PhilFIDA VIII Cross-Visits Integrated/Diversified Abaca Farms in Iloilo and Aklan Provinces
Date Posted January 2017.
Acting Director Wilardo O. Sinahon of Regional Office VIII headed a group from Sogod, Southern Leyte who went to cross-visit the provinces of Iloilo and Aklan on 21-25 November 2016 to see the integrated/diversified abaca farms in the region. The team was composed of abaca farmers, Mayor Imelda U. Tan & other representatives from LGU-Sogod, DA-RFO8 and the Abaca Coalition.
This travel was a first for most of them as the group went purposely to gain insights and experiential learnings on the good agricultural practices of the farmers in the region, new technologies and even marketing of products pertaining to abaca.
A breakthrough in the field of fertilizers was introduced by our own Executive Director, Victor B. Prodigo, who developed the product called “Masinag Organic Fertilizer” for the eradication, prevention and control of diseases that continue to plague abaca plants nationwide. Director Prodigo claimed that the fertilizer is composed of an enzyme which makes it the most powerful and highly advanced organic liquid fertilizer. It is a soil enhancer, fertilizer and bio-control agent that is environment-friendly rolled into one. This is an answer to the majority of abaca farmers’ wish not to uproot the infected abaca plants and just treat them instead with the enzyme. Abaca farmers become millionaires in 3 years with farms of 4,000 planting density, Dir. Prodigo added.
In the summary of insights gained, the following are noteworthy to mention:
- abaca plants grow best in areas with partial shading, cooler climate, right soil moisture content and slightly rolling ground.
- The use of spindle stripping machine still produces the better quality of abaca fiber than that of the decorticating machine.
- It is possible to plant 4,000 abaca suckers on a 1-hectare area of land.
- Intercropping abaca with coconut, ginger and fruit trees is a good practice to earn cash crops and maximize the area.