Thursday, April 14, 2016

DOST-PCAARRD joins the 2nd national organic agriculture scientific conference

Rodolfo O. Ilao, ARMRD Director and DOST Representative to the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) provided the plenary presentation. (Photo by Allan B. Siano)

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) participated in the 2nd National Organic Agriculture Scientific Conference held from February 16 to 20, 2016 at the Visayas State University, Baybay City.

The conference, which had the theme, Go organic… for health, resiliency, and sustainability, was attended by organic agriculture practitioners, researchers, faculty, students, and other stakeholders from higher education institutions. It was organized by the Organic Agriculture Society of the Philippines (OASP).

“We encourage stakeholders from the government and private sectors to employ organic agriculture as a strategy to reduce poverty in the country and at the same time increase food production and quality,” said Arsenio G. Barcelona, President of OASP, Inc.

Senate Chair on Agriculture and Food Cynthia A. Villar served as the keynote speaker. According to her, it is imperative for all stakeholders in the agriculture industry to help boost the implementation of organic agriculture, which is a climate resilient farming system.                                               

DOST-PCAARRD Agricultural Resources Management Research Division (ARMRD) Director Rodolfo O. Ilao provided the plenary presentation on science and technology (S&T) on organic agriculture and allied sectors program for the members of the National Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Network (NAARRDN).

Dr. Jocelyn E. Eusebio, DOST-PCAARRD CRD Director also served as one of the evaluators during the paper presentation on researches on organic agriculture, together with University of the Philippines Open University Faculty of Management and Developmental Studies Noemi Tirona. Eleven scientific papers were presented during the conference.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Organic Fertilizing of Urban Plants

Each one of us urban dwellers are up to our gills in concrete, glass and steel. It is unnatural for us to be surrounded by such and we always look forward to going out of town and seeing trees and greens. It has always been a welcome break to commune with nature. But most of us confined to our urban surroundings most of the year. We resort to have our own little pocket gardens in our homes be it a small yard or even a few pots of plants outside our apartment windows. As such, the care of our urban based plants have double the challenge since the habitat they came from is the inverse of the surroundings they have been well, “transplanted”.

Here are a few tips on how to organically fertilize urban plants:

1.    Use coffee grounds or tea bags. Dry them first to avoid molds. They are rich in potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen thus the soil will be enriched. Just mix them with the soil surrounding the plants.
2.    Aquarium Water. If you have aquariums, the water from these are rich in nitrogen. Watering the plants will be of great benefit.
3.    Ground Eggshells. These neutralize the acid in soil and enable calcium to be released to the roots of the plants.
4.     Banana peels and onion skins. These are rich in magnesium and potassium. Just mix cut the banana peels into small pieces the soil.

These tips will improve the nourishment of urban plants and is bound to enable the plants to withstand the urban environment.


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