Written by the Web Team
Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr, executive director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute, cited the farmers in San Mateo, Isabela during the recent 6th Balatong Festival for being resourceful and open-minded.
“Some farmers in the country are yet to adopt the intensified rice-based farming system and crop diversification, which we promote at PhilRice. Here, you amaze me with your productive farm practices and willingness to produce crops other than rice,” Rasco said in Filipino.
San Mateo, known as the country’s mungbean capital can generate P350 million income from the 7, 500 ha planted to mungbean in a year. This is equivalent to a farmer’s daily income of P500.
“Indeed, San Mateo farmers are model-modern farmers. Your success in planting mungbean after rice shows that farmers can be competitive in the looming ASEAN Trade Liberalization,” he said.
Emphasizing on the benefits of rice-munggo cropping pattern, Rasco said that the carbonized rice hull (CRH) can help increase water productivity and yield of mungbean.
Adding 20 tons of CRH into sandy or heavy soil can increase mungbean harvest of up to 615 kg/ha. Without CRH, yield is only at 405 kg/ha.
Planting munggo after rice also restores the natural fertility of the soil as the crop’s root system is filled with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which is useful in rice farming.
Rasco further urged the farmers to increase their knowledge in farming through the internet or listening to Madiskarteng pagsasaka radio program of PhilRice Isabela every Wednesday, 5:00-5:30 am at DWSI Sonshine Radio 864khz and DWPE Radyo ng Bayan.