Magsasakang Siyentista Promotes Balanced Plant Nutrition and Multicropping

Marcos Dumandan, 68 years old widower, a magsasakang siyentista  and a balanced plant nutrition expert beams with pride as he said, “ balanced plant nutrition is the key to higher productivity and income.” He further added that, “ for marginal farmers, multicropping is recommended.”

His statements are true as he adapted multicropping in his 2 hectare farm at Baguio District, Davao City. Being an expert in balanced plant nutrition and practiced it made his farm very productive.
His farm is planted with multi crops such as: Coconut-128, Durian (Arancillo, Monthong, Puyat & Cob varieties) non-bearing- 58, bearing-134, Cacao-160, Ordinary Lanzones-78, Coffee Arabica-2000, Banana (lakatan with little cardava)-98, Marang- 6 trees, and ginger-1/4 hectare planted under the cacao.
He planted the coconut trees from other crops with a distance of 12 x 10 meters while he planted the cacao between lanzones and coconut at three meters distance and arabica coffee at 1.5 meters. He also planted durian and banana in another portion of his land. Indeed, he maximized the utilization of his land that is as productive with that of a more or less 10-hectare farm.
Mark, as he is being fondly called by friends, loves farming and innovating.  He strictly adheres not to use herbicides to prevent not to kill macro organism like earthworm that promotes soil errasion. Also not to destroy cytokinin hormone found in every tip of rootlets that take charge of nutrient with soil absorption.
His farm innovations contributed to the success of his farm productivity with tremendous reduction of cost of production. He applied the following: Rejuvenation of Cacao. According to him, “ side grafting is a way to regenerate old cacao. It is done without cutting immediately which allow the mother tree to produce fruits while waiting for the grafted shoots to bear fruits- that’s the time to cut the mother trunk in order to sustain continuous income.” He   seriously explained that the mother tree is cut with a distance of 1.5 meters without using wooden props but instead use the twine for propping.
His rejuvenation of cacao informal experimentation practices later was formalized by PCARRD when he won the award as Most Outstanding Farmer Scientist/Magsasakang Siyentista of the Philippines in 2008. His formal experimentation on cacao rejuvenation funded by PCARRD will start on June 2009.
Mark also practiced Organic Fertilization as a successful blend of macro and micro nutrient given the 16 essential elements needed by plants that lead to maximum production with tremendous reduction of cost of production. Mulching of coconut, lanzones and durian by gathering and filing of plant residues, coconut husks and other residues dump around the based of the plant. It’s a continuous process from year to year and once decomposed it becomes organic fertilizer which are the source of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous & potassium).
He further explained that for secondary ( calcium, magnesium, sulfur) and traced elements or micro nutrients (molybdenum, manganese, boron, chlorine, copper, zinc and iron) the application are done by drenching the blended soluble solution. This is done by mixing with a drum of water containing 200 liters and pouring 200 grams of powdered traced elements.
Tertiary elements elements are minerals from discovered as a result of thorough study and blending of macro and micro nutrients. He said enthusiastically that a drum of water mixed with NPK (46-00) source of nitrogen, 2 kilograms of Phoskal (035-0) plus and potash urea 2 kilograms for potassium muriat (0060) can fertilize 1 hectare of farm with the use of sprinkling can drenching around the based of the plant.  He added that traditionally, the farmer utilizes 6-8 bags of inorganic fertilizer in 1 hectare (Urea-P1,800/bag, Photassium-P1,800/bag).   With his personal practice of balanced butrition, there is tremendous reduction of cost. In fact, according to him that with the blended solution on tertiary elements, it become an inducer,  giving of complete balanced in nutrition in all crops that resorted to heavy fruiting of his coconut, durian and cacao.
Another innovation is that it helped control podrats with the used of blended Miracle Solution of MMD-MS (Macro Micro Development) Miracle Solution or (Marcos M. Dumandan-Magsasakang Siyentista). Moreover, it also helped the control of Phytopthora (disease in durian tree). Anybody interested in the miracle solution or more details can contact him through his mobile phone number: +639107894288.
Mark recalled how he started to develop his farm in 1968. He planted coconut, durian, and cacao and other crops followed. He also planted banana but 11 years after he left teaching and his farm.
Mark is not an ordinary farmer. He has sterling educational background. He finished a degree in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture  (BSA)  in 1963 at Central Mindanao University, and Bachelor of Science in Education in 1970 at International Harvard University at Villa Abrille, Davao City.   Due to his remarkable thirst for more knowledge and education,  he pursued a degree in Master of Arts in Education and finished it in 1973.
