COMMUNITY-BASED VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS: AN ANSWER TO THE FOOD AND SANITATION CRISIS OF URBAN POOR IN THE PHILIPPINES?
The Philippines are classified among the worlds fastest urbanizing countries. Among the many challenges of this rapid urbanization process is food security. 20% of Filipinos are regularly suffering from hunger and about one third of all children are underweight with iron deficiency anemia and low vitamin A levels. Average per capita vegetable consumption is very low with 40 kg per year. Further, two thirds of all children suffer from intestinal worms due to lack of water and appropriate sanitation facilities at home and in schools. More than 90% of the waste water is untreated and pollutes the water bodies. As a response, several community-based vegetable production projects were established in Cagayan de Oro City, Southern Philippines since 2003. To date, more than 100 poor families are growing vegetables in community and school-based allotment gardens on family parcels of a size of 300 m2 each. About 75% of the produce is being sold to outside customers while the remaining 25% are used for own consumption or school-feeding programs. This enabled the participating families to increase their monthly income by about 20%. Each garden is equipped with a compost heap for biodegradable wastes, thus contributing to the local governments solid waste management program. Further, all gardens are equipped with urine-diverting dehydration toilets which improve the sanitary conditions of the area. The allotment gardens strenghten the community by providing a place where people can meet and enjoy spending quality time with their families and friends in a clean and quiet natural environment.
Holmer, R.J. (2010). COMMUNITY-BASED VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS: AN ANSWER TO THE FOOD AND SANITATION CRISIS OF URBAN POOR IN THE PHILIPPINES?. Acta Hortic. 881, 125-130
urban horticulture, allotment gardens, ecological sanitation, food security, poverty alleviation, asset-based community development, environmental management