By: Jessamay Matanguihan, Trini Sager and Krizzia Mei C. Esperanza

Angono New Normal Farmers’ Association (ANNFA)—a people’s organization of senior citizen farmers based in Angono, Rizal—received Training on Natural Farm Input Preparation and Application last 17 March 2022 in Hillsdale Subdivision, Barangay Isidro, Angono, Rizal.

The Department of Science and Technology Provincial Science and Technology Center in Rizal (DOST-Rizal) organized the activity, inviting Mr. Villamor A. Ladia, Jr., University Researcher, and Mr. Anthony Vicencio, Farm Manager, both from the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, as resource speakers.

Formed at the height of the pandemic, ANNFA was organized to respond to food security issues in Angono. To help the community vegetable farmers of ANNFA sustain their production while minimizing their production expenses, DOST-Rizal facilitated the conduct of the training, complementing its other initiatives under the DOST – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD)-funded project, "Employing Hydroponics and Community Vegetable Gardening Technologies to alleviate COVID-19 Threats to Food Security in Selected Municipalities in Region IV-A."

ANNFA members prepared the materials and tools for farm input preparation, such as vegetable trimmings, overripe fruits, shells, weighing scale, mortar and pestle, chopping board, and knife. Mr. Ladia, Jr., with the assistance of Mr. Vicencio, demonstrated and assisted the farmers in the making of four types of natural fertilizers: Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ) from vegetable trimmings; Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ) from overripe fruits;  Oriental Herb Nutrient (OHN) from strong scented and spicy plants, such as lemongrass and ginger; and Water-Soluble Calcium (WSC) from eggshells. 

Mr. Ladia, Jr. also explained the varying uses of each fertilizer type as follows: FPJ for plant growth and nutrient supply; FFJ for flowering and initial bearing of fruits; OHN to get rid of insects; and WSC for fruit bearing and to boost plant health.

The training received good feedback from the farmer-participants. DOST-Rizal Provincial Director Fernando Ablaza thanked the speakers, and met with the ANNFA members during the activity to provide insights on current and future engagements of the provincial office with the farmers’ group.