Metro Residents Look to Soilless Farming for Agri Productivity

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Participants of ATI’s free seminar examine the hydroponic structure models. (photo by Clemente Gabion)

DILIMAN, Quezon City—People from the cities are finding different ways to grow their own food as seen during the Free Seminar on Hydroponics.

In this activity of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), some 250 farmers and farming enthusiasts were introduced to the soilless technique of growing vegetables. They learned the basic concepts of hydroponics, its system components, types, and the management of plants.

Chito Sace of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) served as the resource speaker during the seminar. He explained that, in the practice of hydroponics, soil is not crucial for the plants to grow.

“The heart of hydroponics is the nutrient solution,” Sace stressed. He then cited some advantages of hydroponics, especially in terms of food security and food safety.

Sace also emphasized that this technology is a response to the government’s efforts to promote urban agriculture and climate-smart farming systems.

At the end of the activity, Sace and his team from CLSU, showed sample hydroponic structure models. These include cascading nutrient film technology system, one-square-meter garden, and regular and quad hydrocopters.

Moreover, the guest expert encouraged the participants to “become ambassadors of hydroponics.”

“Many people appreciate the practice, but only few implement it,” he added.

One of the participants, Jocelyn Deluta from Cavite, looked forward to engaging in hydroponics as a profitable and sustainable venture.

“My key takeaway from this seminar is to start small in hydroponics. If I become successful, I will establish more water-based systems,” Deluta remarked.

Likewise, Gigi Malonzo from Caloocan City said that she will impart the practice of hydroponics in her community. A free seminar regular, Malonzo noted that she has been sharing everything she has learned in ATI with her neighbors and friends.

This activity, organized by the ATI-Partnerships and Accreditation Division, was held last September 13 at the ATI Rural Development Education Center in this city.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.