Sat, 16 Oct 2021

MANILA-Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Pena on Friday said at least 15 farmers from the Talaandig tribal community in Talakag, Bukidnon, were trained on producing chemical-free carrots.

"The initiative provided (about) 212 IP (indigenous people) households in the area the ability to reduce the (chemical fertilizer) cost of farmers. Shifting to chemical-free production can save them of about PHP25,740 worth of (chemical fertilizer cost) per hectare," he said in a taped report aired over the DOST Facebook page.

An additional profit of PHP608,588 each cycle can also be expected through this initiative," de la Pena added.

The farmers are cultivating about 1,300 consolidated hectares of agricultural land, which they plan to fully convert into organic farmlands, according to the DOST chief.

"This milestone is made possible through a CEST (Community Empowerment through Science and Technology) program, and a special project funded by PCAARRD (Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development) in partnership with DOST X," he continued.

The training, on the other hand, was held in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Binahon Agroforestry Farm.

DOST Region X Director Alfonso Alamban told the Philippine News Agency that PHP165,000 was allocated by the DOST for the training.

"But the whole project costs PHP2.99 million, funded by PCAARRD and DOST-X. The project will run for two years," he said in a Viber message. (PNA)

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