DILIMAN, Quezon City—The use of animal manure and coconut husks to improve soil health is one of the techniques that Engr. Ramon Barbosa applies to sustain their four-hectare Amparitas Integrated Natural Farm in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
In an interview on “Agri Asenso” on DZRH, Barbosa shared how they ensure that the different components of their farm work together and support one another. These include using residues from their crop production and processing ventures as inputs for raising their livestock.
“We have around 200 goats, 400 ducks, 400 free-range chickens, a piggery, and a fish pond. We give them organically produced food out of the wastes from the farm. We also use the coconut residues from the production of virgin coconut oil as feeds for our livestock,” he said.
Meanwhile, they use animal manure to enhance the fertility of the soil where they grow coconut, cacao, coffee, as well as banana.
“We also put 120 pieces of coconut husk in every tree on the farm as these will be equivalent to 3 kilograms of complete fertilizer upon decomposition,” he added.
According to Barbosa, cacao and coffee are most suited for coconut intercropping because these are shade-loving crops. He said that cacao and coffee are best planted 3 meters away from the coconut tree.
Coconut, cacao, and coffee are also processed in Amparitas’ small manufacturing facility. At present, they have a total of 23 line products including coco net, coco sugar, coco vinegar, tablea and tablea drink, dark chocolate, face and body scrub, roasted coffee, and ice cream.
“Everyone can visit us at Amparitas where they can see what our practices are and replicate it in their own businesses,” Barbosa said.
Barbosa talked about the beginnings and operations of Amparitas Integrated Natural Farm on the 122nd and 123rd episodes of “Agri Asenso” on DZRH last August 5 and 12. His full interview is available on the Agricultural Training Institute’s official Facebook page (@atiinteractive).