Caaninaplahan, Talavera, Nueva Ecija ─ Instead of losing hope and being distressed over the destruction of his Science and Technology-based Farm (STBF) on off-season tomato, Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Reynaldo Hilario saw a window of opportunity open. He shifted to cucumber production.
Floods heavily damaged MS Hilario’s third tomato crop production cycle last year. Coming from a two-week training on vegetable production at the Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Israel this year, the MS decided to change his commodity to cucumber. This way, he could still make use of his remaining tomato trellises.
The provincial government fully supported his new venture with the Provincial Agriculture Office of Nueva Ecija providing him two green houses, which he now uses for cucumber and onion seedling production.
During a recent STBF field day, the MS showcased his 3000-m2 cucumber production area and his tomato trellis, which he recycled for growing cucumber. He also reported a net income of P191,255 for a two-month harvest period from a production cost of P16,245 only. He achieved this with the application of the following science and technology interventions introduced by the STBF project: use of ambassador F1 variety, employment of zero tillage and seedling tray method, and application of fertilizer.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L), also known as pipino, is grown for its immature fruits, which are used in salads (slicing type) or are soaked in brine for pickles.
According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (2005), cucumber is grown in 1,587 ha of farms in the country and 140 ha of these are found in Region 3. MS Hilario’s STBF farm is the latest addition in the region, successful at that. (Democrito Z. Magpantay and Dianne Cabello, S&T Media Service)