Secretary Noel K. Felongco of the National Anti-Poverty Commission batted for the propagation of composting to sustain urban gardening as a means to produce food and to help alleviate the effects of climate change.
“Organic composts are known to sustain the soil and to produce health foods,” he said.
On Tuesday, Felongco lauded the Davao Region Agriculture Cooperative (Draco) for introducing natural composting as part of a special training for aspiring young agricultural entrepreneurs in Davao City.
Draco general manager Jovito Cadigal said the course on natural composting is based on a system pioneered by former OFW Fred Fangonon of Baguio City that is anchored on tapping earthworms, maggots and microorganisms to produce high-grade organic compost.
This low-cost system does not produce methane gas or leachate and is known to keep flies away from households.
This system welcomes all biodegradables—from kitchen and market wastes to twigs, branches, reeds, vines, banana stalks, sawdusts to hulls—the reason why it produces more nutrients for plants. Laboratory analysis conducted by the St. Louis University showed the compost produced in this manner has practically zero lead content.
The bonus is that it is also a means to addressing biodegradables, hence it helps alleviate climate change.
Felongco said only organic composts can produce healthy green vegetables whether or not it is done on rooftops, on containers or in limited spaces.
“It is the most ideal foundation for urban gardening because it relies mainly on local resources and it comes cheap,” he said.
The Draco also manages Davao City’s newly-opened lone vegetable trading post that serves as a marketing and promotion arm for the vegetable industry in Southern Mindanao.
Local government units have been distributing vegetable seeds during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage their constituents to plant as a means to supplement food.
Felongco, a former undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said natural composting is like hitting two birds with one stone. “You produce composts on one hand and you are helping alleviate climate change on other hand by actually managing biodegradables.”
Draco has also encouraged its young entrepreneurs to go into actual adlai production, an indigenous barley that can be a substitute to rice and known to lower sugar level.
It is a staple food to indigenous Philippine communities.
Adlai production is considered a potential game-changer for agriculture in Southern Mindanao as more and more farmers have shifted to planting adlai in the face of depressed copra prices.