OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, August 23, 2022 – To encourage more farmers to practice organic farming, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program conducted training on the process, benefits, management of organic vegetable production, and seed banking to 60 OccMin vegetable growers in Rizal.
Thirty (30) Tagalog farmers from Gawad Kalinga Rumbang Kapitbahayan Livelihood (GKRKL) and 30 mixed Buhid-Mangyan and Tagalog farmers from Samahan ng Magsasaka ng Gulay sa Tabing Ilog ng Amaling II (SMGTIA) were taught on the benefits of practicing organic farming. Mr. Darwin C. Marciano, Agriculture Technologist (AT) from the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMA) led the discussion. The training was conducted on August 9-10, 2022 at the associations’ meetinghouses in their communities.
“Hinihikayat ang mga magsasaka na mag organic farming dahil ang paggamit ng organic inputs ay nagpanatili ng soil health, at makakapagprodyus pa kayo ng mas masusustansyang gulay para sa inyong komunidad,” said Mr. Marciano.
(Farmers are encouraged to turn to organic farming because using organic inputs help maintain soil health, and you will also be able to produce healthier vegetables for your community.)
The AT also underscored the practice of ‘seed banking’ where seeds are extracted from dried fruits or vegetables to be used as planting materials for the next planting cycle. This will help in the sustainability of the farmers’ vegetable project.
Further, he suggested planting medicinal herbs such as serpentina or citronella as it serves as an insect repellant to gradually lessen the use of chemical insecticide for their crops.
The other half of the training was focused on the demonstration of producing organic foliar fertilizers such as fermented plant juice, fermented fruit juice, kuhol amino acids, and oriental herbal nutrients.
“Talagang gusto naming um-attend sa pagsasanay kasi excited kaming matuto. Salamat sa SAAD kasi may ganitong mga proyekto para sa amin” (We are eager to attend to the training because we are excited to learn. We are grateful to SAAD because there are projects like this alloted for us), said Ms. Judy Molo, Chairperson of the GKRKL.
SMGTIA and GKRKL received vegetable production project with a cumulative amount of Php 3,143,699.00 from SAAD, including a solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) awarded in 2021 and 2022 respectively to aid with irrigation as water supply is scarce in their communities, especially during the dry season. Currently, the associations have a standing crop of assorted vegetables, cultivating a communal area of .8 ha of land per group. Harvest is expected in September.
Specialized training is part of the SAAD Program’s effort in working hand-in-hand with the beneficiaries, by conducting localized learning sessions toward continuous learning and sustainable, healthier production. ###
Writer: Dianne Francis A. Sy- Gorembalem, SAAD MIMAROPA Information Officer
Source: Mario S. Paz, Jr. – SAAD Area Coordinator – Rizal
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