Uses of Legumes

Uses of Legumes


Legumes contain 20 to 40% protein which is three times more than cereal grains. They are

also good source of raw materials for various food substitutes. Roots of legumes contain

nitrogen-fixing bacteria which serves as fertilizer in the soil planted with these plants.


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Cashew and cow, anyone?

Cashew and cow, anyone?

By Likha Cuevas

Bar Today- april-june 2002

It started out as a forested area. Then farmers slashed and burned the trees to make way for rice and corn. Later came soil erosion. This was the situation in Barangay Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan where the land is slightly undulating and hilly. In 1988, the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in Brgy. Luzviminda received an average of one to two hectares of land. These farmers’ main crops were rice and corn and practiced one cropping per year. In 1994, the Department of Agriculture Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC) conducted a Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) and found that there was serious soil erosion brought about by continuous cropping. Even though these farmers knew that erosion was a problem, they were not receptive to the idea of contour farming to lessen soil erosion. The farmers thought that planting permanent crops and hedges along contour lines lessened their area for crop production. Farmers were not also applying fertilizers to their crops.

To solve this problem, Ms Librada L. Fuertes of DA-ROS Palawan headed a project that integrated crop and livestock to help increase farm productivity and profitability of hilly-land areas.

Four farmer-cooperators trained on contour farming, cattle production, compost-making, and cashew production. Each farmer devoted 0.25 ha of his farmland to this experimental cropping system. After establishing the contour lines of the hilly farmlands, they planted napier grass (Pennisetum Purpureum) and ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) as contour vegetative barrier (used in terracing) for erosion control. Napier grass also served as fodder for the cattle that provided the farmers with extra source of income (milk production) while ipil-ipil served as a source of organic fertilizer.

The farmers planted cashew (Anacardium occidentale) as a permanent crop to control soil erosion while glutinous green corn and mungbean were planted in rotation between the contour lines known as ‘strips’. Aside from providing the farmers with a source of income, mungbean enriches the soil with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and it is easily cultivated. Organic fertilizer from corn stover and hedge trimmings was applied on the corn and the mungbean.

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