The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) intends to spend MOP500,000 this year on an educational farm located in Hac Sa. According to answers provided to the Times by IACM, the “Happy Farm” received 4,000 visitors in 2016, with 1,300 people applying to participate in farming and greening activities. However, the Times visited the facility on several occasions and it was virtually empty, with the exception of the staff.
With the “Happy Farm,” the IACM’s hope is to create an “urban oasis, organizing a variety of programs, including tourist tours, practical sessions of agriculture and educational activities.” The facility also intends to promote recycling, rational water usage and reuse of organic resources.
The farm opened in the beginning of 2015 and has since been subject to construction works, which are by now “mostly concluded.” Works done last year included the setting up of CCTV surveillance system across the entire farm “in order to improve the farm’s management quality.”
According to answers provided in Chinese to the Times, “in order to provide a better farming leisure activity space for the public, improvement works in many fixtures will be conducted starting next year, including metal scaffolding, and refining the orchard”
IACM stated that currently there are four workers working in the “Happy Farm”. Staff working at the facility include a “coordinator who possesses knowledge and experience in farm and green management,” the bureau said. “The remaining three members of the staff are responsible for the tillage, pruning, tree repair, weeding, vine cleanup, composting, and other maintenance work, all within the farm’s range. There is also one cleaning operative responsible for cleaning up the ecological pool and the waterways twice a week.”
According to IACM, more “farm education” activities are being held at the facility this year. Aiming to “allow local residents to have more opportunities to get close to nature, as well as to experience the fun of planting,” the venue has extended 2017’s “farming new experience” class to three sessions, and the advanced class to two sessions. However, these sessions happen only once every three months or once every six months.
IACM adds that there are also special arable lands set up for local groups and schools to use and practice after the due application. Concurrently, during Greening Week, each year, the garden will accept groups and schools to attend a farming tour.