ILOILO CITY – Two primary services of the Department of Agriculture Western Visayas will be made more available and accessible to farmers as it recently materialized the Mobile Soils Laboratory and Mobile Plant Pest Clinic, its press release said.
“Farmers in remote areas can now obtain fertilizer recommendation, based on the result of the soil analysis which they can avail of for free from the mobile soils laboratory. Soil analysis is important in boosting agricultural productivity,” Remelyn Recoter, DA 6 regional executive director, said.
She had underscored the agency’s mission of providing innovative support services to farmers with state-of-the-art facilities for sustainable, competitive, and resilient agriculture sector, thus coming up with the mobile services.
The mobile soils lab, worth P4 million, was funded under the DA’s Rice Program, Regional Soils Laboratory chief Lorie Deasis said.
“Our regional lab is based in Parola, Iloilo City which is quite far from other municipalities. Unfortunately, this is not accessible to most farmers. We continuously campaign to farmers, even students and researchers, to get their soil analyzed to determine soil nutrient deficiencies in their areas before planting,” she explained.
The Mobile Pest Clinic of the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC), worth P2.9 million, was also funded under the DA Rice Program.
RCPC chief Ryan Rasgo said pest problems will be immediately identified and proper control recommendations will be given directly to farmers and agricultural extension workers with the aid of the Mobile Plant Pest Clinic, the press release said.
“We want to make available services for crop protection faster and nearer to the farmers. With this mobile clinic, we can properly validate and identify reported pest infestation as early as possible to avert field losses,” he added.
Farmers in the region will benefit from the services of both mobile soils lab and plant pest clinic upon request by respective local government units and farmers’ associations. These facilities will also be available during the conduct of farmers’ forum, agricultural information caravan, and other agri-related events, the press release added.*
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