To ensure a sustained food production and availability, food accessibility and affordability amidst the CoViD-19 pandemic crisis, the Department of Agriculture (DA) recently launched the “Plant, Plant, Plant Program” that encourages every Juan to grow their own food. Part and parcel of the program is the distribution of seedlings; however inputs such as fertilizers and pest control agents are the counterpart of every participant.
In view of developing local and cheap source of fertilizer, the Central Luzon State University through the Ramon Magsaysay Center for Agricultural Resources and Environment Studies (CLSU - RM-CARES) espouses the utilization of kitchen or food wastes as nutrient source for the plants through conversion into organic fertilizers. According to Dr. Jonathan Galindez, RM-CARES Director, food wastes such as vegetable, fruit peelings and leftovers, are composed of organic matter which can be composted to produce nutrient-rich organic fertilizers.
Production of the said organic fertilizers involves four easy steps as follows: 1. Collect food and other biodegradable wastes. Put it into the plastic basin. 2. Add and spread 25g of Trichoderma for every 1kg of food and other biodegradable wastes. 3. Cover the wastes with soil and allow it to decompose for 1-3 weeks. The indications of fully decomposed wastes include absence of foul odor, unrecognized waste appearance and color being either brown or black already. 4. After 1-3 weeks, the organic fertilizer is now ready to use.
Speeding up decomposition period requires the use of Trichoderma, a product of RM-CARES. Normal decomposition takes 1-1½ months but the use of Trichoderma shortens it to 1-3 weeks.
In addition, to foster the ‘bayanihan’ spirit in the midst of the CoViD-19 crisis, the RM-CARES team continuously provides fresh and organic vegetables to the CLSU Community, including the stranded students, as one of the means to boost and improve the immune system of the constituents. For more information, visit the CLSU website at https://clsu.edu.ph.