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Organic Farming in the Philippines

Updated on August 26, 2011

No Better Time Than Now

There's no better time to seriously consider full organic farming in the Philippines than now. After long years of chemical fertilizer use, tilled soil in the country today has a 5.8 pH, which experts say is very acidic. Agricultural crops won't be able to grow well and bear fruit without soil nutritional supplements. The soil has lost its natural ability to be fertile. The soil is dead.

When I was a kid I remember bountiful mango and rice harvests from our farm in Guiguinto, Bulacan, and those were harvests free of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Any plant planted on the soil grew well. But some decades after, when chemical fertilizers came into the picture (and grossly abused), things became different. Well, yes, at the first application, rice harvest was wonderful. With just a handful application you reaped a lot. But soon, the soil turned too acidic and farmers found their land needing more and more chemical fertilizers to maintain average harvest. But the worse was yet to come.

Worse Scenario: More Chemicals Less Harvest

Soon, with more and more chemical fertilizers and pesticides applied, the soil--not to mention the food crops--became too acidic. Soon too, harvests decreased without the corresponding increase in chemical fertilizer use, because farmers discovered too late that inorganic fertilizers had the tendency to increase requirement every 2 to 3 years, while the harvest was pegged to a minimal. Now they were faced with a situation where they have to increase cost for soil fertilization just to maintain their fixed crop harvest.

Today, farmers I talk to complain about the mounting cost of inorganic fertilizers, their increasing requirement almost each year, but zero increase in yield. Sometimes the yield even falls despite heavy fertilization. When will the rising trend of inorganic fertilizer use stop? How can they reverse the situation? Is there a way out? Can the soil be rehabilitated in a way that it would go back to its former natural state of fertility?

Some years back, organic farming was partially introduced in the Philippines, but it failed the farmers. They thought that it would rescue them from their deepening harvest deficit, but they were frustrated. The farm yields just further declined with organic farming. All signs of hope seemed to have been snuffed out. Why? What went wrong?

Follow-Up Assistance on Technology Use

It was not that organic farming was ineffective. What caused the debacle was insufficient follow-up on technology use. Organic farming was a new technology then in the country (it's still partially is today) and the farmers were almost left to themselves to decide how to go about it. They were given the organic farm inputs and then the farm technicians watched how the farmers would do it. They visited the farms to gather development reports, but they didn't assist them hands-on. In effect, they didn't "step into the muddy rice paddies" with the farmers to do the new farming with the farmers in knee-deep mud. They visited the farms from a distance.

No, it's not really necessary to get all muddied just to show support for farmers regarding organic farming, but what I'm saying is, there should be a step-by-step demo by organic supplier-technicians assisting farmers right there on the farms from land preparation to tilling to booting to harvesting. This should happen at least for 2 cropping seasons.

In short, what's vital is the explanation and demonstration of farming protocol from land prep to the final stages of farming, be it vegetable, palay (rice), or fruit bearing tree farming.

Soil Preparation is So Vital

The success of any organic farming lies on the success of soil preparation--the initial stage of farming. Before any plant can be planted in the soil, the soil should be made fertile organically. It must have all the nutrients in it (organic minerals like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, to mention a few), plus enriched with micro organisms (like bacillus and aspergillus) that prepare the minerals and make them easily absorbed by plants. Without this, any attempt at organic farming is useless--even if you have the most potent organic foliar applications.

With organic farming, soil preparation should:

  • Fertilize soil
  • Get rid of chemical residues or neutralize soil
  • Soften soil
  • Fully enrich the soil

This is done by putting in powerful organic matter and solid organic fertilizers into the soil prior to any planting, and allowing for curing to happen several days.

New Discovery

It is urgently advised by soil experts to use a powerful liquid soil fertilizer made by nano technology together with organic matter and/or soild organic fertilizers in bags. Better if the nano liquid fertilizer is rich in L-Amino acids, minerals, and micro organisms.

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      manny monarca 5 years ago

      We have tested and proven again that TURBO PLUS ORGANIC FERTILIZER is best for dry-up rubber. We applied Turbo Plus Organic Fertilizer to a dry -up rubber and after 7 days it flows Latex again even so many years of being idle. Also for Lanzones that was attacked by aphids and stop giving fruits again we have proven that Turbo plus Org. fertilizer is very effective. For more info e-mail me turboplus_agronomic@yahoo.com

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      manny monarca 5 years ago

      Indeed organic farming is not as easy as we thought. A lot of preparation needed specially conditioning the soil and converting nitrogen to soil for plants food.

      Adapting new technology, through nano or any form of fermentation is a break through for having an inexpensive way to organic farming without suffering a setback on the first harvest season.

      I am using a Turbo plus organic fertilizer made from organic materials and plants leaves with macro micro nutrients to enhance the plant absorption and utilization. During the past harvest 3/4 hectare yield an average of 43 cavans only. After applying the Turbo+organic fertilizer we harvested 92 cavans of palay a tremendous record of increase in yields. We've noticed that during vegetation, the leaves stand erect and yellowish as we apply turbo+super vitamins every 15 days and during booting we spray turbo+fruiting does enhances the fruits until milking another application. And the result is really a miracle, the penacle are big and heavy does it curtains in one side. And became pest resistant, tungro, stem borer, black bug, tiangao were not able to penetrate our palay. We are very thankful that our demo farm was so successful with the help of our new discovered organic fertilizer the TURBO PLUS ORGANIC FERTILIZER.

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      kcollie37 5 years ago

      I thought it was a wonderful summary of the experience of countless farmers who have been suckered into literally "hooking their plants on drugs." When I got lazy & started buying transplants from a local nursery, I discovered I had to "get them off their drugs" for a period before they would thrive in my organic garden. I would love to be contacted by fellow organic folk who want to farm organically in the Philippines! Please email if interested @ kc0llie3714@gmail.com The "o" in collie is a zero.

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