Catanduanes LGUs get community-based composting facilities from DA

December 2, 2009 3:36 pm 

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec 2 – Several local government units in the island province of Catanduanes were beneficiaries of Community-Based Composting Facilities from the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the agency’s Agri-Kalikasan Program’s support system for the Tipid Abono Fertilization Project.

The recipients were the municipalities of San Miguel, Bato, Pandan, San Andres, Gigmoto; the provincial government and Barangays Concepcion and San Roque, here.

Each of the recipients was given a portable shredder, three units of Vermi-beds, compost tea brewer and 15 kilos of African night crawlers provided under the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) Organic Fertilizer Production Project, Provincial Agriculturist Herbert Bautista said here on Wednesday.

“These materials and equipment were only initial releases for the province as it is expected that all our 11 municipalities would be able to avail of it,” Bautista said.

In advocating the utilization of organic fertilizer, the project seeks to minimize ground water pollution, reduce the vulnerability of marginal farmers on the high cost of chemical fertilizers and promote the gradual adoption of organic-based agriculture nationwide, he said.

Under the memorandum of agreement between BSWM, the DA Regional Field Unit for Bicol, and the recipients, the LGUs will establish and operate the composting facilities by providing the counterpart land and building through a deed of donation, as well as manpower.

The DA will monitor and supervise its establishment while the BSWM will provide the guidelines and technical assistance to LGUs, according to Bautista.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Agricultural Support Office (PASO) disclosed that the provincial government has continued its distribution of certified seeds to rice farmers, with 1,473 already availing of the benefit based on a 50-50 cost sharing while 159 bags have been given for free.

This is in addition to the fertilizer subsidy program, which Governor Joseph Cua has chosen to continue despite the DA’s suspension of the program in the rest of the country.

Last week, two 10-wheeler trucks brought cuttings of Golden Yellow and Sultan 7 varieties of cassava to be used as initial planting materials for the cassava production program of the provincial government.

The cutting, bought for P81,000 from Camarines Sur, will be used to plant nearly 44 hectares in several towns which have expressed interest and formed farmers’ associations that would take part in the program, Bautista said.

Recently, the agriculture office also distributed 500 packets of assorted vegetable seeds to each of the 11 towns for used in vegetable production as part of the government’s hunger mitigation program, he added. (PNA)

LAP/LQ/DOC/cbd

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