THE Department of Agriculture regional office in Davao (DA 11) and some academic researchers urged farmers in Davao City to do science-based farming instead of following market trends.
A study conducted by the Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) in the 10 largest agricultural areas in the city found that majority of the farmers plant based on the demand of the market and trend in the community.
Addu researcher and Economic Department chairperson Mildred Estrada said this poses a threat to the sustainability of the city’s agriculture sector.
“The major implication of this result is the threat to sustainability because, yes, they will earn for now. But there will be shortage in the supply of crops in the long run,” she said.
“To sustain our agricultural sector, we have to consider science-based farming. That is why our recommendations have something to do with weather stations and policies. Also, some of the existing programs of certain agencies should be in a way based on scientific and sound studies,” Estrada added.
The 10 study areas were Barangay Magsaysay, Barangay Malamba, Barangay Suawan, Barangay Lamanan, Barangay Gumalang, Barangay Sirib, Barangay Tungakalan, Barangay Talandang, Barangay Biao Escuela, and Barangay Biao Matina.
Other recommendations of the research team were: incentivize sustainable agricultural practices, strengthen private-public partnership in developing value added agricultural products, strengthen farmers education, install more weather stations to gather microclimate data and ensure that policies and mechanisms are supported by scientific studies.
DA 11 focal person Noel Provido said the agency has also been encouraging farmers to base their decisions on science or the suitability of their land to crops since not all crops could be planted in certain areas.
He added that there is indeed a need to diversify agricultural crops to provide opportunity for farmers and become sustainable.