The value of organic fertilizer

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By Edna Garde

Edible Landscape

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


ORGANIC fertilizer comes in different forms. It has become a popular partner especially of new breed of farmers who are into organic farming. I am blessed to be connected to them and be able to witness how they passed the test of time, effort and capital as far as organic agriculture is concerned.

All of them eventually produced their own organic fertilizer from their own wastes in the farm. I am talking about the likes of MS (Magsasakang Siyentista) Ramon Peñalosa, Jr., Mr. Jose Henares, Mr. Ramon Uy Sr. his son Chinchin Uy, and several others, whom I met with nongovernment organizations since 2000.

Today I am writing about the value of organic fertilizer, quoting from Organic Farming Journal dating back to 1985. Yes, it was the publication of the Organic Farmers Association of Iloilo based in Zarraga. Did you know that Iloilo farmers were actually way ahead of our farmers here in Negros Occidental as far as organic farming is concerned?

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Thanks to the former DA-Bureau of Soils personnel, Pedro Sangatanan. The information I am sharing with you now is from the research paper of Dr. Robin Navarro of Bjormaine, Inc. published in said journal. (I pray that they will appreciate this article if they read it. I owe it to them.)

Many new breed of farmers are appreciating the value of organic fertilizer, thus produce their own in the process. But why are so many conventional farmers until now could not appreciate the importance of this valuable ingredient in sustaining the productivity of their farm? I believe it is because of lack of knowledge. As our MS often quote the verse in the Bible “the people perish for lack knowledge,” really, lack of knowledge about the value of organic fertilizer is the culprit of a slow adaptation of farmers into organic farming system.

Based on the journal, here are the advantages or organic fertilizer:

*It is a good soil conditioner—it has a favorable effect on plant growth and supplements NPK and other nutrients. It also has physiological effect on the soil.

*It can improve the cation-exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil. In layman’s language, organic fertilizer can aid in the nutrient utilization of the soil and plant.

*Organic acids coming from organic can improve the plant availability of soil minerals—these organic acids are very helpful in converting rock constituents into available plant food.

*It can enhance the growth of soil organisms-these help release fixed elements for plant use.

*It can improve nitrogen fixation –especially of asymbiotic type.

*It can enhance formation of certain growth-promoting substances.

*It can beneficially affect the chemistry of inorganic fertilizers in the soil.

*It has soil balancing effect.

Acceptance of organic fertilizers in the country is rather a slow process on account of the prevailing notion that the efficiency of this kind is slow compared to inorganic fertilizers.

But the eternal effect in the end is worth it all. It is environment-friendly! It restores the wealth of our soil lost through much usage of chemical fertilizer. For conventional farmers, it can make farming great again.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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