The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) through the Soil and Water Resources Research Division (SWRRD) conducted the Farmers’ Field Day in Brgy. Namatacan, San Narciso, Zambales on March 5, 2020as part of the project entitled “Piloting of Zinc Ameliorant in Zinc Deficient Areas”. This was attended by 51 participants including the farmers in the locality, LGUs and the staff from the division.

The program started with messages from Mr. Samson Esteban, Agricultural Technician, Mr. George Mata, Brgy. Captain of Brgy. Namatacan, Mr. Dave Naungayan, Municipal Agriculturist,on behalf of the mayor, and Engr. Renz Kriztian Briol, Science Research Specialist II, on behalf of Dir. Sonia M. Salguero and Dr. Edna D. Samar. During the said activity, the participants visited the farm of Mr. Jordan Carbonel, one of the farmer-cooperator sof the project, to showcase the effects of zinc amelioration technology in the crops. Using the newly procured drone by the SWRRD, the entire techno demo farm was documented. Mr. Jerickson Dela Cruz, project staff discussed the objectives and protocol of the project as well as the uses and applications of zinc to the soil. He emphasized more the importance of zinc and how the project helps the rice production. Mr. Carbonel shared his testimony about the project. According to him, before the project, his crops in the farm usually died at early vegetative stage due to waterlogging. However, during the project, no more waterlogging occurred. His farm yielded more than 2-fold compared to the previous harvests, thus, the technology boosted his crop yield.In addition, Mr. Rodrigo Morales, another farmer-cooperator of the project, observed that the application of zinc sulfate at seedbed application gave higher yield than the other methods of application. According to him, in this method, the roots of the seedlings grew deeper than other methods used. Improvement in growth and yield of rice were observed by both farmer-cooperators.

Farmers’ field day, as part of the activities of the project, is essential. This helps the farmers and other participants to be updated and gain more knowledge about the importance of zinc amelioration in rice production. The activity provides the chance to listen to the testimonies of the farmer-cooperators on the use of zinc sulfate and see the effects brought about the zinc amelioration technology.