An organic fertilizer processing facility which will use chicken dung gathered from farms in Central Luzon is being opposed by the Vice Mayor and members of the council of the town of Anao, Tarlac in what some say is an example of how “political colors” have stunted the growth of the country.
Anao town vice mayor Rafael Naral and the town council summoned officials of the Settimo Drago Ratto Properties, Inc., which owns the property near the TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) on Nov. 6 to inform them that there is an opposition to the establishment of the facility in the town.
They showed the project proponents a letter signed by 11 individuals.
When informed that the facility is a priority project of the Department of Agriculture to address the Chicken Dung disposal problem in Central Luzon, the Anao officials reportedly said: “Kahit si Secretary Piñol o si President Duterte, wala silang magagawa pag ayaw namin.”
The decision of the Vice Mayor and the Anao town council was a complete reversal of the position taken by the Mayor, Betty Lacbayan, who earlier welcomed the establishment of the facility in the town.
While Naral ran as Independent candidate in the last elections and most of the officials belong to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Tarlac is the home province of former President Benigno Aquino III.
The organic fertilizer facility, a private sector funded project implemented by Santa Rosa Farm Products to produce organic fertilizer for Planters’ Products, Inc., is designed to absorb the chicken dung coming from the different poultry farms in Central Luzon as part of the effort to prevent the spread of poultry diseases.
It was one of the major outcomes of the Avian Influenza (AI) crisis in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija in August and was planned to ensure that chicken dung from Central Luzon is no longer delivered to the vegetable farms of the Cordillera in its raw form which could spread diseases.
A consortium of German and Colombian companies led by a German expert was engaged by Santa Rosa Farm Products to establish the facility.
Santa Rosa Farm Products, on the other hand, entered into an agreement with Planters’ Products, Inc., a farmers’ corporation supervised by the Department of Agriculture, which would distribute and sell the organic fertilizer.
The facility could be the biggest organic fertilizer production facility in the country which would at the same time ensure the containment of poultry diseases as the fresh chicken dung would be efficiently collected and processed.
There is now a growing demand for organic fertilizer especially so since latest field trials showed that rice farmers who used a combination of inorganic and organic fertilizer had the highest production records.
A rice farmer in Nueva Ecija recently posted a national record of 16.63-metric tons for one hectare using a mix of inorganic and organic fertilizer.
Santa Rosa Farms officials yesterday said they plan to move the facility to Batangas but I asked them to defer the transfer until I have talked to Tarlac Governor Susan Yap.
I believe Gov. Yap could talk sense to the Anao Vice Mayor and Council that the facility, one of the most modern in Southeast Asia, could be a big boost to Philippine agriculture.
(Photos show the proposed Organic Fertilizer facility, the equipment and the civil works already done in Anao, Tarlac and the letters from the Ana municipal council.)