Gov't pushes for propagation of organic fertilizers
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (8 October) -- The government is pushing for the propagation of Organic Fertilizers as it came up with a program incorporating organic fertilizers in the FIELDS program of the Department of Agriculture.
The DA through its fertilizer program aims to provide farmers with cheaper and sustainable alternative inputs in view of the high cost of petroleum-based fertilizers triggered by the rising prices of oil and the demand for bio-fuel production in other countries.
The program, coordinated by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), calls for an accelerated production of organic fertilizers (rapid composting, vermin-culture, etc.) in partnership with local government units (LGUs), church-based people organizations and qualified nongovernment organizations, he said.
In a press statement Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the long-term goal is for farmers, through their clusters, to produce their own organic fertilizers.
He said the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), in consultation with the DA Regional Field Units (RFUs), has fine-tuned the schedule of location-specific interventions or LSIs (mainly micro-nutrients and soil ameliorants) to enhance palay productivity or reduce costs, given the different agro-climatic characteristics of the country's rice growing areas.
Meanwhile, the DA is focusing on the retooling and training of 8,000 LGU-based extension personnel on efficient rice production and post production technologies in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), PhilRice, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the major regional State Universities and Colleges (SUCs); the training of 900,000 farmers through season-long Farmer Field Schools; and the creation of Barangay Food Security Volunteers promoting village-based participatory research and extension addressing whole-farm production systems.
These SUCs include the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna, Central Luzon State University, Central Mindanao University, University of Southern Mindanao and Don Mariano Marcos State University. (PIA) [top]