DAR Engages Into Cattle Feed Production Out Of Crop Waste

on .
06042014 dar web news 2 pix 1FIRST, there’s organic fertilizer out of agricultural crop waste. Now comes, believe it or not, cattle feeds out of the same crop waste.

The country’s solid waste reduction program has gained more grounds as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is pursuing a new concept that would convert agricultural crop waste into cattle feeds in Masbate to make up for the fast dwindling grazing areas.

Herald Tambal, chief of the DAR-Masbate Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), said the project is being pilot-tested in barangays Lantangan, in Mandaon town and Curvada in Cataingan municipality, where model farms are established to produce cattle feeds out of crop waste mixed with molasses, a by-product of sugarcane.

“This is a big development as we make use of crop waste that we used to throw away into something more beneficial,” Tambal said.

06042014 dar web news 2 pix 2Before crop waste is being used primarily as compost material to produce organic fertilizer as a balancing farm input for the more expensive commercial fertilizer.

The model farm in Lantangan is a joint project between and among DAR-Masbate, Abelita Ranch and Lantangan People’s Organization (LAPO). It is boosted by an existing “paiwi” from Abelita Ranch numbering to more than 100 cattle heads, which was initiated in 2007.

Tambal explained that paiwi is a traditional arrangement between a farmer and a livestock manager, with the former being provided with a yearling to care for. Once it becomes commercially viable, the calf will be sold with the net proceeds to be shared evenly between the farmers and the livestock management.

LAPO, also an agrarian reform beneficiary’s organization (ARBO), owns 35 heads of cattle distributed among its members and works hand-in-hand with DAR Masbate and cattle raisers in developing the model sugarcane and corn plantation, the DAR-Masbate PBDD head said.

Tambal said through DAR’s Farmers Field School, the partner farmer-beneficiaries and cattle raisers are equipped with knowledge and technical skills on the process of producing and stockpiling through silage cattle feeds out of crop wastes gathered after the harvest season, and organic fertilizers from cattle manure.

The project in Barangay Curvada, on the other hand, is a tie-up between DAR Masbate and QUENSCUP, also an organization of farmer-beneficiaries hailed from Barangays Quezon, Nadawisan, San Jose, Curvada and Pitugo, from which the acronym QUENSCUP was coined.

“It’s like hitting two birds in one shot as we’ve taken one step further from merely producing organic fertilizer out of crop waste to cattle feed production out of the same crop waste,” Tambal said, adding that this is a welcome development as cattle raisers would no longer have to worry about where they could shepherd their herds.