Bayawan City farmers, stakeholders learn about BIOTECH’s biofertilizers and biopesticides

A training-workshop and field demonstration conducted by BIOTECH’s Program for Agriculture and Forestry (BAFP) introduced its array of biofertilizers, biopesticides, and composting technologies to farmers, farmer-leaders, and technical staff in the coastal city of Bayawan, Negros Oriental last 19-22 September 2023.

The activity is expected to pave the way for future collaborative activities between the Institute and the city government to improve their farming practices and ensure a balance of agricultural inputs in their land.

“I am thankful because there are many technologies to be presented and have been developed by our researchers from BIOTECH. This training is like the thread to tightly knit our connection to UPLB and their technologies. I hope that we could extend these products to our farmers and help them in their farming practices,” said City Agriculturist of Bayawan Engr. Kenneth Artes about the activity.

Program Leader Dr. Jocelyn T. Zarate and BIOTECH Deputy Director for Research and Extension Dr. Mannix S. Pedro discussed the science and socioeconomic and environmental benefits of the biofertilizers. The participants were also taught on the technologies’ methods of application.

Farmer-leaders from the various barangays of Bayawan and the BAFP researchers established the field demonstration at the CAGRI Complex, Learning Site for Agriculture in Bayawan on 21 September. It focused on rice and rice seedlings cultivation, augmented by the biofertilizers Oryzinc, Micro Mix, BioGroe, and MykoPlus. The field demo included a control group devoid of any biofertilizer for comparative purposes. Aside from the biofertilizers, composting technologies such as BIO-QUICK, BIO-FIX, and Nature’s Way Compost Activator were also introduced and assessed by the BAFP team on-site.

Senior Agriculturist Ted N. Gerian emphasized the city’s demand for the technologies introduced by BIOTECH. “Investment in agriculture alone is not enough; we should have sustainable farming practices here in Bayawan. For chemical fertilizer alone, our average annual spending is 30 million pesos. For the last three years, these chemical inputs poisoned our land and water resources in the city,” he said.

During the visit, BIOTECH researchers also paid a courtesy visit to City Mayor John   T. Raymond, Jr. who briefed the team on the LGU’s efforts on sustainable farming techniques. These include the distribution of free seeds, fertilizer inputs, pesticides, and use of tractors for the city’s farmers which aim to encourage the farmers to use their land for tending agricultural crops such as rice, corn, and high-value vegetables. (Jonalyn M. Mangaban)