By Rommer S. Sarmiento
Koronadal City -- A local firm has been promoting what it touted as a revolutionary high-technology liquid compound fertilizer to lessen the use of synthetic farm supplements.
AA Bio-Tekh Enterprise Co. started importing the liquid bio-fertilizer from Taiwan early this year and is convincing farmers to try the product.
Recently, the Manila-based firm launched its product in this capital city of the largely agricultural South Cotabato province, which was attended by about 100 farmers and agricultural officers from nearby Sultan Kudarat.
Alexander Acidera, company director, said their product could restore the fertility of the soil and, thus, enhance farm productivity.
"This product is new here and even abroad. It was designed to slowly reduce inorganic farming practices that burden the farmers with the high cost of chemical supplements," he told BusinessWorld. He described the product, X-TEKH New Generation Liquid Bio-Fertilizer, as a "complete fertilizer." Based on the firm's study, the farmers were told that farm yield can increase by as much as 20% if applied with the bio-fertilizer.
Mr. Acidera said the product combines the microbial, organic and nonorganic components. According to a product briefer, the symbiotic relationship that the microorganisms within X-TEKH biofertilizer form with the plant allows nutrients to be rapidly taken through its root system.
The microorganisms attach and cluster around the plant root system and process compounds in the soil together with essential organic and nonorganic components, making these nutrients available for the plant's consumption, it added.
X-TEKH biofertilizer has macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium and sulfur. It also has boron, zinc, manganese, iron, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, selenium and germanium.
Among the product's organic components are humic acid, amino acid and organic acid, while the plant growth promoting microorganisms (bacteria series) includes azospirillum, rhizobium, bacillus, lactobacillus, phosphate solubilizing, photosynthetic and fluorescent pseudomonas.
The product's plant growth promoting microorganisms (fungi components) are yeast group, actinomycete (streptomyces) and trichoderma. Before the product's launch, Mr. Acidera said they have introduced it in Bacolod and Cebu in the Visayas and in Carmen, North Cotabato in Mindanao. The next product launching will be in Bukidnon, he added.
Nandy Fariolan, president of the Farmers' Association of Lutayan in Sultan Kudarat province, told BusinessWorld in another interview he is inclined to use the product after hearing the presentation.
Mr. Fariolan maintains a six-hectare rice field in Barangay Tamnag in Lutayan and in his farming said the average yield is about 100 bags per hectare during wet season and 80 to 90 bags during dry season. Should the product increase farm yield, he vowed to promote it among the association's more than 2,000 members. Mr. Acidera said the product should be mixed with water before applying to the farm land to induce the soil nutrients.
He bared plans to locally manufacture the product through a joint venture with the Taiwanese firm which he did not identify.
Mr. Acidera said they have linked up with banana and pineapple fruit companies such as Lapanday, Dole Philippines, Inc. and Del Monte Philippines, Inc. to test their products in their plantations. He noted that the product can be applied to virtually all kinds of agricultural crops.
Nonito Franje, the firm's technical consultant, said the product could also increase the resistance of the plants to pests or insects, he told BusinessWorld.
For the dreaded tungro virus in palay, Mr. Franje said the product cannot totally eliminate it but it can manage the level of infestation. Essentially, Mr. Franje claimed the plants in farms applied with the company's product would have healthier looks. He said the product could modulate soil pH. "The ideal pH reading of the soil should be a neutral pH 6.5 to 7 for the plant's optimal growth. When soil is neutral in nature, the root of the plant can easily absorb the nutrients, which translates into healthier plants," he added.