To boost the agricultural productivity in the Philippines, “Boochetana: Yamang Lupa Program”—a process of soil rejuvenation adapted from India by the Department of Agriculture, was formally launched on Wednesday, February 5 at the Celebrity Hall of Grand Astoria Hotel.
Basically, the program aims to improve rural livelihoods by developing resilient rainfed agriculture for sustainable rural growth and inclusive development. Its general objective is to adopt the Boochetana principles and approach in strategic rainfed areas of the Philippines to improve rural livelihoods by increasing productivity of selected crops in the pilot provinces through sustainable intensification and market-led diversification of systems resulting to an increase in farmers’ income by 20% in three years.
Western Mindanao State University showed its full support to the launching of the program with the presence of Vice President for Planning, Administration and Finance-Dr. Ederlinda M. Fernandez, who represented the University President, Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho.
Other stakeholders who pledged their support to the program were Dr. Heraldo A. Layaoen of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Mayor Michael Piodena of R.T. Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay and Engr. Samuel Contreras, the National Program Coordinator of the Boochetana from the Bureau of Soil and Water Management.
Dr. Layaoen proposed a ceremonial toast after the pledges and subsequently, the ringing of bell by the representatives from the different sectors.
Yamang Lupa will kick off in the in the provinces of Quezon, Samar and Leyte, Ilocos Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay where soil testings will be scheduled.
Among the collaborating institutions for the Boochetana program are the field offices of the Department of Agriculture, State Universities and Colleges, local government units, Bureau of Soil Water Management (BSWM), Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), farmers’ groups, private sectors and non-government organizations. (WMSU Press Release)