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‘Balanced Fertilization’ Increases Rice Yield

By Marvyn N. Benaning, Manila Bulletin 3 April 2011

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala’s campaign to achieve rice self-sufficiency by 2013 may
be achieved if the experience of hundreds of farmers in Victoria, Tarlac could be replicated
nationwide.

These farmers, who till a combined 5,000 hectares of land, are actually not strictly organic
farmers since they combine both organic and conventional fertilizers, call this system “balanced
fertilization.”

Alcala, an organic farming advocate, saw for himself in a recent farmer’s field day in Victoria
that practitioners of balanced fertilization have been harvesting 30 percent more palay from
inbred and hybrids in the past several years and progressively reducing the share of commercial
fertilizers from 10 percent to 50 percent.

The agriculture chief, who is battling for the adoption of certified seeds that increase yields by
15 percent, was pleasantly surprised to hear about the good outcome for the Victoria farmers.