AKLAN, July 13, 2023 – To learn proper and effective saba production practices, 30 farmers from Sitio Ilaya Pudiot Tangalan Farmers Association (SIPTFA) in Aklan underwent Banana Production Technology Training on June 27, 2023.
The training resource person, Mr. Jairus Sirue, an agriculturist from the High-Value Crops Division of the DA Western Visayas, discussed the numerous uses of the banana plant, which is grown primarily for food production and secondarily for the production of fiber or as an ornamental plant.
The training, facilitated by SAAD Technical Staff Ms. Apple Joy Cobrador, encompasses various topics on the chemical composition of different banana cultivars, climatic and soil requirements, banana planting methods, different banana planting materials, fertilization, fruit care, harvesting and diagnosis, and management of banana diseases.
Mr. Sirue, an experienced extension service practitioner, has simplified the technical terms and expounded on the actual demonstration using the local language as a medium. He likewise solicited questions from the participants to encourage active listening and enable them to clarify areas they have difficulty understanding.
Following this almost one-day lecture, he demonstrated how to plant banana suckers appropriately including proper spacing between plants, and the correct depth of holes.
The Sitio Ilaya Pudiot Tangalan FA is among the 34 FAs identified as Phase 2 beneficiaries in the region. Established on February 19, 2021, SIPTFA has been growing and cultivating vegetables and bananas in their communal production area, a 6,000 square meter (sqm) land where they depend on their main income source. They cultivate various crops such as ampalaya, sili, papaya, kamatis, talong, pipino, sitao, and kalabasa. They sell 80-100% of these crops in the neighboring barangay and in Caticlan, while the excess is consumed.
Having been identified as a program beneficiary, the group received 1,000 saba banana suckers on June 14, 2023, as components under the FY 2023 Banana Production Project. Results derived from the Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) study show that the group has a feasible area for banana production and the venture is not new to them since they are existing growers.
For their banana plantation, the group plans to cultivate the suckers in Brgy. Cabulihan, a neighboring barangay adjacent to Brgy. Pudiot. Since the average planting distance measures 6×6, at least 277 suckers can occupy a one-hectare land. In the case of SIPTFA, however, the 1,000 suckers they received from SAAD can occupy 3.6 has. They initially plant bananas and cassava in the areas which are either sold raw or processed into chips. The group also plans to utilize the four-hectare land in Libacao, Aklan owned by one of its members for the rest of the remaining suckers.
Overall, the training for the SAAD beneficiaries aimed to deliver an understanding of banana cultivation, equipping participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully grow bananas while effectively managing potential challenges. ###
Writer: Cedie C. Bataga, DA-SAAD Region 6 Information Officer