Case: Allotment gardens Cagayan d Óro in the Philippines.
This project was implemented to address some socio-economic and environmental challenges caused by the rapid growth of Cagayan de Oro which is representative for the Philippines being classified among the world’s fastest urbanizing countries. Among the major challenges that urban areas in the country are facing are: Availability, accessibility and affordability to safe and nutritious food for its residents.
The poorest sector of the Philippines, which comprises almost 40% of all households, spends about 60% of its income on food. 20% of Filipinos are regularly suffering from hunger and about one third of all children are underweight with iron deficiency anemia and low vitamin. In 2003, the first allotment garden was established as part of a European Union funded project following a period of agronomic and socioeconomic researches in cooperation with universities, local government units and non-governmental organizations. As of 2008, this number has grown to ten self-sustaining gardens located in different urban and peri-urban areas of the city, three of them within the premises of public elementary schools enabling more than 100 urban poor families the legal access to land for food production.
Each allotment garden has a compost heap where biodegradable wastes from the garden as well as from the neighboring households are converted into organic fertilizer, Urine diverting toilet systems were introduced to facilitate urine harvesting and improve the hygiene in the plots.
Studies on the urine revealed application of urine increased the yield of sweet corn by an average of 14%. Similar experiments were also carried out for non-food crops in cooperation with commercial growers in different areas of Cagayan de Oro. The urine application resulted in earlier and increased flowering of different ornamental plants with subsequent better marketability.
Robert Holmer – AVRDC The World Vegetable Centre. His areas of expertise are in sustainable vegetable production, postharvest and marketing as well as environmental management in Southeast Asia. He manages and coordinates regional development projects for AVRDC in East and Southeast Asia, with major responsibilities for developing partnerships, training programs and new projects. He holds a PhD in Agriculture from the TU München, Germany.