By Estrella Z. Gallardo
At least more than six thousand farmers and fishermen attended the First Cavite Agri-Fest and Farmers Congress held at the Provincial Gymnasium of Trece Martires City on January 20-21, 2011, with the theme “Organikong Magsasaka Tungo Sa Maunlad na Agrikultura”.
This two-day event was in cooperation with the Provincial Agriculturist, Provincial Veterinarian Offices, Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Cavite Modern Growers, Inc. (CMGI) officials led by Honorable former Governor Juanito R. Remulla, father of Hon. Jesus Crispin C. Remulla, Deputy Speaker and Hon. Juanito Victor C. Remulla, Jr., Provincial Governor, who were all present with the seven (7) Congressmen of Cavite.
This project of Jonvic Remulla aims to gather the farmers and fishermen to encourage them to propagate and accelerate the level of farming and fishing in their locality.
The project also aims to give knowledge on tissue cultured lacatan production and production of pangasius fish, a fresh water fish.
Highlighting the occasion was the awarding of the tractor donated by Secretary Proceso Alcala to a group of farmers in Cavite.
There were also dispersal of pigs and goats and tilapia fingerlings and tropical fruit seedlings. Experiences on organic farming and dragon fruit production by Edilberto Silan, Consultant on Agro-Modernization and President of Cavite Modern Growers, Inc. (GMAI) and PCARRD Magsasaka Siyentista in Cavite were shared.
Dr. Ireneo Ramat, Head of Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Program of the Bureau of Soil and Management of the Department of Agriculture lectured on the importance of organic farming and shared to the audience how the carbonized rice hull is made, an important component of organic fertilizer.
Dr. Ramat in an interview emphasized the importance of the inorganic or chemical fertilizer which can be used as side dressing. He stressed that dried chicken manure, pig, goat and other animals’ manure and fruits and vegetables’ market wastes are good organic fertilizers and can be used as basal fertilizer.
He said that farmers can use 20% organic fertilizer and 80% inorganic or chemical fertilizer in their farm to have good harvests and lesser cost of production.
A group of Philippine Science Journalist Mega Manila or PSciJourn Mega Manila had the opportunity to visit the dragon fruit farm of Edilberto Silan at Bo. Tambo, Kulit, Indang, Cavite on January 21, 2011, the second day of the fest.
The three hectare dragon fruit farm is being maintained by at least six workers in charged of the waters, weeding, removal of the leaves affected by fungus and other farm activities.
We have noticed the inter-cropping of dwarf papaya and some pepper (paminta) with the dragon fruit of white and red variety.
The area has at least 1000 dragon fruit trees per hectare which look like cactus, each grown with a trunk of a tree as holder to give the tree sturdy standing position as they grow and bear fruits.
A dragon fruit tree bear two to eight fruits per tree after a year from the date of planting and flowers in the month of May under Cavite’s climate condition. Harvesting starts from June and ends in September and fruits are sold at Php70.00 per kilo from the farm.
Silan is the Magsasaka Siyentista in Cavite of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) who made use of the PCARRD’s S & T (Science and Technology) based farming.-30-