Sumilao LGU officers in Bombon Training Farm
Sumilao LGU officers with the PSFI team

With a goal of introducing organic agriculture to his municipality, Mayor Villo brought with him his Agriculture team (the Municipal Agriculture Office personnel led by Bing Dumaguit, together with eight chairmen of the Barangay Agriculture and Fisheries Councils, the Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council, and 2 municipal councillors).

As they toured the farm, Mayor Villo appreciated and basked at how all the crop and livestock production, and farm waste management technologies can all be replicated in Sumilao, specifically vermicomposting and bio-organic fertilizer production, among others. He expressed interest in organic farming and mentioned that while Sumilao is an agriculture-based community in the province of Bukidnon, where most of the population are dependent on agriculture as its main economic activity and as primary source of income, organic farming is not popular to most farmers. Rice, corn, and high-value vegetables are planted in the area, but are cultivated using conventional means, with large corporations planting commercial crops like banana and pineapple using the same inorganic methods.

Sieving vermicast
Sieving vermicast

The members of the contingent were thrilled with the activities they did during the visit, especially on the vermicomposting module where they laid their hands on the African night crawlers, the worms used to decompose agricultural waste. They also harvested and sieved vermicast and vermicompost.  During the open forum, Mayor Villo articulated his desire to replicate all the modules and is willing to allocate up to 100 hectares in Sumilao for organic farming. He invited Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) to visit Sumilao to assess the area for implementation of his planned organic farm and ascertain the needs of the farmers for identification of modules for the conduct of the Integrated Farming Bio-Systems (IFBS) training.

Satisfied and ecstatic over the visit, they bought available organic produce from the farm like black rice, pili seedlings, and native duck eggs.

By Maria Pamela Castro and Isagani Betchayda

Article published on PSFI news magazine October 2017 issue

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