Use DIY organic fertilizers, pesticides during COVID-19 — Pangilinan

HOUSEHOLDS who took to urban gardening during lockdown in the time of the coronavirus pandemic can take their venture to the next level by making their own organic fertilizers and pesticides that will protect and grow their plants, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Thursday.

In a livestreamed episode of #AgriTayo entitled Meet Your (urban) Garden II (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZxy37PNlfE), Pangilinan, who tends his own farm, gathered agriculturists and urban gardeners who shared their knowledge about whipping up their own fertilizers and pesticides from natural ingredients to improve their harvest and garden experience.

“Papalakasin nito ang halaman. Pag lumakas ang tanim, mas pest-resistant at disease-resistant,” he said.

He added that organic fertilizers replenish the soil’s nutrients depleted during harvest time.

“Ang halaman parang tao, pag na-stress, hindi yayabong, hindi lalaki, pero pag tender loving care ang binigay maganda ang magiging resulta,” he said.

The senator noted that in the time of pandemic, families who have their own urban garden are able to harvest food for their consumption, which are safe and translates to big savings.

During the virtual conversation, Pangilinan was joined by actress Mylene Dizon, who tends her urban garden in Cavite; Romer Peñamora, an agriculturist from the Agricultural Training Institute, Diego Roxas of the Bureau of Plant Industry, and urban gardener Ivan Picazo.

Peñamora introduced the Fermented Plant Juice fertilizer made from kangkong leaves, camote tops, banana shoots, molasses or brown sugar. Another type of fertilizer is the Fish Amino Acid, a liquid made from fish trash.

Pangilinan showed a video of his home-made fertilizer composed of neem leaves, siling labuyo, turmeric, coconut vinegar, and molasses.

Dizon shared her experience of growing vegetables such as lettuce using the healthy organic fertilizers. She said the lockdown offered her an opportunity to focus on her plants and grow them to add food on the table.

Pangilinan started the social media conversations about agriculture last month to encourage urban gardening and bring to fore the critical role the country’s farmers play in food production.

“Hindi ito malapit sa bituka, nasa bituka mismo kaya napaka-esensyal ng agrikultura,” he said.

“Mahalaga ang abugado, ang doktor, pero di natin sila kailangan araw-araw. Ang magsasaka, kailangan natin araw-araw dahil araw-araw tayong kumakain, kaya dapat bjgyan natin sila ng respeto,” Pangilinan added.