Development of Organic Seed Production Systems for Tropical Fruits & Plantation Crop in Mindanao Island



            Organic production area for pummel, banana, durian and cacao was established at the Bureau of Plant Industry-Davao National Crop Research and Development Center (BPI-DNCRDC) and underwent the conversation period of eighteen (18) months.

            The organic production practices adopted for the four crops were application of vermicast and mulching; intercropping of legumes and sweet potato for banana and cacao; crop rotation of vegetables for durian; and cultivation and hilling-up for banana.

            Preliminary results showed that cultivation and hilling-up for banana obtained heavier bunch at 16.28 kgs and produced more suckers. Banana pseudostem cut at two (2) meters from the ground obtained the highest bunch weight of 14.50 kgs.

            Initial observation revealed that durian (Puyat) was susceptible to fruit borer when planted in an orchard with one (1) variety. Damaged to fruit by durian fruit borer accounted to 20% in peak season of harvest (August).

            A total of 4,000 planting materials were produced by the project, 1,900 asexually propagated durian and 2,100 sexually propagated cacao. These seedlings are being maintained inside the screen house.

            An organic farmer in Imam, Bansalan, Davao del Sur was identified as collaborator of the project. The Center has provided 300 and 100 asexually propagated durian and cacao, respectively, and 1,000 tissue cultured Lakatan banana plantlets for the establishment of the organic fruit tree area.

            Institutional linkages and partnership, to ensure sustainability of this intervention were initiated. The project emphasized collaboration with the provincial and municipal Agricultural officers, local government units and non-government organization in region IV A and IV B to facilitate the effective extension of the technologies. Post evaluations for all the activities were conducted. All the activities were found effective in promoting our technologies.

            Cost and benefit study on application of VAMRI and preparation of business plan is being conducted primarily for prospective investors.

            This is only an initial extension activities for VAMRI in combination with other biofertilizer products. The projects generated much interest that clamor among other regions for inclusion in the project is increasing. In addition, a large number of farmers in and outside the areas covered so far are requesting to expand crop coverage to include coconut and other high value crops under coconut plantation. This is an enormous challenge given the limited project fund.

            While linkages with the LGUs and SCUs have been initiated and while some of them have expressed interest to continue what the project has started, a number of them have yet to be convinced to conduct follow through activities to ensure sustainability in the use of biofertilizer in their areas. In addition, while trainors training have been conducted, there is still a need to further expand this activity to fully strengthen the technical support needed for a nationwide adoption of biofertilizer technology.

            And lastly, there is a clear need to strengthen the advocacy effort for the increased government support to the biofertilizer program. The AFACI and DA-BAR projects have sustaintially improved the awareness not only of the farmers, but also of the government officials of the need to intensify the use of biofertilizer in the country. However, much remains to be done in terms of specific projects (such as the present one) in order to capitalize on this awareness and finally achieve a truly nationwide utilization of biofertilizer technology for sustainable agriculture. The project intends to package and published its results as an advocacy material to further convince agricultural policy makers, LGU officials and other key players in the government. Nevertheless, more important achievement along this end can be realized if the present project can be continued and expanded.