Bird flu outbreak squeezes fertilizer situation for Benguet vegetable farmers

August 15, 2017 - 5:17 PM
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Organic vegetable farming Benguet
Farmer in Benguet practicing organic vegetable farming. Photographed by Aldwin Quitasol

LA Trinidad, Benguet – Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso said on Tuesday that the bird flu outbreak in Pampanga would somewhat affect vegetable farmers in Benguet through reduced supply of chicken dung, which is used heavily as organic fertilizer in their vegetable gardens.

Pacalso acknowledged that, before the outbreak, traders were obtaining supplies of chicken dung from the affected areas, even as he expressed hope that the government-imposed quarantine will prevent the avian flu from spreading outside the epicenter.

Live chickens Banguet market
Live broiler chickens at the market in a Benguet town. Photographed by Aldwin Quitasol, News5 | InterAksyon.

He also said the Benguet provincial government is working double time on preventive measures to keep bird flu from contaminating the province, including the hiring of additional personnel on job order basis to ensure monitoring of poultry products and the local poultry raising industry.

“I hope the problem will not affect the vegetable growing industry here very much,” he said, adding that they are tapping alternative and supplemental sources of chicken dung from other places and within the province itself.

The farmers said chicken dung is a very effective natural fertilizer especially for vegetable crops.

The governor appealed to Benguet farmers to adapt and make adjustments to the avian flu problem and cooperate with the government in protective measures to ensure they would not be directly affected, as well.

“Saan tayo kuman nga agal-ala ti lugit ti mank kadagiti lugar a naquarantine (Let us not get anymore chicken dung from the areas that are under quarantine),” Pacalso underscored to the vegetable farmers in the province.