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“Farmer-Scientist” of Sultan Kudarat

Mr. Rogelio Lasquite Moderascion fondly called “Kabing”, created a corn variety seed that contributed to the advancement in farming technology. His friends called it “Carabing”, a combination of the words “Caribbean,’ a corn seed variety which Kabing used in his experiment and a part of his name. His innovation is a product of countless trials and errors and desire to help his fellow farmers in Sultan Kudarat.
 
His quest to create the Carabing seeds started back in 1995 when he was granted a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) that entitles him to own a hectare of land where he planted corn. Corn requires a sensitive treatment especially with the presence of weeds. Farmers rely on private creditors for the maintenance of their field; however, creditors seldom lend money due to constant loan repayment deficit carry off by some farmers. Farmers have difficulty in paying their debts because of unstable weather conditions, infestations and the herbicides alone are very costly. Often, corn doesn’t even survive when sprayed by herbicides when weeds grow along with the crops. Hence, farmers need to resort to constant weeding which is laborious and time consuming on their part.   As a result, most farmers’ income is not enough to sustain the needs of the family and farm.
 
The year 2009 was a critical moment for Kabing’s life, consequently, due to inadequate fund his farm is left almost idle, which worsen his family situation. Driven by desire to change their situation and to help his fellow farmers who were in the same mire of debt, he began his quest to experiment on a corn seed variety that could withstand any herbicide application.
 
In 2011, his sacrifices paid off when he finally perfected his experiment and came out with a Glyphosate-resistant corn seed variety. In contrast with other corn seeds, Carabing seeds   can endure Glyphosate contents from herbicides. This implies that corn can now be sprayed with herbicides therefore sparing the farmers from the time consuming and labour intensive weeding.
 
Carabing seeds spread and was bought rapidly by local businessmen, farmers and traders. Suppliers began coming to Kabing to buy samples of his seed and even indigents in the area like the Manobos were also benefitted. Often, Kabing gives his seeds to the indigents for free, a sign of his innate kindness and generosity. Most of the indigenous people in his barangay are now planting the Carabing seeds and are slowly becoming self-sustaining. Many have already made huge profits out of his invention and he was delighted knowing that he became an instrument in helping his fellow farmers.
 
Two years after the success of his invention, Kabing’s farm income remarkably increased and his family’s needs were adequately met. He is now able to finance his farm inputs without depending on creditors. Aside from his one hectare corn farm, he was also able to acquire another half hectare of land where he planted coffee.   Furthermore, he is now able to sustain the educational needs of his children who have previously stopped schooling because of their financial problems.

Region XII News

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June 02, 2017 137

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