(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 18 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).


Friday, 23 February 2024

Agusan Sur’s modern soil laboratory to improve agriculture in Caraga

By Jennifer Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The different stakeholders in theCaraga region are optimistic about the soon-to-rise 1,687-square-meter state-of-the-art soils laboratory worth P250 million located at the compound of Governor Democrito O. Plaza Government Center in Barangay Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

The provincial government of Agusan del Sur, headed by Governor Santiago Cane, Jr., emphasized that soil is the base of agriculture. 

“We need to assess, know, and take care of our soil. But we can only do this if we invest in modern and state-of-the art soil testing facilities,” he said.

The exterior view of the state-of-the-art soil laboratory in Agusan del Sur situated beside the Provincial Agriculture Office at the Capitol complex, as planned. Photos courtesy of the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur. Photo courtesy of PGAS.

“For the past decades, huge investments have poured into seed quality and practice through training (capacity building), but there has been limited investment in soil testing and soil nutrient management,” added Cane.

With soil testing, Cane revealed that there is full visibility of the essential elements of the soil required for optimum plant growth and development. This would mean savings for farmers and the government in terms of fertilizer use.

Dr. Johnvie Goloran, executive adviser and soil science expert of the provincial government of Agusan del Sur, said that the laboratory is seen to be capable of physical, chemical, and biological characterization of soils using a range of advanced analytical capabilities. It can also analyze 50-100 samples per day. Thus, test results will be released in less than three days. Aside from soils, it is capable of analyzing plants, water, fertilizer, and gas samples.

The interior perspective (main and laboratory) of the state-of-the-art soil laboratory in Agusan del Sur situated beside the Provincial Agriculture Office at the Capitol complex, as planned. Photos courtesy of the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur. Photo courtesy of PGAS.

“Soil testing measures soil nutrients that are expected to supply plant needs for growth and productivity; calculates fertilizer requirements prior to planting; and identifies what type or form of fertilizer is suitable for soils that can meet the plant's needs,” said Goloran.

This laboratory will also be equipped with a power house, sewage treatment plant, waste storage, and water tank and cistern, among others.

In his recent visit to the province, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., along with Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III and Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., lauded this initiative of the provincial government and expressed his anticipation that more Caraganon farmers will benefit from this endeavor.

Dr. Johnvie Goloran, executive adviser and soil science expert of the provincial government of Agusan del Sur, briefed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., during his visit to the province on February 16, on the advantages of the soon-to-rise soil laboratory in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, as well as the existing program on Upland Sustainable Agri-forestry Development (USAD). Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Hae Kyong Yu, also graced the said event. Photo by PIA-Caraga.

“I am also extremely pleased with the establishment of the Agusan Del Sur Provincial Soils Laboratory by the provincial government of Agusan del Sur, the first and modern one of its kind in Mindanao,” Marcos said in a speech.

“Ilan lang yan sa mga maraming programang para sa ating mga magsasaka dito sa inyong probinsya upang mapataas ang kanilang ani at mapalaki ang kanilang kita (This is just one of the many programs for our farmers here in your province to help them increase their yield and profit)," he added.

In addition, the PGAS is one of the partners of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) in laying the foundational work to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the governments of Australia and the Philippines for furthering the National Soil Health Strategy, signed onSeptember 8, 2023 at MalacaΓ±ang Palace.

Agusan del Sur is landlocked and the fourth largest province in the country, with a total land area of 8,965.5 km2. This vastness of land represents huge agri-industrial opportunities for farmers and agribusinesses, yet to date, the lack of soil information that would give farmers an advantage in choosing what crops are suitable for their farm lands and what type and rate of fertilizer should be used for their crops remain a bottleneck for achieving the desired yield and quality. 

“Hence, the provincial government of Agusan del Sur has invested in this initiative,” remarked Goloran.

For the time being, phase one of the building is already under construction and is expected to be completed in September 2024. (JPG, PIA-Agusan del Sur with a report from PGAS)