Techno-demo farm in­spires farm­ers in La­guna

Agriculture - - Contents - BY JULIO P. YAP, JR.

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.

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