Thursday, October 11, 2007

Zero Disposal System of Agri-wastes for Sustainable Production of Organic Food

The Scenario: Wastes generated by the fish and livestock industry pose a great problem to the environment. Bulk of rice straw produced from farms are simply burned – accelerating air pollution.

The Practice: chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been used in great amount to increase agricultural productivity but the residual chemicals have seriously affected the quality of our farm products, caused environmental pollution and damaged soil’s original micro-ecological balance leading to plants’ susceptibility to diseases.

The Opportunity: The production and utilization of vermicompost, and the utilization of low-cost biogas technology.

The Answer: A model that sums up vermin-compost and vermin-meal production; biogas production; legume, corn, and rice production; and integrated fish-azolla production. This will allow sustainable production of organically grown food. The waste generated in the farm will not be discharged outside the farming system.

ABSTRACT

To meet the growing demand for crop yield by the swelling population, chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been used in great amount to accelerate agricultural productivity. As a result, production cost of agriculture has doubled giving a narrow profit margin to the farmers. Moreover, the residual chemicals have seriously affected the quality of our farm products, caused environmental pollution and damaged soil’s original micro-ecological balance leading to plants’ susceptibility to diseases. Hence, the practice is not sustainable. On the other hand, low-cost biogas technology plays an important role in reducing the emission of greenhouse gas brought by animal manure but has not gained wide utilization among the people despite of its potential in generating cooking gas for domestic use.

With this scenario, the proponents (Dr. Herbert Imatong, Dr. Jovita Saguibo, Dr. Eduardo Bagtang) devised a model attainable within two years with a capitalization of 1.5 million. The program consists of vermicompost and vermimeal production; biogas production; legume, corn, and rice production; and integrated fish-azolla production. This will allow sustainable production of organically grown food. The waste generated in the farm will not be discharged outside the farming system. Hence, this human intervention is considered as zero-wastes disposal system for sustainable production.

The model commenced with the establishment of vermicompost production and dispersed it to farmers at a minimal cost. This program component is a collaborative effort of PCAMRD – DOST, NEDA and KASC. The funding agency is NEDA through the Phil-Japan Support for Underprivileged Farmers with an amount of One Million while the other components are to be shouldered by the State College.

The vermi project aims to promote the vermicompost and vermimeal production technologies in the Cordillera region thru techno-demo, training, and techno-transfer in partnership with State College and Universities, Local Government Units, and the private sector.

The project Specifically aims to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of producing vermicompost and vermimeal as an economical and friendly option for the recycling of biodegradable materials (household, municipal and farm wastes); mass produce the suitable earthworm species (Eudrillus eugenae) for region wide dissemination at a price of P30 per kilogram for increasing access of small farmers to earthworm biomass and enhancing livelihood opportunities while reducing pollution of the environment. It likewise aimed to provide vermicompost to farmers who have no time to process their own fertilizer at P250/bag. Beyond the project component is a production of organically formulated feed for poultry, livestock, and fish culture

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