation alternatives.” The key technology used for crop production is the Kratky method, a passive hydroponic system for growing plants suspended above a reservoir of nutrient-rich water. APC however is adapting the method in such a way that bamboo is used instead of plastic containers. Kids Who Farm and PLDT-Smart are providing the inputs and materials support, training, and mentoring to their partner schools throughout the six-month project.
The centerpiece is the construction of a 30-square meter GrowHouse, mainly using treated bamboo and UV plastic as protected covering. On 5 January, a group from Kids Who Farm, headed by its founder Muneer Hinay, visited APC Bendum and inspected the site. The GrowHouse is scheduled for construction in February, and training sessions for container gardening and hydroponics production will take place in March 2023.