Interest in backyard farming is experiencing a boom among Bacolodnons during the quarantine amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Ian Fred Solas, owner of IF Green Technologies, has developed a system called aquaponics to accelerate the growth of vegetables.
The soilless system, a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture, uses fish wastes as fertilizer and foam as its base, he said. “The ammonia from the wastes turns into nitrates, which are nutrients for the plants,” he added.
His 800 square-meter organic garden, adjacent to his automobile shop, in Barangay Pahanocoy in Bacolod City has piqued the interest of neighbors to go into farming.
“As long as we grow vegetables in our own backyard, we will never go hungry,” Solas said.
He added the focus of his company, which he started last year, has been on demonstrating aquaponics as a means for sustainable food production in homes, schools, communities, or as a profitable farm business.
He credited Eric Malo-oy, campus director of the Technological University of the Philippines-Visayas, for encouraging him to start a company after he perfected the technology.
He said he was told to make his backyard garden into a multi-million company.
He also started a seed distribution project, called “Seeds of Hope”, to encourage more communities to plant vegetables in their backyards.
He said he had been distributing the seeds for free and he also educates neighbors and others interested to start engaging in urban agriculture.*
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