Farming need patience and love PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 13:50

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Like growing flowers, to bloom the most beautiful, florists sometimes sing to their plants. In farming growing food crops or any agricultural crop, one need to show patience in tending them and mostly the love of farming. Green thumb or not, your crops will grow.

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Cultivating the soil to farm needs preparation and the love to do it. This will take many weeks until it will be ready for planting. While preparation is ongoing, the seedlings are also prepared for planting grown in an area solely for a seedling nursery. A lot of patience must be exercised in this preparation to ensure the growth of your crop, if you are planting rice variety in rice paddies (basakan). If you are planting in an upland farm, same routine is done, the only difference is, you don’t need a seedling nursery because the crop seeds are planted directly on the farm and patiently wait for weeks until the crop seed  grow and nourished by the rain.

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When the crops are in full bloom, you need supplement for crop nourishment. In the province of Zamboanga Del Sur, the Provincial Government is highly recommending the use of organic fertilizers for your farm crops. The Province of Zamboanga Del Sur produces its own organic fertilizer made available to interested farmers of the province. Governor Antonio H. Cerilles’s brainchild program of “Gabung-Gabung Organic Fertilizer Farming” has been acclaimed internationally by the International Agricultural Association in Hanoi, Vietnam during the International Conference On Integration of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development. The brainchild program of Governor Cerilles, was also cited as an example of organic fertilizer farming and recommended by the International Agriculture Body for foreign farmers in Asia and Europe, to copy and implement for a better opportunity and for a high yield to poor farmers. This is also to protect the environment like using synthetic fertilizers that are more expensive and hazardous to the environment.

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Years back in Zamboanga City during the incumbency of the late Mayor Maria Clara L. Lobregat, the city was producing organic fertilizer with the use of biodegradable garbage collected by the city’s garbage collectors and mixed with chemicals and coco coir imported from Luzon feeding the imported organic fertilizer machine bought by the city at a huge amount. For a few months the City’s Organic Fertilizer production was recommended to be used by the city’s farmers. After the late City Mayor Caling Lobregat passed away and since there was no program and budget to sustain the city’s organic fertilizer plant, the next city administration abandoned the project and laid waste to the huge amount in purchasing the Organic Fertilizer machine. Now, the Organic Fertilizer machines are a “white elephant” at the “Bagsakan” area in Sta. Cruz. Besides, the Organic Fertilizer Machines is sitting in an area, together with livestock market, vegetables, parking area and worst some barter trade stalls. This is a waste of public funds.

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In Zamboanga Del Sur, Governor Cerilles, constructed a huge building in Barangay Switch, Aurora Municipality, District 1, solely to house the province Organic Fertilizer Plant, no other obstructions are allowed in the Organic Fertilizer Plant, except for the over 4-hectare cassava demonstration farm beside the plant to sustain the program’s viability and improvement of the Organic Fertilizer, a brainchild of Governor Cerilles. It is very impresive. Local agricultural technicians and farm laborers are all employed by the province from its own budget. Another brainchild that Governor Cerilles is implementing right now on the same area is a building for “rice duck” hatchery. Experiment is ongoing, to harness the agricultural qualities of “rice ducks” droppings as fertilizers in a (basakan) rice farm. The “rice duck” droppings are known to contain elements that nourish the muddy soil of a rice farm aside from the fact that “rice ducks” are efficient pest killers of “palay” crops. The “rice duck” experiment is besides the Organic Fertilizer Plant and is at least 20 hectares of provincial government rice land property. It is also manned by local laborers, under the employ of the provincial government. Please take note, all these programs and projects are solely funded from provincial government funds.

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Table Talk will write about the impression it has gathered while in that province, to show that Fiscal Autonomy works if  used and implemented properly, like what Governor Cerilles has done. The governor is himself a farmer whose personal and private integrated farming has employed hundreds of local laborers. Governor Cerilles is, into rice production, mango fruit grower, rubber processing plant from his rubber plantation, cassava root crop buyer and grower and medium size piggery for personal purposes, to name some of his private farming ventures. These are some of his credentials in farming and is considered a compleat farmer, instilling inspiration to many farmers in the province.

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Zamboanga City has a much, much bigger public funds for development. We hope that the new administration will implement new projects for development in agriculture using those billions of pesos sleeping in private banks earning negligible interest per annum and making private commercial banks richer everyday. Zamboanga City needs projects that will spur the economy, promote peace for a prosperous business climate, new projects to employ local jobless residents and above all give barangay governments more authority to implement their projects with close monitoring from the city government. Let us make the barangay governments a partner for development. It has been done in Zamboanga Del Sur and verily with compassion and commitment it can always be done in Zamboanga City to catch up with the fast developments in our neighboring provinces.

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Scoop: To make this possible, all city officials must work hand in hand and move in one direction. Political squabbles are dangerous, it is the enemy of development besides “look before your leap” you might fall into the wrong hole.  Agree or disagree.