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BSWM, takes key steps towards accomplishing National Soil Testing

By Amelia M. Fermia - Project Assistant III
August 08, 2016

In keeping with the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol's order to complete the soil mapping analysis, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) started to mobilize the DA-Regional Field Offices (RFOs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) for the Phase 1 implementation of the "National Soil Sampling and Testing for Fertility and Crop Suitability Assessment."

The BSWM OIC, Director Sonia M. Salguero manifested her full and active support to the programs of the new administration towards achieving "Available and Affordable Food for the Filipino" by targeting the development of a web-based interface for enhanced access by farmers and other stakeholders of the color-coded maps.

"We need to extend our help to the farmers and provide them with up-to-date and accurate data for them to easily determine what kind of fertilizers to apply and which crops are suitable to plant in their areas," Salguero said.

For the period 2010 to 2015, the BSWM with counterpart-funding support from the DA-RFOs and responsive LGUs has completed soil fertility assessments in 12 provinces, 1 municipality and 1 city. These are located in regions 1 (Ilocos), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas) and 11 (Davao), mainly covering rice areas.

Moreover, in the same period, the BSWM, with funding support from DA-RFOs and LGUs, undertook crop suitability assessment in 6 provinces, 7 municipalities and 4 cities covering more than 2 million hectares. The map outputs included suitability map for major crops in their locality such as rice, corn, coconut, banana, vegetables, pineapple, fruit trees and even agro-forestry.

"Sa misyon na ito, tungkulin natin ang makapagbigay ng tama at agarang aksyon para tugunan ang pangangailangan ng ating mga magsasaka sa tulong ng makabagong teknolohiya," Salguero added.

The top 47 major rice producing provinces were considered for Phase 1, however, 8 have already been updated (2014-2016) thus the BSWM will undertake suitability assessments to cover the remaining 39 provinces.

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