5 Dec 2014

Soldiers, dependents taught organic farming

Food, livelihood prospects for 3ID personnel

By Niño Manaog
Extension Associate

Jamindan, Capiz—In response to the request by the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army based in Camp Macario Peralta Jr. here, the Capiz State University (CapSU)’s Research, Development and Extension (RDE) Office fielded its agriculture experts to conduct a lecture demonstration on integrated farming practices to military personnel and their dependents on Dec. 2–3, 2014.

For two days, Prof. Ramonita Caralde, agriculture instructor at the CapSU Burias Campus and Mr. Ceferino Lizada, agricultural technician II of the Extension Institute, lectured on integrated farming practices to some 40 military personnel including their wives based in Camp Peralta. In their lectures and insights, Caralde and Lizada, stressed on the advantages of organic agriculture and other similar practices.

In particular, participants worked in groups to prepare foliar fertilizers—including fish amino acid, fermented fruit juice, fermented plant juice, and calcium phosphate—using materials sourced out from their own locations.

On the second day, after being taught the basics in vermicomposting, land preparation and planting and other related practices, soldiers and their dependents planted vegetables (pechay) on the plots that they also prepared.

According to Lieutenant Col. Isidro Purisima, 3ID’s chief of staff, they sought the help of CapSU because they believed that its experts are the most qualified to help them maximize their natural resources to advocate organic farming and production. 3ID also seeks to provide food for themselves even as it also promises prospects for livelihood for their community.

Foremost, Purisima stressed that part of their advocacy is encouraging their own personnel to maximize the use of available lands from which they can also get their own food. Camp Peralta has a land area of 33,000 hectares, with a cantonment (operations) area of only 500 hectares.

For this project to succeed, Purisima noted, it is best that the soldiers have a sense of ownership of the project they are involved with. He added that the initiative also sought to only “jumpstart” and allow for a bigger and more expansive partnership with the University.

Prof. Ramonita Caralde (far right), agriculture faculty at CapSU Burias Campus, shares to the military personnel the benefits of using foliar fertilizers in organic vegetable production during a two-day lecture demo Dec. 2-3 at Camp Macario Peralta Jr. in Jaena Norte, Jamindan, Capiz. The capability-building initiative sought to jumpstart the re-greening program of the military camp which also seeks to augment the Army's food and livelihood prospects. Niño Manaog/Extension