Issue of May 13, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
Kalinga
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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I-Kalingas successful in greening, farm efforts
by Peter A. Balocnit / PIA

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – I-Kalingas are proving that dedication, patience, and commitment to save and protect the environment are the ingredients for greening projects to succeed.

One of them is farmer Honorio Clemencia, who persevered and succeeded to turn his cogonal farm into an agro-forest.

Clemencia narrated how he and neighbors in Balong in 2003 started planting fruit trees in their farms since these are not suited for rice farming and other crops.

While others abandoned this vision of engaging in sustainable agro-forestry, he did not surrender but continued planting even with very low survival rate.

It was when the National Greening Program was introduced and his group partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that his plantation became a mini-forest.

After a few years, he started harvesting from his mango plantation. Through the Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Program, he is now planting other tree species in between the mango trees. Even his backyard has become a burgeoning farm.

He is now seeking  to be accredited by the Bureau of Plant Industry and become a local seed supplier to help other DENR partners and individuals supply their demand for seedings and so there is no need for them to import seedlings from other provinces.

In another model site at Bulo, also in Tabuk City, Federico Julaton, president of Soto-Bulo Farmers Association, is proud of his plantation, mostly of G-Melina, where trees  have grown up to six feet tall.

Based on experience, he said not a single tree fell during strong winds, saying he defied experts in the line direction of plants by following his own diagonal line technique instead of the strict North-South and East-West direction.

To fight stem borers preying on G-Melina trunks, he  drills a hole above the entry of the worm and inject it with pesticide. A 100 percent survival rate in the plantation has been observed.

With 31 members preferring to plant trees than rice farming, 60 hectares of agro-forestry area under NGP have been planted on and inter-cropped, bringing at least P500 in daily sales.

Another model site is that of Crispin Gayagay at Magabbangon, Tabuk City where he together with Judge Victor Dalanao recently planted a 40-hectare second growth forest with other tree species under NGP.

Gayagay committed to make his farm a tourist destination.

A group composed of media practitioners and other stakeholders visited the sites recently and participated in a two-day environmental tour and forum to help advocate DENR’s Program for Environment and Natural Resources for Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Development.


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