The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) conducted the Masaganang Bagong Pilipinas Town Hall Meeting with Stakeholders and Farmer Cooperators for the Adaptive Balanced Fertilization Strategy – High Value Crops (ABFS-HVC) (Rice-Onion and Rice-Garlic) Project Inception on May 14, 2024 at San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; and May 22, 2024 at Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte. This initiative is under the Project “Abonong Swak Para sa High Value Crops: Updating of Integrated Soil Nutrient Management Recommendations for Selected High Value Crops through Adaptive Balanced Fertilization Strategy (ABFS).”  This is the first ever project of DA-BSWM on ABFS for rice-onion and rice-garlic cropping systems and each covers a 10-hectare farmer-managed technology demonstration site.  These activities were spearheaded by Dr. Karen S. Bautista, the Chief Science Research Specialist of the Soil and Water Resources Research Division (SWRRD).  Particularly, the event at Pasuiquin, Ilocos Norte was attended by Director Gina P. Nilo to show her utmost support to the Project and the Division.  

This Inception Meeting aimed to strengthen our collaboration with partner local government units (LGUs) and farmers’ association in respective areas for the project implementation. The activities include the presentation of project overview including the roles of BSWM and farmers associations in the project implementation, and protocol among stakeholders and farmer cooperators; and the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

For the rice-onion cropping system in Nueva Ecija, the Town Hall meeting was participated in by the LGUs and farmers’ association of both Municipalities involved in the project.  The participants consisted of the representatives from the office of the Municipal Agriculturist of Bongabon, Barangay Larcon, and Bagong Pag-Asa Larcon Farmers Association.   While for San Jose City, the representatives were from the office of the City Agriculturist, Barangay Palestina, and Damayang Magbubukid ng Palestina Farmers Association (DAMPA).  

On the other hand, the LGUs and farmers’ association of Brgy.  Sugsugaen, Pasuquin participated in the rice-garlic cropping system in Ilocos Norte.  Specifically, the representatives were from the Office of the Mayor, Municipal Agriculturist, Barangay Susugaen, and Susugaen Farmers and Fishermen Association.  

The DA-BSWM headed by Director Gina P. Nilo and Assistant Director Denise A. Solano promotes and encourages the practice of Adaptive Balanced Fertilization Strategy (ABFS) which is a fertilization technique that focuses on the right use of organic/biofertilizers and inorganic fertilizers with the right amount of nutrients to sustain the nutritional requirements of the crops, while ensuring a sustainable and healthy soils.

This roject was formulated in support of the Top Priority Agenda of BSWM on National Soil Health Program (NSHP) and the adoption of Adaptive Balanced Fertilization Strategy (ABFS) as per DA M.C. No. 20, series of 2020.  In connection to the initiatives on ABFS for rice, which was launched in 2023, the ABFS for HVC project aims to enhance the integrated soil nutrient management recommendations for other high value crops including onion and garlic which is also planted after rice in several areas of the country.

(Jenny Anne Escalona, SWRRD)

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