By Josephine Asuncion R. Emoy, Ph.D.
An innovation that shifts from conventional farming practice promises increased productivity and food security in the province and beyond.
Propelled with the goal of extending life-changing technologies that will contribute to the starch and flour industry in the country and assist local farmers to pull through during these most distressing times, the University R & D headed by Dr. Angelie Rose Lumba, Dr. Aladino Moraca, CPSU President and Sir Rhaprap Tondo, Farm Manager and CAF instructor, developed a new approach of planting sweet potatoes that can yield more production capacity known as the “Green Mining Method”.
The realization of this method starts with intricate processes and procedures to ensure effective propagation of sweet potato cuttings such as soil analysis, land preparation and plot layout. The University, being an advocate of natural farming purely used organic fertilizer as soil enhancer such as carbonized rice hull and vermi-compost from its own vermi-composting production applied in equal ratio. And unlike the conventional practice, in this method, soil is mounded to about 70 cm. The purpose is to elevate the soil to prevent it from being eroded especially during the country’s rainy season and monsoons. After 4 months, each mound yields approximately 4 kg. of crops.
This design is likewise cost, time and energy-efficient since it only requires one-time preparation. After harvest, mounds can be continually utilized for the succeeding cropping cycles, making it an ace to farmers.
With the recent launching of the University’s flour mill and having produced its own flour, this initiative is given focus since it is one of the major ingredients used in the institution’s flour production. This is also a step forward in embracing another technology that the University is currently pushing known as Conservation Agriculture, a new approach in agriculture that increases yield while enhancing soil health.
Currently, this Green Mining method is seriously practiced throughout the campuses in CPSU and is willing to share this innovation to the community, stakeholders and other interested parties who wish to be trained on this process.
With agriculture being dubbed as ‘wealth generator emerging from the soil,’ this method ensures sustainability, food security, and economic development especially amidst this most depressed times in our country.