Wednesday, March 4, 2015

DA lauds Legazpi’s organic fertilizer production, plant-now-pay-later programs
By Danny O. Calleja

PILI, Camarines Sur, March 3 (PNA) -– The initiative of the city government of Legazpi towards the commercial production of organic fertilizer as a component of its “plant now, pay later” program has earned the admiration of the regional office for Bicol here of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“Both are not only a noble undertaking but also a manifestation of a very wise decision-making, considering that the local government of Legazpi, while dynamically working on transforming the locality into a highly- urbanized city, is never setting aside the enhancement of its agricultural sector,” DA Regional Executive Director Abelardo Bragas on Tuesday said.

Noble said through manufacturing of organic fertilizer through a state-of-the-art process it is establishing, they would come up with natural crop production input leading to the production of safe food while easing the burden of biodegradable garbage disposal because the raw materials for this fertilizer processing are the refuse of households and commercial establishments.

Wise decision-making to the sense that the city administration--despite the advancement of the place towards urbanization and the massive gains of its tourism industry, private investment promotion and infrastructural development--remains committed to agricultural productivity and increasing the earning capabilities of its farmers, Bragas noted.

“Legazpi is indeed a highly livable city as cited in a national search recently, not only for its urban settlers, visitors and tourists but also for its farmers living in its countryside barangays,” Bragas said.

Launched recently by the Legazpi City government headed by Mayor Noel Rosal, the organic fertilizer manufacturing project is in collaboration with ELR Family Trading Co. Inc., a Filipino-owned private manufacturer, distributor and exporter of the same product based in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, and owned by world-renowned microbiologist Dr. Eliseo Ruiz.

In this case, Bragas said, the city becomes the first local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines to adopt biotechnology as solution not only to nagging problems on solid waste management confronting urban localities but also to the high cost of both commercial organic and chemical fertilizers confronting farmers.

Under this project, the tons of biodegradable solid waste materials that the city government collects from all over its urban barangays, instead of being dumped into the Php100-million huge sanitary landfill it established at the outskirt of the city about four years ago, will now be diverted to the organic fertilizer manufacturing plant.

This way, the serviceability of the controlled dump will be prolonged minus this kind of garbage while the non-biodegradable materials remain with the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) from where dozens of organized local families draw livelihood by way of collecting recyclable garbage and selling them to scrap dealers.

During the grand launch in the city of the project, attended by hundreds of farmers and other private and government agricultural stakeholders last January, Rosal said the establishment of the organic fertilizer factory will also help solve the twin problems of unemployment and high cost of commercial fertilizers that confront agricultural productivity, especially on the part of the rice and vegetable sectors.

The mayor explained that since the organic fertilizer manufacturing technology is labor intensive, it will create jobs in the community and its output, on the other hand, can be efficient substitute for the costly chemical fertilizers. (PNA) LAP/FGS/DOC/CBD