Organic Farming in The Philippines.
ORGANIC FARMING IN THE PHILIPPINES
Sandy Matunog is a 62 year old single rice farmer growing a traditional variety in a hectare farm located at Barangay Bangcas A, Hinunangan, So. Leyte.
His farm was earlier dug for treasure hunting but nothing was found. Because of his continuous learning through seminars on sustainable agriculture, he makes his land more productive and sustainable through the application of DIVERSIFICATION & ORGANIC FARMING. His BURNING INTEREST TO MAKE THINGS BETTER WERE SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE!
The CHALLENGES he faced was his area. It is flat and prone to flooding, high cost on fertilizer and pesticides, drought and unpredictable weather, unproven animal integration in the farm. As a SOLUTION he started container gardening as climate change adaptation and mitigation, measuring floods. He locally innovates his own tea, formulated organic fertilizer and natural pesticides to improve plant vigor and effective insect repellent. He modified multi-storey cropping by placing container-based petchay under the trellis of “upo”. Then, he integrated Korean pig raising into the farming system and use the composted beddings of the pigs as organic fertilizer.
He worked hard to establish an organic farm. Established a native tilapia pond and LEARNED that a local snail “Kuhol” constitute a nutritious feed for tilapia when mixed with rice bran. The pond water is also used for his farm during dry season. Planting of fruit trees and legumes are used as windbreaks and as a source of green manures. Vermi composting as a source for organic fertilizer. Recently, the Agricultural Training Institute provided additional support like sprayer, vermicompost facility, free range native chicken and ducks and cross visit to the projects/farms with similar undertakings. With his innovative concept and farming experience his FARM was transformed into bit-size model for all interested farmers willing to learn and adopt. He became a resource person.
His Income before the technology was Php 35,000.00 per year derived from rice farming alone. Now he earned more than Php 80,000.00 per year. Organic farming TAKES TIME, but with far bigger rewards. Learning doesn’t stops when technology is applied.
Technology adoption + Actual Observations + Experience + Will to Innovate = Effective Location to Good Agricultural Practices.