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‘Kids Who Farm’ in Zamboanga City inspires sustainable future for youth

The aging farmer population and the perceived disinterest in farming imperil the future of food security. Kids Who Farm (KWF) believes that, young as we are, we can be a part of the solution.

Kids Who Farm equips the Filipino youth with knowledge and skills in food production and makes green jobs available to them. It hopes to inspire children as young as Raaina Hinay, 13, by making farming enjoyable and easy to learn.

Raaina’s ninth birthday in 2019 marked the beginning of KWF’s story. Her appeal to save her school garden from being turned into a new building prompted this cause. Muneer, the father of Raaina, who has a background in social work, met with the school principal, who agreed to a joint project to build a microfarm in the school. Together, they brought Raaina’s idea to life.

The primary objective of KWF is achieving self-sufficiency because Zamboanga City currently relies on other provinces for 60 percent of its vegetable supply.KWF believes localizing the food system is key to accessing food and sustainable livelihoods, especially for marginalized communities.

In its fourth year, Robert Basco, a board of director of KWF, underlined the value of food and emphasized that more food produced locally means less waste.

KWF came up with two key programs as a response to food insecurity, aging farmers, and insufficient resources in the country. The first one is the Hyperlocal Food Network, which aims to establish youth-led community gardens and school microfarms in Mindanao using urban agriculture methods while also making sure they are sustainably managed. It also focuses on raising the next generation of farmers through capacity-building interventions and community involvement.

Raaina, a 9 year old child aims to inspire more kids to learn backyard farming in an enjoyable way. (Photo Courtesy of Kids Who Farn)

Hyperlokal Kapital, a community-based organization, aims to combat financial illiteracy among Filipino youth and marginalized sectors by providing access to small savings and loans, enabling timely investments, and emergency coping. 

Moreover, they also have an ongoing project, which is the Eco Village in Barangay Malagutay, Zamboanga City that practices organic farming.

What started as a thirteen-year-old’s mission to save her school garden has grown into a movement that is now ushering communities toward self-sufficiency.

KWF is proof that the power of today’s youth can feed communities and develop new strategies. As these father-daughter urban agriculture advocates believe, “It is never too young to make a difference.” (KSA/RVC/MLE/JQB-GIP/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

About the Author

Myra Cel Espinosa

Information Officer III

Region 9

Myra Espinosa is an Information Officer of the Philippine Information Agency Region IX.  She writes news and feature stories for the agency's website and social media platforms. She is currently the program host of Kapihan na Zamboanga Public Briefing, as well as a news contributor for PTV News. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration Major in Organization and Management from Western Mindanao State University.

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