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DAR to test farm waste as cattle feed to recover Masbate grazing areas

business mirrorTHE Department of Agrarian Reform (Dar) is supporting efforts to turn agricultural crop waste into cattle feeds to make up for the fast-dwindling grazing areas in the province of the Masbate.

Dar-Masbate Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD) chief said a project is now being pilot-tested in Barangay Lantangan in Mandaon town and Curvada in Catanigan town.

Model farms in the said pilot-areas have been established to produce cattle feeds out of crop waste mixed with molasses, a by-product of sugarcane, Tambal said.

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

Before, crop waste was 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 the Lantangan People’s Organization. It is boosted by an existing seven-year-old paiwi from Abelita Ranch numbering to more than 100 cattle heads.

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, owns 35 heads of cattle distributed among its members. Its members work hand-in-hand with DAR Masbate staff and cattle raisers in developing the model sugarcane and corn plantation.

Tambal said through the DAR’s farmers’ field school, beneficiaries and cattle raisers were provided with knowledge and given technical skills training on the process of producing and stockpiling through silage cattle feeds out of crop waste 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 an organization of farmers from Barangays Quezon, Nadawisan, San Jose, Curvada and Pitugo.

“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.

Through the project, Tambal said, cattle raisers would no longer have to worry about where they could shepherd their herds in the future.

Source: http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/en/business/agri-commodities/33219-dar-to-test-farm-waste-as-cattle-feed-to-recover-masbate-grazing-areas

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