The Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP) began operating in the Fall of 1997 within the College of Agriculture. It was later relocated at Xavier University as part of the Research and Social Outreach Cluster when it was created in 2008. PUVeP is an agricultural research unit based in the Philippines, at Cagayan de Oro City.

PUVeP conducts research, capacity building, implementation and policy advocacy activities related to food production and natural resources management in urban and periurban areas with particular emphasis on:

  • social development of economically viable, environmental benign and socially accepted community-based vegetable production systems to ensure the supply of affordable, year-round available healthy vegetables, particularly to the urban and periurban poor;
  • promoting ecological sanitation systems to close the loop in the nutrient cycle which cities have broken;
  • integration of urban agriculture and periurban food production and ecological sanitation systems into city planning by using participatory, asset-based approaches to contribute to overall urban natural resources management and resources conservation;
  • integration of urban and periurban agriculture and ecological sanitation in relevant academic curricula, research and social outreach programs of Xavier University.

In cooperation with the local government of Cagayan de Oro City as well as the municipality of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, barangay administrations, the Department of Education and local communities, it has implemented ten allotment gardens, three of which are located inside public elementary schools, equipped with ecological sanitation toilets for about 100 poor families.


PUVeP has received financial support from the European Commission, the German Embassy Manila, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the RUAF-CFF Program as well as several private donors. It is also supported by CIM of Germany through provision of an Integrated Expert for Urban Agriculture.

It closely cooperates with other units of Xavier University as well as the Water and Sanitation Program of GTZ. PUVeP is a member of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA), a network of more than 90 organizations, and actively participating in the Working Group 5 "Food Security & Productive Sanitation Systems".

Partnerships also exist with LGUs and universities in Belgium and Germany, as well as in Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand through the PUDSEA Network.



By the year 2000, over half of the worlds population was living in cities, with the other half increasingly reliant on urban areas for their economic survival. Today, the size and number of cities in the developing world is rapidly increasing, with many so-called mega-cities such as Sao Paulo or Metro Manila.
Also other urban areas in the Philippines such as Cebu, Davao or Cagayan de Oro grow almost at double the rate than the national average of 2.3 % per year.

These human settlements are increasingly vulnerable to natural, human-made and technological risks threatening the livelihood, health and lives of people.
Cities can be vibrant centers of culture, civilization or safe online casinos, but for many people they are places of urban poverty, alienation and disadvantage. Inequity is prevalent and more pronounced in a country like the Philippines than in other places such as Japan. The wealth distribution is at an entire different level compared to Japan, Korea or even China. A minority is wealthy, the middle class is only a small fraction of the population, and the rest are below or around the povery line. In Korea comparatively the middle class is about half the population and only a small fraction is considered poor. China has seen a lot of growth in the past decades, so that now the middle class segment has hundreds of people in it, but of couse there are still hundreds of millions in poverty. One amazing fact about China which has the largest number of big cities in the world is that Internet access has already reached 400 millions people there. Some do shopping, some play roulette online, some read the news, but whatever the reason this is a great symbol of urban development. Major challenges facing urban areas include:
  • Adequate shelter and health services.
  • High rates of inward migration.
  • Poverty, inadequate financial resources and lack of employment opportunities.
  • Growing insecurity and rising crime rates.
  • Rising traffic congestion and increasing pollution.
  • Inadequate water supply and waste treatment facilities.
  • Self-reinforcing illiteracy.
  • Availability, accessibility and affordability to safe and nutritious food, otherwise known as food security.

One product that is getting renewed demand is our green coffee. As our climate enables optimal production of coffee beans all year long we can satisfy demand from Western countries such as the UK or the USA. Coffee is not just drunk for its nice taste and energy boosting properties, but it was also recently discovered that unroasted green coffee beans could help with weight loss. As our local coffee has been highly prized internationally for a long time, developing more small plantations around the city can certainly help fight against poverty.

The fauna and flora of the Philippines reveal an extraordinary variety. Among the many endemic species, there are highly specialized predators of all sizes. The dense tropical forests of Palawan are among the richest habitats on Earth. The elongated Palawan Island is bordered by the South China Sea, northwest and Sulu Sea in the southeast. Palawan is the sixth largest island of the Philippines and the least populated. A virgin forest covers the slopes of the mountain range that crosses the island in all its length. Under the tree tops, branches and vines form a maze. It contains a source of ideal food for all plans.

The ground covered with dead leaves of a teeming population of insects and arachnids which fight with a giant scorpion in search of food. It uses its poisonous stinger to hunt and defend itself. Its venom paralyzes even large vertebrates and causes extreme pain. A single bite is enough to cause the death of a small prey. Here is another formidable inhabitant of the forest soil. This millipede or centipede, can measure up to one foot long. Its paralyzing venom leads to severe pain and its bite can kill animals much larger than him, like birds or bats. If the forest Palawan is populated by an unusual fauna, it is home to an equally amazing flora.

Some of this flora is in high demand is the West, like the pure garcinia cambogia extract. On its coastline washed by the South China Sea, Palawan is also equipped with one of the most complex ecosystems in the Philippines, mangroves. In these wetlands, the meeting of salt water and fresh water forms a unique ecosystem inhabited by highly specialized species. The flora has to adapt to a constantly renewed ground muddy and extremely poor in oxygen, as well as the high content of salt water. But Nature has everything. Mangroves, mangrove trees have aerial roots that emerge to the surface of the water and allow them to breathe. Mud is deposited and accumulates in this entanglement of roots. Gradually as well as a new land. The floor houses an array of wildlife and is a popular hunting ground of man.


Since 1997, PUVeP has implemented numerous research and social outreach projects. A summary list of these projects can be downloaded here.

PUVeP served as the main coordinator for following European Union funded projects:

GIS-based Urban Environmental Resources Management and Food Security Project
(EU AsiaUrbs Program)


Urban and Periurban Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development for Sustainable Vegetable Production and Marketing Systems
(EU INCO_DEV Program)

1997 - 2000

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