CONCEPCION, TARLAC – In 2006, Alfredo Gonzales had problems with chemical fertilizers, which at that time cost P2,000 per 50-kilogram bag.
He found the prevailing prices of urea to be ironic, considering the wasteful practice of most farmers.
“When I traveled around [Central Luzon], I saw palay husks being burned. When I go to sugar mills, I also saw wasteful practices,” says Gonzales, a sugar planter.
But instead of whining, the sugar farmer decided to do something about it.
His 40-hectare farm, which used to be buried under 20 feet of lahar (volcanic debris) following Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991, is now the site of what is touted to be the first mechanized production facility for organic fertilizer in the country.
In a day, the farm churns out 500 fertilizer bags, which Gonzales sells for P240 each.
The product, which is registered with the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, goes under the brand name “Power” – Pilipino Ways for Environmental Reconditioning.