Cebu Farmers Embrace New Technologies To Improve Production

Farmers in the canyoneering town of Badian, Cebu proved to the whole world they can also become astute in learning new ways of tilling their land, thanks to the Department of Agriculture’s determination to infuse new technology in Cebu’s farmlands.

Judilyn Catacutan, a farmer of Banhigan, Badian, loved the usual and traditional method of producing vegetables for Cebu’s 4.8 million population but when DA-7 (Central Visayas) introduced new technologies to farmer-families in her village, it changed their ways to improve cropping procedures.

She was among the few farmers in the village who successfully finished a training program given by the DA-7 under the Season Long Training on Vegetable Production, said Quian Ibarra, information officer of DA-7.

Like Catacutan, Crisologo Taboada was tilling his land the traditional way. Although he found it to be productive, Ibarra said Taboada did not hesitate to learn new ways to till his farm.

He said among the technologies Banhigan farmers like Catacutan and Taboada learned in their four-month long training are “proper soil sterilization for land preparation, the use of plastic mulching, the importance and uses of vermi cast and other fertilizers, and the use of biological control agents.”

Lorenzo Sario, president of Banhigan Farmers’ Association, expressed his gratitude to DA-7 for exposing them to new methodologies in farming.

He showcased their group’s new techno-demo farm which, he said, enables them to improve vegetable production through the new technologies they learned during their four months of training with the DA-7 experts.

“Look at our techno-demo, we were able to produce many vegetables and this harvest festival is a concrete example that indeed we need to update what we were practicing before,” Sario said.

He said they look forward to more sustainable and profitable crop farming methods to cope with the growing demand for vegetables in Cebu.

“We hope that DA will continue their support for the sustainability and profitability of our vegetable garden,” Sario said.

Among the vegetables collected during the harvest festival held on Monday, Feb. 4, were eggplants, ampalaya, okra, pepper, squash, string beans, tomatoes and cucumber.

Badian is famous for its canyoneering site and Kawasan waterfalls that is located in Barangay Matutinao and frequently visited by local and foreign tourists.

The town is also a major source of vegetables, said Badian Vice Mayor Fructuso Caballero during the Harvest Festival culminating the four-month long training program.

DA-7, however, admitted that Cebu’s crop production has sufficiency level of 2.3%, citing the province’s growing population and resorting to importation of more goods than it can produce.

Some of the vegetables in Cebu come from Luzon and Cagayan de Oro, the agency said. (PNA)

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