The increasing demand for vacuum-dried and dehydrated jackfruit has led to the establishment of demonstration farms to boost production in Inopacan, Leyte.
The municipality of Inopacan in Leyte has established demonstration farms which include a vegetebake farm, a tiliapia fishpond and two jackfruit farms, Mayor Silvestre Lumarda said.
Lumarda said the farms aim to help the town attain food sufficiency and reduce poverty incidence.
A ceremonial tree planting led by Burgos, Dr. Othello Capuno, VSU vice president for research and development; and representatives from the municipal government Inopacan town marked the launch of the demonstration farms.
The activity which was participated in by Inopacan Jackfruit Growers Association members was preceded by a series of farm visits and exposure trips by the growers in established vegetable and jackfruit farms.
“These are part of the exposure to experts and ‘experienced’ scheme of building capacities among the grower cooperators of the Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development pilot project,” Burgos added.
The jackfruit farms are in the higher lands of Inopacan town where there is good drainage.
Seedlings were sourced from the Department of Agriculture’s Abuyog Experiment Station in the town of Abuyog in Leyte and will be reimbursed on a “Plant now, Pay later” scheme as agreed upon by the grower-cooperators.
The various demonstration farms were launched on September 28 under the Piloting and Upscaling Effective Models of the ISARD program.
Spearheaded by the Philippine-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, the farms were established with the help of the Visayas State University, the local government of Inopacan and the Visayas Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Program.
Also under the pilot project Strengthening Linkages among Farmers, Government, and Industry Sector through ISARD, the vegetable farm covers a 1,000-square-meter plot and is planted to okra, alugbati and eggplant.
Dr. Bessie Burgos, SEARCA program manager for research and development said the demonstration farm will pilot a low-cost protective cover technology developed through an Australian Center for International Agricultural Research-funded project at VSU, considering the continuous rains experienced in the area.
The tilapia fishponds were built in sequence along a stream where crystal clear water flowed from a nearby spring.
Through the efforts of Rep. Jose Carlos Cari, fingerlings were introduced by batches starting from June 2016 from a hatchery project of the VSU.
“We are expecting to start harvest in November and bring added income to the local farmers,” Burgos said.