Sustainable vegetable production through the use of low-cost protective structures: a farmer's experience in Bontoc, southern Leyte, Philippines
For years, Lucio Boie R. Gerona, a civil engineer by profession but with a passion for business and farming by family orientation, had been dreaming of becoming a progressive farmer. Countless attempts in farming on his self-acquired land in Pamahawan, Bontoc, southern Leyte, Philippines, were made but often failed and/or were non-profitable. Among the many constraints, he found continuous heavy rains the most difficult and almost impossible to manage. With the use of protective structures (curved-roof and vent types with plastic roofing and bamboo framings) as rain shelters, year-round production of vegetables was made possible. Results showed that yields of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), ampalaya (Momordica charantia L.), and two croppings of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) were consistently higher with gross margins of nearly three fold as compared with those in the open field. Yields of two croppings of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus Thunb.), which were planted during the dry months, were also high although statistically comparable with those in the open field, which was understandable since watermelon is a sun-loving crop. With the adoption of the technology, Boie attained rewarding outcomes: sustained productivity and profitability which enabled him to put up other farm improvements (irrigation system, enclosed structures for leafy vegetables, vermiculture shed and mini-piggery to start diversification); capacity building that allowed him to serve as a consultant/resource speaker/panelist in farmerRSQUOs fora/FFDs/training sessions specifically on protected vegetable cultivation and marketing; and not to mention the enhanced publicity of his farm, which is now a favorite educational trip destination for many people from all walks of life.
Gerona, R.G., Gonzaga, Z.C., Capuno, O.B., Armenia, P.T., Loreto, M.B., Nuñez, L.B., Borines, L.M., Tulin, A.B., Tauza, E.R., Lusanta, D.C., Dimabuyu, H.B., Vega, M.L.P., Mangmang, J.S., Rogers, G.S. and Menz, K.M. (2016). Sustainable vegetable production through the use of low-cost protective structures: a farmer's experience in Bontoc, southern Leyte, Philippines. Acta Hortic. 1128, 171-176
vegetables, low-cost rain shelter, increased and sustainable productivity