TESDA-11 eyes 100 IP trainers on organic farming

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KAPALONG, Davao del Norte — The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Region 11 (TESDA-11) said it is eyeing some 100 members of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) from the five Davao Region provinces in Davao to be trainers in their respective communities in organic farming.

Arlyn Bandong, TESDA-11 provincial director for Davao del Norte, said at least 10 IPs participated in the two-day “trainers’ training” held in this town for concoction making of bio-inoculants and biofertilizer for increased agricultural productivity.

Bandong said the training is in line with Executive Order 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte that mandates relevant government agencies to provide skills training to tribal communities as well as rebel returnees.

“We want them (IPs) to apply the technology to their various communities for they can easily communicate with their fellow IPs. For us, the language barrier can also be difficult especially in explaining the technology,” she said.

Aside from the 10 IPs, Bandong said the training is participated in by 70 TESDA vocational administrators and trainers in agriculture.

“We have chosen the KWR Permaculture team as our instructor since they have already established their concoction called ‘kurambos’ or food and kitchen wastes mixed all in one. We want this technology to be replicated and eventually be adopted by the farmers in Region 11,” she said.

In particular, she said the participants are being taught how to train others on the KWR Permaculture concoction being used in foliar and “biocon” formula that has been proven to effectively control the onslaught of fusarium wilt on the local banana industry.

In Davao Region alone, she said the formula has already been used in more than 50 agricultural sites or about 2,000 hectares.

“We really wanted to learn how they converted food and kitchen waste into technology,” Bandong said.

She also added that the next batch of training will include IPs from Talaingod town.

TESDA 11 Director Lorenzo Macapili said the training is part of the agency’s organic agriculture curriculum.

“Their permaculture farming system is wholistic so we wanted to integrate it into our curriculum. After the training, we will also conduct functional analysis and we will look into their industry practices which is not yet included in our training regulations,” Macapili said.

Roni Manching, KWR permaculture team leader and who concocted the “kurambos”, told Philippine News Agency Monday that the concoction being taught to the participants is seen to eventually decrease the synthetic fertilizer importation in the country.

“It has the capability to restore biodiversity for it is an anti-bacterial agent, anti-fungal and an air purifier. In general, it is very eco-friendly,” Manching added.

He said that if the technology is adopted by farmers on a wider scale, around 30 to 40 percent can be saved on their synthetic inputs.

“In organic farming, the result usually takes longer since it requires regular application for about five years. With the use of concoction as a biological agent, the result of its effectivity will be evident in two to three months,” he added. -PNA

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