The Barangay Kalayaan Hydroponics Project is a joint venture among Barangay Kalayaan in Angono (Rizal), Catholic Relief Services, JVL, SILC Private Service Providers, and One Renewable. Each entity provides local government assistance, community engagement, contracting, loans, and energy, respectively. The overall goals of the project are to create a sustainable environment in which there is food security, to act as a social enterprise and provide women with jobs, and to showcase the capabilities of renewable energy in running the hydroponics system.
Solar hydroponics is the future of using renewable energy for food security. Instead of relying on the soil to provide nutrients to the plants, it instead uses a solution added to water that goes directly to the roots of the plants. By removing the reliance of the plants to the soil and replacing it with water, a more sustainable growing environment is created.
Plants can only be planted into fertile soil, which takes time to develop. By using water and a nutrient-rich solution to grow plants, this process is shortened. The system that runs the Barangay Kalayaan Hydroponics project is powered by solar energy. In fact, everything within the system including the nutrient pumps are run using solar power. The pumps ensure that the crops are able to take in the required nutrients to grow.
The Barangay Kalayaan team currently grows lettuce but the system can be customized to grow other leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. Other vegetables like bell peppers and cherry tomatoes can also be grown using hydroponics.
By combining a model for sustainable development and renewable energy, a more climate-resilient community can evolve. Solar hydroponics does not only cut down on waste, but it also increases food security by taking away the need to rely on the readiness of soil before planting. Using solar energy to power the entire system also aids in cutting down on waste since it simply uses the sunlight to get it to run. The goal, as a whole, is to introduce an innovative way to provide a community with food, from sources close to them, while not harming the environment.