1st HIGH VALUE CROPS WEEK #SuccessStories | Appropriate farming technologies have improved the quality of produce and doubled the harvest of the potato farmers in Brgy. Alegre, Bansalan, Davao del Sur from 4,000 kg to 8,000 kg per cropping.
The said potato farmers are beneficiaries of the Sustainable Potato Program (SPP) of the Department of Agriculture-XI (DA-XI) and Universal Robina Corporation (URC), the country's leading potato chips manufacturer.
Under the SPP, URC provides free high-quality Granola potato seeds imported from Prince Edward Island in Canada, source of one of the best potato seeds in the world. They also conducted skills training as well as research and development while DA-XI facilitates the identification of farmer-beneficiaries and monitoring on the impact of the program to the farming community.
Gagpang Alegre Potato Small Farmers Association (GAPSFA) chair Carlito Palangya has attributed their success to openness of their members to new technologies in potato farming.
"When DA-XI came to us, they taught us how seed quality can greatly affect crop development and yield. Before, we only used native varieties or home-saved seeds in potato farming which are susceptible to pests and diseases and produced low yield compared to the Granola seed variety which can produce up to one kilogram of potatoes per tuber," said Palangya.
Recently, DA-XI High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) SPP Project Support Officer Ken Oliver Dungo has visited the potato farmers in Alegre and noted that more farmers are now using Granola potato seed variety in potato production.
"The first time we came here with the DA-XI Research Chief and SPP focal Melani Provido, we can see a lot of idle spaces with very good potential for high value crops production, but now we are so happy that more farmers have cultivated the area and the technology given produces great results," said Dungo.
Meanwhile, DA-XI Vegetable focal Ronnie Mahinay, Jr. has also checked the development of the vegetable production areas in the community which is also a beneficiary of the free vegetable seeds of HVCDP-XI.
"Farmers here have really utilized their production areas into its utmost potential. We can see that they are practicing intercropping such as coffee and carrots which is very good to realize our twin goal of Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita," said Mahinay. | via Celso Campos Vergara, RAFIS11