Dulag Farmers Share 'Biochar' in Samar
A Leyte-based farmers association visited Basey, Samar, in April 2017 to share their knowledge on making a biochar – a natural charcoal that can be used for cooking and farming activities. Three members of the San Jose United Farmers Association – Jun Riga, Eddie Calupas and Isagani Aringino - sat down with their counterparts from Sohoton Service Cooperative (SSC) to teach the latter on how to process agricultural waste, such as rice hull or upa, into biochar.
Biochar is promoted as a cooking alternative to traditional charcoal, or uling, and petroleum-based fuels. As a fertilizer, it can also increase soil fertility, store soil-based nutrients and provide protection to plants against soil-borne diseases.
SSC participants said making biochar will help the group cut down on their organic waste, mainly from weeds pulled out from their herb garden.
The San Jose United Farmers Association grows vegetables and potted herbs in a community-based organic farm in Barangay San Jose, Dulag, Leyte. SSC, meanwhile, offers tour services and accommodation at the Wespal Visitors’ Center – the jump-off point to the Sohoton Cave and Natural Bridge in Basey, Samar. Both groups are partner organizations supported by ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, through its Bantay Kalikasan and Operation Sagip programs.