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Vermi composting as source of organic fertilizer gains its popularity in region 02
The use of organic compost in farming is now gaining popularity among farmers in region 02. There are many brands of organic compost available in the market but vermi compost is now gaining popularity. Aside from its first class compost product, the farmers themselves can manufacture their own compost fertilizer requirement through the aid of vermi or earthworm worm instead of buying.
This technology was introduced in the region by Ms. Rosalinda B. Lucero, one of the ATI-RTC Cabagan staff who attended the ‘International Training Course on Vermi-compost Production at PCAMARRD, Los Baños, Laguna. After her training, she established a her own vermi project in her backyard with only 1 kilo vermi she bought from Bay, Laguna amounting to P1,500.00 and made use of the available composting materials present around like rice straw, animal manures and other plant leaves and residues.
She started the project with the sole intention of producing her own vermi compost for personal use in her farm to improve its soil structure and make it more fertile. After how many cropping seasons, with the continuous use of the vermi compost in her farm, she discovered that the soil condition of her farm improved. Today, she is only using 4 bags of inorganic fertilizer instead of 8 bags she used to apply. With it, she experienced a tremendous decrease in her cost of production.
With her experience, it is her desire to help other farmers experience the same cost reduction in their farming activities. So, she disseminated the technology during trainings, briefings or forums conducted by ATI-RTC Cagayan Valley. Farmers who learned about the technology got interested and find their way to visit her project at home. Her project became the show window of the office in Cabagan.
With Rose as our model in the office, Tess Frogoso and me is likewise engaging on the same project in our backyard which serves as show window for our neighboring farmers in the barangay. Our goal is to encourage the farmers to convert their farm wastes into organic fertilizers for their farms and reduce their cost of production. This goal jibes with the DA-RFU 02 trust of promoting the use of organic fertilizer and encouraging the farmers to manufacture their own organic fertilizer for sustainability. The DA-RFU 02 and other government and non-government officials are actually tapping the expertise of the staff of ATI-RTC Cabagan, Isabela in their organic fertilizer production trainings.
The technology is so simple and farmer-friendly. All we need to invest for a start is a kilo of worm, 10 hallow blocks for the vermi bed and crop and animal residues as substrates. The vermi beds can be expanded even without investing on worms every time because the worms multiply faster depending upon the kind of substrates used. The technology is sustainable and environment-friendly.
We are currently conducting trials on the type of materials that enhances fast production of vermi worms and the types of materials that produce high macro nutrient levels such as NPK. (Ma. Norma G. Maddalora)