Once a barren land, this farm is now teeming with tamarind
- Democrito Z. Magpantay and Dianne Cabello () - January 9, 2011 - 12:00am

MAGALANG, Pampanga, Philippines  – The farm of Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Oscar Baluyot had been covered by lahar and had remained barren for some time. But thanks to the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD’s) Science and Technology-based Farm (STBF) Project, Oscar’s farm is productive again and is, in fact, now teeming with sweet tamarind.

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica Linn.) is an important crop in some parts of the Philippines because of its varied food and medicinal uses.

It was the crop chosen by the Sangguniang Bayan of Magalang when it passed a resolution on Nov. 3, 2007 declaring the town as the “Tamarind Capital of the Philippines” and adopting the fruit as the commodity of choice under the program “One Town One Product” (OTOP).

But program participants had a big problem. Productivity remained low due to inappropriate management practices.

Oscar’s farm was an exception. He adopted improved management practices packaged under the STBF project of PCARRD and realized high yields and even off-season fruit production.

How he did it

During a technology field day, Oscar discussed the science and technology (S&T) interventions he used in his farm. These consisted of irrigating during the dry months, applying fertilizer, and pruning of unproductive branches and water sprouts.

Oscar said it was Dr. Norman de Jesus, vice president for research, development, extension and training of the Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC), who advised him to plant sweet tamarind.

Dr. Felomina Reyes, a technical expert also from PAC, explained the science behind the S&T interventions. According to her, tamarind trees start fruiting after three to five years from planting and the yield ranges from 2.9 kg/tree to 12 kg/tree. It is estimated that 100 trees at 3kg/tree at 10m x 10m planting distance could yield as much as 300 kg/ha and earn P30,000/year.

Dr. Reyes said the productivity of the tamarind plantation can be enhanced by planting intercrops such as vegetables and other field crops between the rows of tamarind.       

Dr. De Jesus said PAC is collaborating with the Department of Science and Technology in developing other products from sweet tamarind and in integrating honey bee keeping to enhance pollination and fruit yield performance of the trees.

Participants during the field day were officials from the municipal and agricultural offices of Magalang, City Agricultural Office of Angeles and Tarlac, and farmers from San Roque and other neighboring barangays. Also present were officials and staff from PAC, Central Luzon Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium, and PCARRD. – S&T Media Service

CENTRAL LUZON AGRICULTURE AND RESOURCES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM CITY AGRICULTURAL OFFICE OF ANGELES AND TARLAC DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DR. DE JESUS DR. FELOMINA REYES DR. NORMAN DR. REYES FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT MAGSASAKA SIYENTISTA TAMARIND
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with