MANILA, Philippines – The Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of the UP College of Medicine, in partnership with Bahay Kubo Organics (BKO), introduces Aquaponics to the Mu-Gawad Kalinga Village in Sta. Rita, Brgy. Talon Uno, Las Piñas City on March 23. Under their flagship project, MUtrition, they aim to address the community’s long-standing problem on malnutrition and food security.
Conducting an initial survey last January, they have identified the top three health-related problems of the community, namely, underweight children, frequent cough and colds, and a limited income to avail of nutritious food. Though families have basic knowledge on agricultural farming, they are restricted by the overcrowded space of the area.
An innovative solution to promote farming in an urban setting, Aquaponics is designed to accommodate space-limited areas to allow families to grow their own fruits, vegetables and freshwater fish. It is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics and is a zero-waste, artificial fertilizer-free, low maintenance and eco-friendly system that makes use of the fishes’ waste products as natural fertilizers to the plants, which act as bio-filters and re-circulates clean water to the fish.
Aside from the launch of the technology, the fraternity is also hosting a public-health lecture on nutrition and a cooking show featuring Chef Grace Gregorio of the American Hospitality Academy. They plan on teaching the families an easy-to-cook dish with high nutritive value to improve the current nutritional status of the community members. They also authored a recipe book with the main ingredients coming from the produce of the farm.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, the fraternity has involved local government and GK leaders in forming a health team that will actively manage the farm and its products. They will be guided by a module and food distribution system designed by the two partner organizations.
One of the long-term goals of the project, after improving the nutritional status of the families, is to expand and provide a stable source of income that can be used for community projects.
The initiative teaches the families the value of food growing while providing them with a source of high-quality and nutritious food. For more details on the project, you can go to www.facebook.com/MUtrition2014 or contact JP Reyes at (+63) 917-826-3888. (advt)