Techno-demo farm inspires farmers in Laguna
A TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION (techno-demo) farm was established in Barangay Concepcion, Lumban, Laguna in an effort to revitalize vegetable production in the area and to assist the farmers in gaining knowledge about modern farming methods.
The techno-demo farm was initiated by Melvin R. Dollano, a member of the Laguna Vegetable Industry Livelihood Council (LVIC), in partnership with the Allied Botanical Corporation (ABC).The one-hectare techno-demo farm has been planted to different varieties of vegetables and highvalue crops.
With the objective of orienting farmers on modern farming methods, a one-day harvest festival and field day was recently organized and attended by about 100 farmers coming from the different barangays of Lumban and nearby municipalities. According to Leo Mondragon, Region-4A area sales manager of ABC, the techno-demo farm was used as a learning field where the participants showcased improved technologies and compared them with the usual farmer’s practice. By applying the knowledge they learned, the farmers no longer need to go to faraway places like research centers to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for modern farming.
The farmer-participants saw for themselves the advantages of applying modern farming technologies to improve production on their respective farms.Among the many vegetables planted in the farm were the Saturn F1 hybrid calabasa, Spitfire F1 hybrid eggplant, Hi-Brix F1 hybrid super sweet corn, Greenstar pole sitao, Negrostar pole sitao, Trident improved F1 hybrid ampalaya, Pinatubo F1 hot chilli pepper, and Panigang Best hybrid pepper, and Bangkok F1 cucumber.
ABC farm technicians assisted the farmer-participants in planting the different varieties of vegetables. During the harvest festival and field day, ABC’s field personnel shared, with both long-time and an incoming set of farmers, the new and upcoming developments in seed varieties and crop care technology.
PROFITABLE VENTURE Mondragon said the production of high-value commercial
crops like super sweet corn, cucumber, and eggplantin the open field could become a very profitable venture. Among the high-value crops that interested the farmers was the Hi-Brix F1 hybrid super sweet corn because of its large ears, excellent husk cover, ear leaf, and sweetness and tenderness. Due to the latter two characteristics, it is ideal for sale as fresh produce and and processing. It is very nice to eat too.
He also emphasized the need to nourish the plants with proper inputs like Nordox, Osmocote, Agroblen, Agrocote, and Nordox, among other plant nutrients. Specifically, Mondragon explained the advantage of using Nordox 75WG micronized fungicide to protect the plants against fungi.
It was a surprise when Jose G. Osio, a participant,revealed that he has been using the product for quite some time already. He said it has been effective in maintaining the health and productivity of his corn and palay plantation.
On the other hand, Arisno “Erning” Adona, another participant, disclosed that he would start planting the Hi-Brix F1 hybrid super sweet corn at his farm after seeing the unique characteristics of the crop.
FOOD SECURITY For his part, Dollano said that the establishment of techno-demo farms should be replicated in other areas to help improve the production of the local farmers. He said that techno-demo farms could helpin uplifting the livelihood of farmers.
Mondragon emphasized the importance of using modern technologies in planting different crops and vegetables, saying that locally produced crops are much cheaper and fresher than those coming from other areas.
Farmers should be convinced that by applying new technologies, they can greatly help in maintaining food security in their respective areas, he added.After all, even the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says that “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
The project was also supported by the Lumban municipal agriculturist’s office, as well as the provincial agriculturist’s office of Laguna.
The farmer-participants together with field personnel of ABC during the one-day harvest festival and field day in Lumban, Laguna.
Leo Mondragon, Region 4-A area sales manager of ABC, encourages farmers to produce highvalue commercial crops that could provide higher yield and income like the super sweet corn, cucumber, eggplant, and other related crops.
Photo shows the prolific Negrostar sitao (right) and Pinatubo F1 hybrid hot pepper variety planted at the techno-demo farm.