Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sustaining Agriculture Productivity - The Mindanao way

"My last harvest is losing...I was not able to buy fertilizer on time. I need additional capital for the next cropping cycle. Can you help me?" said Mang Erning. I asked him "Is there any alternative?" He answered "The cost of fertilizer and pesticide are high. I wont be able to get a good harvest without it."

Every farmers concern is to increase productivity and its concept of increasing productivity is through the use of modern technology that often requires higher inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, and irrigation.

Nowadays, technologies are being reconsidered as to whether they are the best method for sustainable agriculture since high inputs tends to cause environmental degradation and the risk of using synthetic fertilizer or pesticides to human health. According to an expert from Sri Lanka, Ranjith Senaratne, “modern agriculture, though highly productive, is not sustainable; it demands heavy inputs…which account for a sizable proportion of the cost of production.”

There is an alternative to this problem! We can reduce the cost of production cost by using scientific advances, promising traditional practices and indigenous knowledge such as Natural Farming Technology!

Mang Erning said "Is that so? How do I do that?" I said "better come with me and let visit a farm nearby and let me show you how they do their farm. We visited the Mountain Integrated Development And Stewardship (MIDAS). We met Dr. Warlito A. Laquihon, one of the founders of Sloping Agriculture Land Technology and an advocate of sustainable agriculture. He explained to us the concept of Sustainable Agriculture using available available materials around such as animal manure, herbal plants, leguminous shrubs and fruits.

The use of Indigenous Micro-organism (IMO), Fermented Fruit Juices (FFJ), Fermented Plant Juice (FFJ), and Organic Herbal Nutrient are few of the farm inputs that can be used among array of alternative. I showed mang Erning how to make these and he got the concept! He will used it for his crops as well as animals.

Mang Erning went home happy and satisfied. He said "Thank you for helping me." I said "My pleasure. Please impart this knowledge to your neighbors."

We will be happy to help you too. If you are interested you may contact us at 63.82.303.3502 or 63.920.868.8862