Saturday, December 12, 2009

Part 3 - Projects to boost food supply

Crop rotation is key to diversified farming, such
as planting watermelon, onion, tomato and the
like, after harvesting rice.

Drying yellow corn for food and feed on the highway.
Corn is the second staple food of Filipinos, and the third
most important cereal in the world after rice and wheat.


Abe V Rotor


Project I - Multiple Cropping
The planting of food cash crops, principally rootcrops (sweet potato, cassava, gabi, ubi and tugui), legumes (peanut, mungo and cowpea), and vegetables. These are planted as intercrops or rotation crops with rice, corn, coconut and sugarcane.

NOTE: If the second crop of rice is not profitable, rotation crops are recommended, thus allowing three cash crops a year.

Project 2 - Home Gardening, Green Revolution Style
This is the raising of vegetables on backyards, vacant lots, plots and pots, a project in line with beautification, sanitation and health. This includes herbal and orchard plants. The aim is home self-sufficiency.

Project 3 - Commercial farms
These farms specialize in the production of any, or combination of, rootcrops, legumes and vegetables, with or without being rotated with rice. These could be undertaken as intercrops of coconut or sugarcane during the early growing stage.

Project 4 - Integrated farming
This involves horizontal and vertical integration. Horizontal integration is increasing the number of commodities raised on the farm, to include among crops, fish and animals. Vertical integration pertains to food processing and preservation, and marketing where value is added to the farm produce.

NOTE: This model can also be adopted in coconut-based and corn areas.

Outlook

The question at hand is, "Can we reduce consumption of rice? The answer is definitely, “Yes, we can.” Say, ten percent (10 percent reduction would mean 1,000,000 MT which is equivalent to our annual rice importation worth at least P30 billion.)

Firstly, let us develop rice substitutes, preferably those locally produced: rootcrops, legumes, cereals other than rice and corn, like sorghum and local wheat varieties. Meantime we continue depending on wheat-based substitutes such as bread and noodles.

Secondly, if we increase our intake of various kinds of food, we correspondingly reduce our consumption of rice.

Thirdly, it is important to reduce postharvest losses, as well as food and nutritional losses.

Fourth, coordinated and well-planned and executed programs are important in the fields of multiple cropping, commercial farming of rice-substitute crops, and integrated farming.

Lastly, there is need of people's direct involvement in keeping rice a highly valuable commodity, which in aptly described in Spanish, santa gracia. ~

Living with Nature 3, AVR

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