Saving Labor and Fertilizer Costs thru Protected Cultivation for High-Value Vegetable Crops

first featured at ATI Interactive

Protected cultivation is an efficient and life-long cropping system where the micro climate around the plant is controlled. This is to ensure better yields, early maturity of crops and a bountiful harvest for the farmers.

In this regard, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) published a book on "Protected Cultivation of High-Value Vegetable Crops in the Philippines.โ€ It primarily discusses various protected cultivation techniques and their management practices, among others.

There are nine types of protected cultivation mentioned in the book. These are: Greenhouse; Close-ground Cover; Mulch; Raised Beds; Soilless Culture; Trellises; Windbreak; Geofibers; and Field Misting. In addition other topics on protected cultivation such as other practices (container growing and use of grow bags), technical requirements, development prospects, benefits, as well as constraints and good agricultural practices were also covered in the book.

According to this publication, protected cultivation has many benefits. It increases labor utilization and employment by 5 to 10 times higher and it generates self-employment for the youth in the farm sector. Moreover, it gives high profit because of its high quality, marketable crops that could be exported. It likewise gives continuous crop production under extreme environmental conditions.

PCAARRD is a sectoral council of the DOST that is mandated to formulate policies, plans and programs for science and technology (S&T)-based research and development (R&D) of various sectors in agriculture, fisheries, and natural resources. Through this publication, PCAARRD aims to advocate the cultivation of vegetables in protected condition that would help advance the food security endeavors of the Philippine government.