Filipino farmers to benefit from free soil analysis

3D Illustration of a waving Philippines province flag of Agusan del Sur

The Philippines’ president, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., along with the Agrarian Secretary, Conrado Estrella III, has paid a visit to Prosperidad, in Agusan del Sur province, to check on the progress of a new soil laboratory that is under construction there. Once it is completed, the $4.46mn state-of-the-art facility will to provide free soil analysis to local farmers, with the aim of boosting agricultural productivity and reducing production costs.

The project represents a key part of the administration’s efforts to support the agricultural sector. President Marcos highlighted the importance of the soil analysis service, saying it will help Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) to better understand the condition of their soil, and which fertilizers will help them to improve their yields.

The new laboratory will use advanced analytical tools to produce physical, chemical, and biological soil profiles. The facility will be able to process 50 to 100 soil samples daily, and will make the results available in under three days. Moreover, the laboratory will offer testing of plants, water, fertilizer, and gas samples in order to assist farmers in making informed decisions about crop selection and fertilizer application.

During the visit, Secretary Estrella announced a partnership between the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Agusan del Sur provincial government to extend free soil analysis services to ARBs across the region. “Testing soils before planting will ensure higher crop yield and contribute more to the country’s food security,” Estrella commented.

The Provincial Soils Laboratory, which has received support from Australia, will be staffed by soil chemists, microbiologists, and agronomists. It is scheduled to begin operating next year.

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