Farmers Get Info on Mokusaku

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Japan Agricultural Exchange Council officials lead the establishment of the mokusaku technology facility at the ATI Central Office compound. (photo by Clemente Gabion)

DILIMAN, Quezon City—Farmers from different parts of the country were introduced to the Mokusaku technology as the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC), in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), spearheaded an orientation and the establishment of a demonstration facility.

The mokusaku technology facility was established at the ATI Central Office compound. The undertaking was led by JAEC Executive Director Ryoji Sakamoto along with officials from the ATI and the local government units of Tublay and La Trinidad in Benguet.

Several stakeholders shared their experiences and knowledge on the mokusaku technology as part of the orientation. Ricky Chiok, an agriculturist from La Trinidad which served as the pilot area of mokusaku in 2007, discussed the effect of the technology to local farmers. He also talked about how La Trinidad is gaining income by selling by-products of the mokusaku technology.

Meanwhile, Tublay Municipal Agriculturist Jeffrey Sotero discussed the benefits and current updates on mokusaku, including its positive result when used as feed supplement for animals. Likewise, he reported that farmers in their municipality gained additional source of income from using it in their respective farms.

Mokusaku, also known as 'wood vinegar', is a liquid produced from a composting mixture of wood, coconut shell, bamboo, grass, and other plants. It can be used as pesticide, insecticide, or soil conditioner.

Edna Sanchez has been using the mokusaku technhology even before attending the said orientation. She shared how such activity enables her to be more productive in farming. "The training served as enlightenment and we are glad to be a part of it. I have been using mokusaku in my plants and it produced more than 600% of harvest," Sanchez said.

On the other hand, a memorandum of understanding was signed by JAEC and ATI officials for the extension of the Young Filipino Farmers’ Training Program which is now renamed as the “Young Filipino Farm Leaders Training Program in Japan”. The extension will last for five years or until 2023.

A total of 32 farmers took part in the orientation and establishment of mokusaku facility. The activity was held last March 14-15, 2018 in this city.

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Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.