To encourage residents to participate in food security, the Quezon City government launched Sharon Farm to provide food and livelihood through urban farming.
The 5,000-square meter farm is now producing nutritious and healthy vegetable seedlings such as kangkong, talong, malunggay, and okra.
Sharon Farm is one of the city’s community model farms under the GrowQC Food Security Program that will serve as a “feeder farm” to other urban gardens and farms by providing seedlings and other agricultural inputs. This was made possible through the partnership inked last year with the Diocese of Novaliches that allowed access to an idle land and make it productive.
As the chairperson of QC Food Security Task Force, Mayor Belmonte has been consistent in her advocacy to provide long term and sustainable food security projects to QC residents.
“Nakakatuwang makita na lalong dumarami ang mga urban farms sa ating lungsod magmula pa noong nasimulan natin itong proyekto sampung taon na ang nakakaraan, isa lamang itong testimonya na matagumpay ang ating Joy of Urban Farming project,” Mayor Belmonte said.
“Hindi lamang ito nakatutulong upang magkaroon ng kapasidad ang ating mga residente na magtanim at maiwasan ang magutom, nakapagbibigay rin ito ng kabuhayan at nahihikayat ang iba pa na magtanim sa kanilang mga bakuran at kumain ng masustansyang gulay,” Belmonte added.
To ensure a sustainable way of managing the farm, the City Engineering and Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department improved its drainage system including the composting biodigester facilities. The farm also demonstrates modern and efficient farming systems like drip irrigation which helps in saving water.
QC Food Security Task Force Co-Chairperson, Emmanuel Velasco, expressed his gratitude to the urban farmers and the city’s partners for their commitment in helping feed the most food vulnerable and provide income opportunities through urban farming.
“We thank Bishop Gaa and Fr. Joseph Buslon in making this a reality for more residents of Quezon City here in Novaliches. Thank you all again for being here. This is just the beginning and I look forward to a lively community farm and continuous partnership with the diocese. Mabuhay po kayo,” Velasco said in a speech.
This #GrowQC partnership will also provide, livelihood and skills training to beneficiaries in different sectors such as Boy Scouts of the Philippines High School Students, SK Gulaynihan, QCPD Station 4, LGBT sector, BEC Novaliches Proper, Unemployed returning OFWs, Kababaihan Women’s Group, SMKP (Labor Ministry), 4Ps of Novaliches Proper, Community Volunteers of Novaliches (CVON), Solo Parents, and Barangay Neighborhood Watch Group (BANAWAG).
At the same time, Barangay Novaliches Proper Captain Asuncion Visaya signed another Memorandum of Agreement with the Diocese of Novaliches, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Seed Industry Association to collaborate on more programs and improve urban agricultural practices within Sharon Farm.