Monday, July 12, 2010

Ingredients: A challenge in Organic Agriculture

“It’s hard to do it in large scale farming… I have to look for all required ingredients” says Amad. Amad is a rice farmer who started organic farming in Midsayap, Cotabato. He further commented “If you only have 3-5 hectares it is workable but if you have 25 hectares, I don’t know… I’m mixing synthetic fertilizer again.” I was shocked and little dismayed of what I’ve heard but it could be real.

We accidentally met in at one of the shops at SM Davao. He shared a lot of his experiences, most especially in pest and disease control and we talked for almost 2 hours just standing. As I was listening to him share his predicaments, I thought of Natural Farming (NF) advocates and the new agriculture Sec. Prospero Alcala (as NF practitioner and sponsor of NF bills). I took note of these as one of the challenges in organic or natural farming.

In NF System, farmers can make their own farm inputs using readily available farm waste like coco dust, manure, and other plants materials. Trainings have been conducted nationwide to interested farmers and even institutions like AFP, PNP, etc.

Are we ready to take the challenge? I believe we are. We just need to start in our own backyard. If we don’t have enough resources to make our own inputs, well here’s the good news!

As an alternative, farmers no longer have to make their own organic fertilizer or wait longer periods to process one. There are now products readily available here in Mindanao. They can now directly buy an internationally-certified and Fertilizer & Pest Authority (FPA) approved organic fertilizer here in Mindanao.

What are the advantages of buying instead of making organic inputs? The advantages are:
1. FPA approved. It means it is safe and met the standard
2. Farmers are ensured that its ingredients came from organically grown plant materials.
3. It scientifically tested and proven.
4. Cheap.
5. Less labor.
6. Some offers money back guaranteed.

Organic inputs available now are:
1. NPK
2. Seed treatment
3. Plant growth enhancer
4. Potassium
5. Zinc
6. All purpose spray adjuvant.

Legumes seeds are also available. Price range from P350-500 per kilo only.

No comments: