PARACELIS, Mountain Province – The Department of Agriculture–Cordillera (DA-CAR), through the Regional Corn Program, distributed 4,000 packs of Bio-N fertilizer to 33 farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) in Paracelis, Mountain Province, and Alfonso Lista and Aguinaldo, Ifugao recently in support of higher production yield of yellow corn in the two provinces.
Based on the Philippines Statistics Authority 2021 Corn Situationer, the region produced an average of 3.67 MT/ha of yellow corn. On average, Mt. Province attained a yield of 3.51MT/ha, and 3.10 MT/ha in Ifugao. They were given the first batch of bio-fertilizers as they have a lower average yield of yellow corn compared to other provinces. The excessive use of fertilizers, which over time causes the soil to harden and deteriorate, is one of the causes of low yield according to Regional Corn Program Staff Julio Saguido.
The Ukrainian-Russian war also affected the price of fertilizers, as these two countries are the main producers of fertilizers. Introducing a ‘tipid-abono’ scheme like using bio-fertilizer will gradually reduce the excessive use of fertilizers and; in return have a positive impact on the total production performance of crops.
Alfonso Lista Municipal Agriculture Office Agricultural Technologist Potenciano Balao claims that bio-fertilizers facilitates nitrogen fixation from the air to be used by plants. Nitrogen is one of the one of the major nutrients needed by crops, aside from phosphorus and potassium. Bio-fertilizers are more used as seed treatment before planting.
In her message, Mountain Province Provincial Agriculturist Dominga Cabatu said that the farmers in Paracelis are blessed as they are one of the few FCAs who received more interventions as they are compliant with government requirements. She gave the farmers advice to look after DA-provided machinery and equipment among others given to them.
The farmers were also advised to religiously follow instructions on bio-fertilizer use and application to get the expected results and avoid losses.
Further, Alfonso Lista is currently reviving its mixing plant for bio-fertilizer for a more accessible way of sourcing out bio-fertilizers in the region and in the neighboring provinces, as this kind of fertilizer is currently available only in Los Baños, Laguna and DA-Cagayan Valley Research Center in Ilagan City, Isabela. Balao leads the production of the bio-fertilizer to supplement the fertilizer requirement of crops in order to reduce production costs and increase the income of farmers.
DA-CAR also continuously encourages farmers to join FCAs for a more organized implementation of government programs and projects, likewise encouraging the FCAs to be accredited as civil society organizations (CSO). Cabatu reiterated the importance of joining FCAs and CSOs for the benefit of the farmer-beneficiaries, especially for having easier access to government interventions. She likewise encouraged the farmers to comply with all of the requirements needed for CSO accreditation, “You have more advantages when you have a CSO accreditation as the government is now giving interventions to groups. I hope you will not become weary of meeting all the requirements before you can eventually become a CSO,” she advised.
So far, there are 68 CSO-accredited FCAs in the region. By CEWaytan