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In two Leyte towns, a soil regeneration initiative is being expanded.

In the towns of Abuyog and Javier in Leyte, the Department of Agriculture (DA) will implement a soil rejuvenation program, utilizing the best soil, water, crop, and fertilizer management options to boost production.

The DA regional office in this city said on Tuesday that the “Yamang Lupa” program will be implemented for three years in identified clustered communities in Abuyog and Javier towns, mirroring the program’s success in Samar, which was included as a prototype area in 2014.

“We are confronting numerous issues in the region, notably with regard to the soaring fertilizer prices. I’m hoping that this initiative will assist us in addressing this and other issues that our farmers are facing. In a statement, DA Eastern Visayas Regional Executive Director Angel Enriquez remarked, “I am thankful that this program is returned.”

Both irrigated and rainfed regions exist in the two adjacent Leyte towns, with watersheds facing low production and environmental degradation.

These are also the focal points of the Regional Convergence Initiative, a government-led initiative aimed at achieving inclusive growth, improved productivity, poverty reduction, natural resource protection and rehabilitation, and sustainable and environmentally friendly livelihood opportunities and enterprises.

“Expanding and strengthening the potential for developing more productive agricultural endeavors on the opposite side of Eastern Visayas would entail expanding and intensifying the opportunities for around a thousand farmers to experience increases in production and revenue,” Enriquez noted.

The program’s specific objectives are to reduce production costs by 10 to 20%, increase yield and income by at least 15%, increase cropping intensity by 30%, improve soil fertility by 10%, increase farmers’ adaptive capacities on farming technologies, strategies, and approaches by 60%, operationalize agricultural livelihood and marketing systems by 20%, and improve entrepreneurial skills of farmers, youth, and women groups.

The project is being carried out in partnership with the Visayas State University in Baybay City and a number of government entities.

In 2014, the program “Yamang Lupa” was tested in three provinces: Samar, Quezon, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The initiative reached 3,705 farmers across 32,903 hectares, resulting in 2,528 soil health cards.

According to Enriquez, the initiative in Samar produced soil fertility maps, applied best farm management techniques, and followed the necessary macro- and micronutrients for soil rejuvenation.

The average output in tons per hectare of all commodities improved dramatically, according to the DA, with ginger, rice, and sweet potato seeing increases of 193 percent, 30 percent, and 79 percent, respectively.

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