Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Securing the future

My father left us a small parcel of land which we alternately till. When our father passed away two years ago, I was the first to volunteer to manage it, putting my hard-earned money to venture into farming.

To my dismay, however, the farm yielded so low. I feared that I would not recoup my expenses. Luckily, however, I had more than a thousand as profit which I willingly gave to my cousin who directly managed the farm. Since I am not a risk-taker, I did not invest any money in the next cropping cycle. It was a tragic experience.

A year after, my sister, who I think is a better farmer than me, took over. Since she had more time to spend in the farm, she was able to observe how the production went and what the technical problems were. She found out the the soil was highly acidic that caused the low yields in the past years. I was just unlucky that I had to bear the consequences when it was my time to till it. For decades, the farmlot has been a willing recipient of inorganic fertilizers, that slowly caused it to succomb to its natural death--giving little yield to any crop that would be planted.

After the soil analysis, my sister applied lime to balance the pH level of the soil. It was also a time when my wife met Prof. Ernie Gonzales who was working for a foundation that helps farmers in Mindoro to shift to organic farming. He developed a concoction or an organic fertilizer, which we availed and applied to our farm. It was some sort of expriment by dividing the farm into three experimental conditions: (1) with lime treatment, and inorganic fertilizer, (2) only with lime treatment, with organic fertilizer from Prof. Gonzales, and (3) with no lime, but with organic fertilizer.

The result was remarkable. The treatment of the soil acidity resulted to better yield. Conditions 1 and 2 almost have the same yield, while Condition 3 showed progress in terms of treating the acidity of the soil and was also promising in terms of yield.

So what does this tell us?

I do not like to dwell on the implications of imperialism on agriculture since we already know the fact that commercial inorganic fertilizers do nothing but harm to the ecosystem. What is more important should be our action to promote organic farming and help bring our farms come to life and eventually save the ecosystem. With this, we would be able to secure our environemnt for the next generation. It does not take an advocacy program of Prof. Gonzales to convince us to adopt organic farming. As a development worker, and an advocate of sustainable development myself, I should practice what I teach.

Post Script: During his visit last April, I told him, how good it felt be visited by a development worker like him. We are a family of development workers and it is always a noble and humbling experience to be visited and assisted by another development worker and being given assistance. Photo shows my son (in red sando) and my nephew during their photo-op with Prof. Ernie.

0 people have commented. Leave your comments too!:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting and reading my blog! If you want to say something about this blog entry, please leave your comments below.

Please be informed that the author prevents spamming, thus the moderated comments. Nonetheless, your comments will be published after the author has reviewed them.

Bear in mind that your contact information will be kept confidential.

If you wish to send me private message, please follow this link:

Salamat! (Thank you!)

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More