He worked as District Guidance Coordinator of Department of Education Culture and Sports (DECS) now called Department of Education (DepEd), Division of City Schools , Baguio District, Davao City from 1968 to 1975. After 11 years in teaching profession, he joined the STANFILCO Dole Philippines in 1975 and after five years of working with them as Farm Superintendent, he got the opportunity of working as Personnel Officer of Crown Fruits & Cannery from 1983-1985. While he was busy working,  he instructed his laborer to do the farming and supported him financially. He only have time to visit his farm every Saturday. He developed his farm from 1980-1985.
Being an agriculture graduate, he was able to work as Agricultural Extension Supervisor of the City Agriculturist Office (CAO) of Davao City  from 1980 to 1982. After his two years stint with the CAO, he joined the Agricultural Chemical-Southern Agro Export Corporation (SAGREX) and worked as District Manager covering Luzon & Western Visayas based at Makati, Metro Manila.  Later, all SAGREX staff was hired by Sigma Trade Resources Philippines, Incorporated- Vancouver, Canadian based company operating based in Salcedo Village, Makati City, Philippines. He became the National Marketing Manager from 1998-2000 and was sent to Pune, India for further training. After the training, he became the consultant of Ranadey Group of Companies a distributor of micro nutrient products of Ranadey. While working, he started sharing his expertise in balanced fertilization and plant nutrition (which he learned at Pune, India) to farmers who seek his advice. After series of feedbacks regarding the helped of Mr. Mark Dumandan who were recipients of MDD solution which helped increased their farm production, believing that his technology is good, after 3 years of working, he finally decided to quit working with private companies and went back to Davao City and continued developing his farm.
In 2003, he was encouraged and convinced by consortium director the late Rufino Udtohan, Chief of SMIARC (Southern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center) and SMARRDEC (Southern Mindanao Agriculture Resources Development  & Environment Consortium) director and appointed him as the Magsasakang Siyentista (MS) of KM-FITS, SMIARC, Bago Oshiro, Davao City.
With his willingness to join,  he projected to become someday a Most Outstanding Magsasakang Siyentista of Region XI and it was materialized in 2006-2007 as he was chosen as Most Outstanding MS for two consecutive years.
The Philippine Council for Agricultural Resources Research & Development (PCARRD) launched its Search for Outstanding Magsasakang Siyentista in 2008 and during its first launching, Mr. Marcos Dumandan won the most coveted title as National Outstanding Magsasakang Siyentista of the Philippines.   The awarding was held last July 9-10, 2008 at Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. He received from PCARRD P30,000 cash prize and a check worth P130,000 to support his farm development.
Recently, last March 14, 2009 he was awarded by the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit-XI (DA-RFU-XI) as the Gawad Saka Outstanding Coco-based Farmer of Region XI held at Top of the Apo, Apo View Hotel, Davao City. He hopes to become the Most Outstanding Gawad Saka of the Philippines.
Previously, in 2006, he received his Presidential Leadership Award from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This was awarded to him through Atty. Jess Dureza, the Presidential Adviser for Mindanao.
When I asked him if he wants more awards?  He smiled brightly and said, “ I want to be a Hall Famer, that means, I need to receive one more award to become a Hall Famer”.
When I asked him, how does he feel being a national awardee? He flashed his winsome smile and said, “Syempre (of course) happy not only due to monetary consideration but the honor achieved and the impact of being an Outstanding awardee that especially the common farmer will entrust and believe the technology disseminations through seminars conducted in the local and regional level and with my strong desire to spread the gospel of balanced plant nutrition which is the key for higher productivity and income.”
Mark being recipient of many awards, never stop sharing his expertise with the farmers who consulted him. He is a co-host of Lino Trinidad in radio program entitled “Bahandi sa Kaumahan og Kadagatan” (in English, the wealth of land and the sea) aired over Radyo ng Bayan or DXRP from 5:00am-6:00am. They conduct lecture on Air on Modern Farming Technology. He also conducts a regular monthly seminar in his farm in coordination with Lino Trinindad. The schedule of seminars and trainings, and farm visits are disseminated through the DXRP where he co-hosted. When he is not busy he visits neighboring farms for technical assistance. Aside from sharing his expertise, he also has access to government and non government agencies for technical assistance as the need of the farmer arises. Likewise, he coordinates with Chairman of Agriculture Committee through the City Agriculturist Office CAO). He is a trainor for certain topic especially on balanced fertilizer and plant nutrition. He also guested at TV Program MagUmaSenso Ta anchored by Ethel Cantor-Constantino of PTV 11 and at Bombo Radyo Philippines anchored by Jun Arquio and Nick Baligwat of MagUmaSenso Ta Radio Program.
