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Philippines: Covid-19 propels city-farming opportunities to centerstage

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Agriculture Secretary William Dar and James Reid lead the launch of the Plant, Plant Plant program on May 26, 2020, at the DA Central Office in Quezon City.

Government tapping James Reid as urban farming champion to boost food security amid contagion

By Jasper Y. Arcalas
Business Mirror
June 11, 2020


“I am still new to the world of agriculture. I’ve always wanted to use my visility for something I believe in. I want to push for innovations in the field of agriculture,” he said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

Reid revealed that he started a new company, The Freshest Inc., which will focus on urban farming, particularly promoting hydroponics in cities as part of the new normal. The actor said he would release details of his new venture in the coming weeks.

NONETHELESS, Reid disclosed that he plans to create “a lot of content” to expose to more people “the importance of urban farming” and, hopefully, “inspire” the youth to venture into agriculture and become “the next generation of farmers.”

“[Farming] is something we tend to overlook and is something that should not be taking for granted. I believe farming should be one of the biggest industries in the Philippines and something Filipinos should be proud of,” he said.

Economist Pablito M. Villegas said the DA’s move to tap Reid as “Ambassador for Food Security” could be viewed as the embodiment of the future of farming: Millennials with a passion for agriculture.

“This could be a sound investment of the DA as he could encourage a particular representation of the population the Millennials to venture in farming. To encourage them that there is money, there is hope and there is food security in agriculture [is a good move],” Villegas told the BusinessMirror.

“It could be easily misconstrued as a simple gimmick but, if properly used by the DA, it can boost the demand for urban agriculture,” Villegas added.

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