By jtabangcura - Posted on 10 May 2017

 

Relative to the University’s yearlong centennial anniversary celebration, the Office of Extension Services (OES) brought a Technology Caravan to Kabayan on April 26, 2017.

The Technology Caravan aimed at showcasing mature and commercially-viable technologies of the University and to create an avenue for community-based information dissemination through a farmer’s forum.
More than 75 farmers participated in the said forum which evolved around the technology dissemination on soil analysis, plant pest and disease diagnosis, agroforestry practices, beekeeping, among others.

Dir. Valentino L. Macanes of the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry emphasized on good agricultural practices in agroforestry systems. He said that coffee is adaptable in agroforestry, it is good to plant under Benguet Pine Trees.

Dir. Macanes also took pride in saying that the Arabica coffee of Benguet State University (BSU) is certified as organic, nationally and internationally. He also underlined the need for not only coffee but for fruits and vegetables, as well, to have good agricultural practices (GAP) certification because this is what consumers look for.

Dr. Johnny Dati, division chief of the Extension and Training Unit of the Horticulture Research and Training Institute, discussed on problems encountered in vegetable production. He said that high input vegetables, which are currently being grown in the locality, uses expensive materials because the seeds are imported and cannot be locally produced.

“To solve these critical points, we must lessen the use of inputs, instead of buying commercial fertilizers, we can produce composts. We can also use biological insecticides to decrease chemical pesticide input,” said Dati.

On the other hand, Prof. Alexander Fagyan, director of the Climate Smart Agriculture Center, talked about the importance of soil analysis. A closer look, accordingly, into the pH and NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) content of the soil can provide a background on the proper fertilizer applications in the soil.

Eight soil samples from seven farmers were analyzed during the caravan. Based on the results, all eight samples are acidic, have low nitrogen content, medium phosphorus content, and most are potassium deficient. The results of the analyses were the bases of Prof. Fagyan in recommending the appropriate fertilizers that each respective farmer will use.

Prof. Paquito Untalan, director of the Cordillera Regional Apiculture Center also gave points to consider in beekeeping.

He said that training on such is a primary requirement before putting up a bee farm.

Prof. Untalan underlined the importance of bees in pollination as well as the various products from bees such as honey, wax, pollen, royal jelly, and many more.

Lastly, Dr. Richard Dumapis from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the College of Veterinary Medicine shared an overall insight in animal production. He said that in animal production, the source of stock must be looked into, proper feeding of the stocks must be seen, and that stocks must be vaccinated.

“I hope that this endeavor is made regular to effectively disseminate information. Sometimes farmers rely on their experiences and they do not know that there are other technologies which are good to enrich their knowledge and maximize their production,” said Geofrey B. Binaliw, Municipal Agriculturist of Kabayan.

The BSU Technology Caravan is also synchronized with Kabayan’s Ecotourism Month and Bindiyan Festival.//Kevin Juman Tindo