FLUCTUATIONS IN PESO-dollar exchange rates pose a toll on imported inorganic fertilizers. This makes farming expensive, especially for small and medium scale crop growers.
Inorganic fertilizers enhance crop yield, but its intensive use resulted to unfavorable soil and environmental conditions. Losses and decline in soil fertility and productivity further threatens agricultural production.
PCARRD wants to promote the use of alternative fertilizers that are affordable, environment-friendly, and considered the best alternative so far.
Despite its benefits, however, very few are producing organic fertilizer on large commercial scale. To facilitate the establishment of organic fertilizer businesses and promote sustainable local organic fertilizer market, PCARRD approved the implementation of a project called "Investment package for the commercial production of organic fertilizers."
The proposal came from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, through project leader Dr. Virginia C. Cuevas, who is also professor at the university's Institute of Biological Sciences.
The project spans two years and five months, and aims to develop two business models to show the feasibility of technological interventions as applied by entrepreneurs and small to medium enterprises.
It also hopes to develop a business guide for local government units that produce quality organic fertilizer for community-based agricultural projects. The package will showcase the benefits from applying appropriate organic fertilizer production technologies on lowland rice and vegetable crops. These objectives hope to accelerate the commercialization of improved technologies.
Moreover, the investment package is expected to enhance and sustain the organic fertilizer niche in the local market, and provide existing and prospective entrepreneurs with platform for investing in science and technology-based production technologies. It will show the links and dynamics between and among sources of inputs, production, and market systems.
Target clients of the investment package include entrepreneurs, agricultural technicians, farmers, organic producers, and representatives of local government units, non-government organizations, and state colleges and universities.
-S&T Post, Vol. XXIV, 2nd Quarter 2006
Interviewed by: Ofelia F. Domingo, Science Research Specialist II, PCARRD