ORMOC CITY – The first Regional Derby on Balanced Fertilization Strategy for Vegetables Forum was successfully held in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA RFO) 8 and LGU-Ormoc’s City Agriculture Department, which event took place at the covered court of Brgy. Cabintan, this city, on July 21, 2023.

Accordingly, the forum served as a balanced fertilization strategy of field advisories, mentoring, and partnership project in response to City Mayor Lucy Torres Gomez’s aspiration to turn Brgy. Cabintan into the capital for organic vegetables in the region.

According to Maria Rufelia S. Gula, former National Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Program (NUPAP) focal person, now Rice Progam focal person, this was the mayor’s statement during their BP2P Team courtesy visit on September 28, 2022.

On the said occasion, local farmers were urged to adopt a balanced fertilization strategy (BFS) to address the high cost of imported synthetic fertilizers and low soil fertility.

Rufelia also emphasized to the participants that organic vegetable farming is safe and healthy, environmentally safe and sustainable, helps combat climate change, and reduces production costs, among other things.

On the other hand, Leo P. Caneda, Visayas cluster consultant, congratulated the farmers of Cabintan for the local government unit’s move towards organic farming.

“Nasa bucketlist pala ni Mayor Lucy, especially ang Cabintan, from a conventional to an organic farming area, beautiful,” he said.

During the said event, biofertilizer companies such as Unigrow, Vitalgro Carrageenan, AHCIL Laboratories, Inc., CHC Agritech, AIC Agrigrowth International Corporation, Enviro, East-West Seed, and SEED WORKS presented their products to the farmers who participated in the said activity.

Accordingly, the BFS applies the concept of the 4 Rs in fertilization: right source, right placement, right amount, and right rate to help enhance soil health and productivity, prevent the decline in soil fertility, and improve fertilizer availability and decrease cost.

The objective of balanced fertilization is to ensure that the plant has access to an adequate supply of each nutrient at every growth stage in order to avoid any over- or under-supply.

The use of organic fertilizers has the advantage of being cheap, improving soil structure, texture, and aeration, increasing the soil’s water retention abilities, and stimulating healthy root development. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail July 17-23, 2023 issue)