Bio-N Mixing Plant
Bio-N mixing plant now operates in Lazi
46 farmers trained
by Rizalie A. Calibo
(Province of Siqujor) -- The importance of equipping farmers with new knowledge and technology is seen as vital to pursue the government's "laban sa kahirapan" goal of attaining self-sufficiency in the food staple.
This was underscored by Siquijor Congressman Orlando B. Fua and Governor Orlando “Shane” Fua Jr. during the launching and turn-over of a Bio-N Mixing plant in Tagmanocan, Lazi today.
The two officials, who claim to be farmers themselves and embrace agriculture as their priority program, vigorously pushed for the establishment of a Bio-N facility in the province, one of their projects designed to generate income and employment and transform marginal areas into self-sufficient farming communities.
The Bio-N mixing plant, complete with machineries and media for production is now turned-over to Tagmanocan farmers who have completed the Orientation and Hands-on Training in the Production of Bio-N. Some 46 farmers have completed the training.
Siquijor provincial agriculturist Dr. Ramon Taroc said that the establishment of Bio-N mixing facility in Siquijor is very beneficial as it reduces the utilization of the traditional fertilizer application which forms the bulk of farm investment.
“Farmers used to spend P3,000 to P5,000 for fertilizers for a hectare of corn farm per cropping season but with Bio-N, it is reduced to P500 per hectare, says Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Ramon Taroc.
Backing Dr. Taroc’s statement, Provincial Governor Shane Fua said this defines the significance of establishing a Bio-N processing plant in the province adding that with the facility, farmers are now spared from spending much for other expensive imported fertilizers and could use the savings for clothing and other needs of the family.
The governor said he was inspired by the flourishing Bio-N plant in Toledo City and caused the establishment of the Bio-N mixing pant with full support from the Biotech Philippines, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), the Department of Agriculture in Region 7 and from Congressman Orlando B. Fua.
He said his visit to Toledo plant gave him the idea of putting up the same project in Siquijor “because Toledo plant alone cannot supply the demands of the farmers in the region,”. “There is unlimited demand for Bio-N,” he said. Siquijor Bio-N mixing plant is the third in the region, the first two are in Toledo City and Bayawan City.
Dr. Mercedes Garcia, Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines pioneered BIO –N, a bio-fertilizer microorganism that fixes atmospheric nitrogen into its available form. Bio Tech Philippines produces the alternative fertilizer and introduced it all over the country. To date 68 mixing plants are now found nationwide and 15 more are coming, says Juliet Anarna, in charge of the production and quality control from the Biotech Philippines. She said Bio-N production is one of the priority programs of the government to boost farm production while reducing cost. “I am glad it is included in the National Food Summit,” she said.
The mixing plant have a budget cost of almost P1 million from the provincial government and P700,000 from the Department of Agriculture for the equipment and other machineries.
BIO –N application reduces the nitrogen requirement of crops by as much as 50 percent. It is breakthrough technology that promises very significant impact on the country’s farmers in terms of increasing farm productivity and income as well as saving the country’s dollar reserve due to decreased importation of fertilizer.
In one of her statements, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said that one of her goals is to help farmers increase their production through the application and utilization of modern agricultural methods and infrastructure facilities.
The establishment of Bio-N plant in the province is a manifestation of the government’s concern to provide all necessary production and agri-infrastructure and equipment support to the farmer-beneficiaries in the production of rice, corn, and high value commercial crops.
In the recent National Food Summit, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo underscored the need to introduce to farmers new technologies on farming and instructed the Department of Agriculture to continuously implement programs and interventions with close coordination from the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Local Government Units, as well as the Department of Science and Technology, aimed at training more trainers and technicians on new technology for dissemination to farmers.
With some P1 million coming from the provincial government of Siquijor and another P700 thousand from the Department of Agriculture and Biotech, the Bio-N mixing plant is finally completed and is now operating in Siquijor province. (RACalibo/PIA)
SIQUIJOR BREAKTHROUGH: This is the Bio-N that Tagmanocan farmers produced. It comes in a powder form in a handy 200-gram packet, which is meant for seed inoculation. It is microbial-based fertilizer for corn and other agricultural crops. (RACalibo/PIA)