San Ma­teo starts reap­ing “black gold”

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

THE MU­NIC­I­PAL­ITY OF SAN MA­TEO in the prov­ince of Is­abela is blessed to have a ter­rain which is ba­si­cally plain, and a Sta. Rita clay loam soil type that is suited for low­land crops, par­tic­u­larly mung­bean or munggo. Be­cause of these char­ac­ter­is­tics, San Ma­teo’s econ­omy de­pends largely on agri­cul­ture, where 89.66 per­cent or 10,813 hectares are de­voted to agri­cul­ture, out of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s to­tal land area of 12,156 hectares. Of the 10,813 hectares, some 7,358 hectares are de­voted to munggo pro­duc­tion, where the av­er­age yield is 1,000 kilo­grams per hectare, mak­ing mung­bean the “Black Gold of San Ma­teo” and the pri­mary one-town, one-prod­uct (OTOP) of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Aside from the pro­duc­tion of munggo, which pro­vided an ad­di­tional in­come source for the farm­ers, mem­bers of dif­fer­ent lo­cal women or­ga­ni­za­tions have also started pro­cess­ing mung­bean into dif­fer­ent prod­ucts like butchi, em­panada, munggo pul­voron, pancit bal­a­tong, chips, yema, cof­fee, and flour.

Ac­cord­ing to San Ma­teo Mayor Crispina R. Ag­caoili, these prod­ucts are al­ready avail­able in the mar­ket at very af­ford­able prices, giv­ing the lo­cal res­i­dents liveli­hood op­por­tu­ni­ties. She added that the mis­sion of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment is to sus­tain and im­prove agri­cul­ture in or­der to make the in­hab­i­tants eco­nom­i­cally suf­fi­cient, and estab­lish eco­log­i­cally­bal­anced and well-struc­tured en­vi­ron­ment.

The ef­forts of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of San Ma­teo will greatly im­prove the sup­ply of mung­bean in the coun­try be­cause lo­cal munggo pro­duc­tion falls short of its an­nual do­mes­tic re­quire­ment with a self­suf­fi­ciency ra­tio of only about 52 per­cent.

The Munggo FI­ESTA in San Ma­teo, which is dubbed the “Mung­bean Cap­i­tal of the Philip­pines,” was spear­headed by the Ca­gayan Val­ley Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment (CVAARRD) Con­sor­tium.

Ac­cord­ing to Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment of the De­part­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST-PCAARRD) act­ing ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Dr. Rey­naldo V. Eb­ora, the coun­try is de­pen­dent on im­ports mainly from Myan­mar, China, In­done­sia and Thai­land to fill in the gap of our an­nual do­mes­tic re­quire­ment of around 65,000 met­ric tons.

In a mes­sage de­liv­ered for him by Marita A. Carlos, direc­tor of the Ap­plied Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Di­vi­sion (ACD) of PCAARRD dur­ing the Mung­bean Farms and In­dus­try En­coun­ters through the Science and

Tech­nol­ogy Agenda (FI­ESTA) re­cently held in San Ma­teo, Eb­ora at­trib­uted low mung­bean pro­duc­tion to cer­tain con­cerns such as short­age of qual­ity seeds of im­proved and adapt­able va­ri­eties, ab­sence of seed sup­port sys­tem, and farm­ers’ lack of tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and skills.

Faced by these con­straints, Eb­ora said the DOST-PCAARRD, in part­ner­ship with the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, state col­leges and univer­si­ties like the Is­abela State Univer­sity (ISU), Pam­panga State Agri­cul­tural Univer­sity (PSAU), other na­tional and lo­cal gov­ern­ment, and pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions, came up with the Mung­bean In­dus­try Strate­gic S&T Pro­gram (ISP) to sup­port the ail­ing in­dus­try.

Eb­ora said that among the S&T in­ter­ven­tions seen as nec­es­sary to sup­port the in­dus­try in­clude the de­vel­op­ment, pro­mo­tion, and dis­tri­bu­tion of im­proved va­ri­eties, or­ga­ni­za­tion and ac­cred­i­ta­tion of farmer-seed grow­ers, es­tab­lish­ment of techno-demo farms, de­vel­op­ment of in­te­grated pest man­age­ment strat­egy, and de­vel­op­ment of new prod­ucts de­rived from mung­bean.

Iden­ti­fied as the fo­cus of these S&T in­ter­ven­tions un­der the Mung­bean ISP are the four ma­jor mung­bean pro­duc­ing re­gions in the coun­try, namely: Re­gion 2 (Ca­gayan Val­ley); Re­gion 3 (Cen­tral Lu­zon); Re­gion 6 (Western Visayas); and Re­gion 11 (Davao Re­gion).

Ac­cord­ing to Eb­ora, the goal is to in­crease the vol­ume of qual­ity seeds for plant­ing, ad­di­tional and ex­pan­sion ar­eas for new and im­proved va­ri­eties, im­ple­ment­ing a mung­bean pack­age of tech­nol­ogy (POT), and in­creas­ing na­tional av­er­age yield from 0.72 met­ric ton per hectare to 1 met­ric ton per hectare.

Dur­ing the Mung­bean FI­ESTA, at­ten­dees in­cluded Mayor Ag­caoili, Vice Mayor Roberto C. Ag­caoili, ISU pres­i­dent Dr. Ric­mar P. Aquino, DOST-2 Re­gional Direc­tor San­cho A. Mabb­o­rang, CVAARRD con­sor­tium direc­tor Dr. Wil­liam C. Me­drano, DA Re­gional Direc­tor Lorenzo M. Caranguian, and Carlos of the ACD-PCAARRD.

Mung­bean ( Vig­nara­di­ata L.), as a fo­cus com­mod­ity of PCAARRD, is lo­cally known as munggo or bal­a­tong, which are small green legumes grown widely for hu­man con­sump­tion. It is the main in­gre­di­ent in mak­ing hopi­ang munggo, and the lo­cal soup called gin­isang munggo.

It is a pop­u­lar al­ter­na­tive to meat for veg­e­tar­i­ans and those on strict bud­get since it packs a lot of pro­tein, and is also high in potas­sium, fiber, mag­ne­sium and B vi­ta­mins. Mung­bean is one of the pri­or­ity com­modi­ties

CVAARRD con­sor­tium direc­tor Dr. Wil­liam C. Me­drano and PCAARRD-ACD direc­tor Marita A. Carlos show­ing a hand­ful of freshly picked “black gold” at a farm in San Ma­teo, Is­abela.

A farmer while har­vest­ing mung­bean pods in San Ma­teo.

Most farm­ers in San Ma­teo are now us­ing the Pa­gasa 7 va­ri­ety of mung­bean due to its ver­sa­til­ity and high-yield­ing prop­er­ties.

Mung­bean or San Ma­teo’s “black gold” is one of the pri­or­ity com­modi­ties of the DOST-PCAARRD un­der its In­dus­try Strate­gic Pro­gram be­cause of its eco­nomic im­por­tance and one of the cheap­est sources of pro­tein in the Filipino diet.

A flow­er­ing mung­bean plant in a demo farm in San Ma­teo.

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