I asked him what were the interventions/influences he received from  the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center in region XI. He said, he was one of those University On-the-Air (UOA) graduates of radio program of various agricultural crops production technologies conducted by the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit-XI (DA-RFU-XI) and the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center-XI (DA-ATI-RTC-XI). He made mentioned too that, the Mr. Richard C. Rubis, the Center Director of DA-ATI-RTC-XI  is his adviser. He have helped him boost his morale, trust and confidence especially in his speaking engagement as resource person in University On-The-Air Alumni Association, Incorporated (UOAAAI) Monthly seminars and other trainings and seminars that he conducted locally and regionally.
Mark an agriculturist and experienced farmer is the Chairman of the Farmer Industry and Advisory Council (FIAC) of DA-SMIARC, He is also the Executive Secretary of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council, and member of the Pest and Disease Management Control of the Philippines (1998) and the Chairman of the Baguio Water District, Baguio, Davao City. Also, the Vice President for the Samahan ng Magsasakang Siyentista ng Pilipinas and the Chairman of the Samahan ng Magsasakang Siyentista ng Rehiyon Onse (Region XI).
Theses past two years his farm income in all crops including banana generated P1.4 Million for his 2 hectare farm.  This income is complemented by the selling of planting materials: cacao @ P25/piece for poor farmer less P5.00. seed nuts P2.00/peice, coconut @ P30.00/piece, Arabica Coffee @ P10.00/ piece, According to him, previously, he only have a total farm income of P700,000 .00 for his 2 hectares farm. There is indeed a vast difference.
Because of the accumulated income from his farm, he was able to multiply his 2 hectares farm land to 10 hectares which are located at Upper Tansing Sitio, Baguio District (1 hectare), Maligatong, Barabgay Tawan-Tawan, Baguio District ( (5 hectares), adjacent lot and in front of his farm (2 hectares). He bought agricultural land thru installment basis paid through his salaries and income from his farm.
Moreover, he has two residential house at Ecoland Subdivision and Mindawide Subdivision which is being monthly rented at P5,000.00 and P1,500.00 respectively. He lived at a 1 hectare farmhouse in Baguio District where he rented the area.
His greatest achievements are his children’s education and profession. Allan (eldest) is a nurse at Houston Texas, Edgar, (2nd) married is an agricultural businessman, Dennis (3rd) , a nurse at Philippine National Police (PNP), and Donita (youngest) is a BS Commerce graduate, is assisting him in recording his farm income and expense.
He outlined to me his future plans. According to him, due to motivation after receiving the regional and national award, he plan to intensify the techno dissemination through seminars not only in the city of Davao but the whole region in coordination with radio program where he co-hosted. He also plan to put up a High Value Vegetable Gardening at adjacent/front farm lot and intensify planting of banana and cacao and multi cropping. Starting to put up Poultry Native Chicken and small ruminants   (goat raising) & project of Aqua Culture-hito and tilapia with the use of drums.
He added , “with these projects, it will serve as demo farms for visitors from various places in the Philippines oftentimes coming to the farm for orientation and observation. I will continuously conduct monthly seminar in the farm on various agricultural crops, “ he further added.
After two hours of interviewing him, I asked him if he has plan to remarry being a widower, he chuckled and replied, “I don’t plan to get married because I have developed the love to help the farmers. Marrying will cause obstruction. I want more strength and
Aggressiveness  to help the farmers. I am financially stable in spite of being a senior citizen. The usual senior citizen is under the mercy of their children for survival in life. But for me, it’s the opposite. I have intention to help my sons and daughter who are not financially stable due to the global economic crisis nowadays,”
Finally, I asked him what is his message to the farmers? He smiled and said, “ Ang mag-uuma nga nasayod sa mga modernong teknolohiya pang agricultura, mao’y makapalig-on sa atong ekonomikanhong katikaran, apan kadtong mga mag-uuma nga hinikawan sa maong kasayuran mao’y makapukan sa atong tingosbawan.” ( A farmer who knows the modern technology in farming strengthens economic enhancement but a farmer who is devoid of this learning will bring down to the bottom economic recovery.”)