By Zac B. Sarian
The visitors to the three-day Atisco Harvest Festival at the Atisco Farm in Tanauan City were amply rewarded with the doable ideas they were able to witness at the farm.
One idea is the intercropping of ginger between coconut trees intended for harvesting for palm heart (ubod) when they will be three years old. The showcase dramatically demonstrates how production in a unit area in a farm can be maximized. The ginger plants are very robust and are expected to produce a high yield.
ASPIRING LADY FARMER AT THE HARVEST FEST – Mary Ann Roque, a travel agency manager who has started her own farm, was one of the early visitors at the Atisco Harvest Festival in Tanauan City on November 30 to December 2, 2017. She attended the harvest festival in the hope of getting practical ideas that she could adopt in her two-hectare farm in Altura Matanda, Tanauan City. She already has 1,000 posts of dragon fruit for a start. She hopes to develop her farm into an agritourist destination. Photo shows her posing with a fruitful Diamante Max tomato showcased by East-West Seed at the Atisco farm.
DANTE DELIMA, operations manager of Atisco farm, poses with black sesame in their vegetative stage. One purpose of growing the crop is to show the potential of this minor crop as a money-maker. Because sesame is not produced in big commercial scale in the Philippines, the country imports its requirements from countries like Vietnam and some other sources.
BEAUTIFUL GINGER – One attraction at the Atisco farm during the harvest festival is a crop of robust ginger plants planted in between two-year-old coconuts. This is a showcase of how to maximize the productivity of a unit area in a farm. Ginger is a high-value crop that will thrive under partially shaded conditions. Aside from ginger, gabi is also intercropped.
ORANGE DELIGHT is a new watermelon variety from East-West Seed that was showcased at the recent Atisco Harvest Festival in Tanauan City. The fruit has orange flesh that is sweet and juicy. Its medium size of 2 to 3 kilos makes the fruit saleable in the local markets. Aside from Orange Delight, Yellow Delight and Red Delight were also showcased.
SMALL MACHINES FROM KOREA – Among the machinery showcased at the Atisco Harvest Festival were the small machines from Korea which are useful in preparing the land for growing vegetables and other high-value crops. The machines manufactured by Asia Tech are good for tilling the soil, making planting beds, drainage canals and other uses.
CUCUMBER FROM EAST-WEST SEED – Agriculture Undersecretary Arnel De Mesa of the Department of Agriculture poses with the beautifully fruiting cucumber showcased in the Atisco Farm during the harvest festival. He was one of the early visitors on November 30, the first day of the three-day harvest fest. Other East-West varieties included tomato, pepper, watermelons, grafted ampalaya, eggplant and others.
HIGH-YIELDING ADLAI – An adlai variety grown by the Indigenous People in Mindanao was also showcased at the Atisco harvest festival. Here, Dante Delima (right), Atisco operations manager, explains to Usec Arnel De Mesa the desirable traits of the indigenous adlai. It yields grains that are suitable for human consumption. The variety is good for the uplands because it is resistant to drought.
SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION PUMP – The Agri Component Corporation showcased a solar-powered pump for irrigation in farms and gardens. Consisting of 30 panels of 70 watts each, the unit can draw water at the rate of three cubic meters per hour. The pump is a two-hp machine, Uflo from Italy. The use of solar-powered irrigation system is environment-friendly because it does not generate any pollution. While the initial investment is quite significant, the facility will pay off in the long run, according to Eugene Gabriel of Agri Component.
At present, ginger is a hot commodity that fetches a high price in the market. During certain times of the year, the going price could go as high as P150 per kilo or more. Aside from the ordinary ginger, there are a few plantings of langkawas which is prized for its medicinal attributes.
One showcase that also attracted a lot of visitors was the showcase of grafted ampalaya by East-West Seed. The plants that are grafted on patola rootstocks have developed big vines that enable the plants to live longer than the non-grafted varieties so that they can produce higher yields. Instead of producing only 18 harvests in the case of the non-grafted ampalaya during its lifetime, the grafted varieties can produce six to 10 more harvests.
Aside from grafed ampalaya, East-West showcased its best-selling varieties like Diamante Max tomato, Django finger pepper (pangsigang), Fortuner eggplant, Mestiza ampalaya, and new watermelon varieties like Orange Delight, Yellow Delight and Red Delight.
BLACK SESAME – Dante Delima, Atisco operations manager, said they have also showcased black sesame in their farm to convince people that there is a market and money to be made by growing the black sesame. Because there is no commercial supply of this crop locally, most of the local requirements are imported from other countries like Vietnam.
ADLAI FROM MINDANA0 – Another new crop that was showcased at the Atisco farm was the adlai variety that is grown by Indigenous People in the mountains in Mindanao. This is a variety that yields grains for human consumption as rice substitute. The variety is ideal for growing in the unirrigated highlands because it is resistant to drought.
LADY FARMERS – Many of the festival attendees were ladies who are into their own brand of farming. One of them is Mary Ann Roque, a travel agency manager who is developing a two-hectare farm in Brgy. Altura Matanda in Tanauan City. So far she has planted a thousand hills of dragon fruit. She attended the harvest festival hoping to pick up new ideas that she culd adopt in her farm. Her dream is to eventually develop an agritourism destination.
SOLAR-POWERED WATER PUMP – Something new was also showcased by Agri Component Corporation of Cauayan City in Isabela. This is the solar-powered water pump that can draw three cubic meters of water per hour. It is environment-friendly beause it does not produce any pollution. The pump is a two-HP machine from Italy called Uflo.
NEW PLAYER IN VEGGIES – Bayer CropScience is preparing itself for its entry into the lucrative vegetable seed business by showcasing three vegetables of its own. Next year, it will be launching in the local market its own varieties of tomato, ampalaya and upo. The company is better known in the past years as the supplier of crop protection products and rice seeds.
KOREAN MACHINERY – Fitcorea Marketing Phils. which represents the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO), displayed in last year’s Atisco harvest festival the big Korean machinery like Branson tractors and various equipment. This year, it concentrated in showcasing the small machines like the tillers manufactured by Asia Tech. These small machines are efficient in land preparation, making planting beds, constructing drainage canals, installing plastic mulch and other functions.
Overall, the Atisco harvest festival was most educational.