TACLOBAN CITY -- Some agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) are now earning extra income by selling organic fertilizers they themselves manufactured out of waste materials.
Just five months into vermi composting, some ARBOs have already produced more than a thousand kilograms of vermicasts from the 30 kilograms of African night crawlers (ANCs) given away to them in July.
Vermicast is the manure excreted by ANCs considered as effective organic fertilizers.
Among the highest producers of vermicasts are the Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng Caibiran (NAMACA) of Caibiran, Biliran having produced 6,954 kilograms and Hacienda Maria Cooperative (HAMACO) in San Isidro, Leyte (5,000 kilograms).
Other top producers are Merida Agricultural Diversified Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MADS-MPC) in Merida, Leyte (1,750 kilograms) and the SAPISA Irrigators Association Inc. in Quinapondan, Eastern Samar (1,650 kilograms).
“Not bad for a beginner on this business,” said Dante Escarmoso on ARBO’s performance. Escarmoso of RU Foundry is an expert on this technology.
Based on the report, NAMACA has sold P13,250 worth of vermicasts, while HAMACO has received orders worth P17,500.
ARBOs said buyers include those engaged in cutflower industry, commercial farm owners, other farmers in the area, and ARBO members.
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) regional director Sheila Enciso said the RU Foundry was the winning bidder to supply 100 shredders for the debris utilization and management for community-based organic fertilizer production project for Yolanda-affected areas in the region.
Early this year, DAR provided each of the 100 ARBOs chosen all over the region a shredder which they could use in producing substrates and 30 kilograms of ANCs and two vermi-tea brewers to each of the remaining 85 farmer groups.
The ARBOs can use such equipment to venture into vermi culture, vermi composting, and organic crop production as alternative livelihood under this project.