Urban farming pushed to help attain food self-sufficiency | Inquirer Business
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Urban farming pushed to help attain food self-sufficiency

The Department of Agriculture is pushing for proposed laws that mandate urban and vertical farming, which would help attain food self-sufficiency.

Edicio dela Torre, a special technical adviser at the DA, suggested the creation of a task force that would lobby for the passage of the bills.

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At the House of Representatives, Butil party list Rep. Agapito Guanlao has sponsored House Bill No. 720, proposed to be named the Urban Agriculture Act of 2013.

The bill institutionalizes city farming in highly urbanized areas to promote the production, processing and marketing of food crops and livestock through intensive production methods, like the use and reuse of available sources and wastes.

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The bill also advocates vertical farming, which involves indoor agriculture.

At the Senate, Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid sponsored Senate Bill No. 2095, which promotes urban agriculture and vertical farming for the same reasons as well as to create agricultural jobs and develop innovative agricultural techniques.

Both bills direct the DA and the Department of Science and Technology to campaign for urban agriculture and vertical farming in metropolitan areas to address food security concerns and regenerate ecosystems in the country.

The government is reviewing its food self-sufficiency program (FSSP) after its failure to attain independence as a rice-consuming nation in 2013.

“The FSSP targets need to be fine-tuned and reviewed because of the magnitude of flooding and storms that hit the country in the past few years,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said in an earlier interview.

“Earlier projections when the FSSP was conceptualized might not be reasonable given the current situation,” Alcala added.

The agriculture chief said that among the factors to be reviewed is whether the government is “hitting the right target in production” and whether it is successful in educating the public about responsible rice consumption.

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