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ASC has five major programs. These are the following:
Enhancing Soil Resources in Agricultural Systems
The program aims to develop methods, strategies, technologies and systems that will maintain or enhance the remaining soil resources that will sustain productivity and environmental quality by: a) providing comprehensive, coordinated approaches to develop management strategies designed to restore, enhance, and protect the soil resource; b) management strategies that focuses on sustainable systems that matches plants, animals, tillage and other manipulations with water supply, climate and soil conditions; and c) development of low-alternative or cost-effective soil management practices, technologies, and decision tools that enable farmers, extension workers and decision makers to enhance food, feed and fiber production while protecting soil, water, and air resources.
The program consists of the following:
1. Soil Health and Plant Nutrition
- Aims to improve nutrient recommendation for crop production and protection of water resources
- Researches on soil health deal on soil properties measured in terms of individual ecosystem services provided relative to their specific benchmarks (physical/biological and chemical properties)
- Researches addressing natural resource concerns related to soil erosion
- Researches on nutrient management/practices strategies
2. Organic agriculture
- Research projects addressing improvement of soil fertility, agri-industrial waste management, livestock manure management, development and utilization of organic fertilizers (includes compost and microbial fertilizers).
- Research projects on assessing the physical/ chemical/ biological characteristics of soils and the corresponding soil characteristics required by plants; defining the standards on soil amendments, additives and fertilization.
3. Problem Soils.
These are researches that will cover the relationship between agricultural production and environmental protection i.e salinity, acidity, eroded soils, agrochemical pollution etc.
4. Soil Inventory and Evaluation
Dr. Gina Villegas-Pangga
Crop-Animal Systems (CASys) is largely about the efficient management of integrated crop-animal production systems. These systems capitalize on the complementary relationships of crops and animals by way of: Nutrient cycling and waste minimization; Crop by-products and residues utilization as feeds for livestock; Animal manure as organic fertilizer as organic fertilizer for crops; Animal draft power for crop production; Food-feed-forage as part of cropping systems; and Minimizing economic risks. Enhancing such complementation would contribute to the improvement of farm income without endangering agro-ecosystem’s health.
The program has a general goal of enhancing complementary crop-animal interactions for a sustainable agricultural production in various agro-ecological zones. The current components of the program are: Documentation and assessment of existing and potential crop-animal systems; Technology generation, adaptation and utilization in crop-animal systems; Crop-animal systems modeling; and Crop-animal value-adding and commercialization.
Dr. Hospicio G. Natural, Jr.
The Organic Agriculture Program (OAP) of the Agricultural Systems Cluster aims to provide leadership in science-based and people-oriented sustainable organic agriculture through relevant research, extension and instruction. Starting with modest research funds in 2006, it currently conducts both basic studies on organic fertilizer inputs and community-based action research through assured research grants of PhP13.5M from 2007 to 2013.
Members of the OAP are actively involved with the Bureau of Agricultural Research and the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Products Standards in support of the Department of Agriculture’s OA programs. The OAP team collaborated with MASIPAG, a local NGO member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist of Quezon to set up a Participatory Guarantee System to ensure the quality of organic products sold in their Friday Organic Market. This has made Quezon the first province in the country to set up a Participatory Guarantee System.
In collaboration with the UP Open University, OAP members take the lead in the first offering of the on-line certificate course on organic agriculture which was recently launched on July 7, 2012.
The OAP expects to initiate more collaboration with concerned agencies and partners to support the country’s goals towards a globally competitive and sustainable organic agriculture.
Dr. Blesilda M. Calub
Agricultural Systems Adaptation to Climate Change
The goal of the program is to enhance the resilience of agricultural systems to the hazards posed by climate change and develop green technologies in agricultural systems. It aims to (a) develop methodologies for assessing vulnerability of agricultural systems to climate hazards and management strategies in dealing with the hazards; (b) develop adaptations strategies/technologies for agricultural systems to climate change; and (c) generate clean and green technologies that will contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gases.
The program envisions to implement the following program components: 1) Development of methodology for assessment of vulnerability, impacts, and adaptive capacity of agriculture to climate change; 2) Development of early warning systems for climate change; 3) Adaptation strategies/technologies; and 4) Institutional development.
Dr. Jose Nestor M. Garcia
Agricultural Systems Extension and Entrepreneurship (AgExtEnt) Program
The ASC operationalizes various elements of holistic, systems oriented, community-based, interdisciplinary, and participatory approaches in it various RDE programs such as the Farmer Scientists Training Program (FSTP), Community-based action research project in organic agriculture, On-farm Research and Outreach Project (OFRO), and recently the Dos por Cinco approach for Native Swine production in Bondoc Peninsula. The Agricultural Systems Extension and Entrepreneurship Program aims to integrate the lessons learned and experiences from these various projects to develop and operationalize the theoretical foundation of agricultural systems approach to agricultural extension and entrepreneurship through various community-based projects, capacity building activities, IEC advocacy and institution development. As such, the program will promote holistic, agricultural systems oriented, community-based, participatory and empowering extension system by transforming agricultural livelihood systems into viable and sustainable enterprise. As a strategy, the program will develop innovative methods and approaches for participatory technology development and utilization, planning, monitoring and evaluation; facilitate enterprise and entrepreneurial development; conduct strategic communication, information, training and education initiatives for capacity building and; organize and mobilize communities.
Dr. Mary Jean G. Bulatao
The Farmer-Scientists Training Program (FSTP)
The Farmer-Scientists Training Program (FSTP) is an action/extension program based at the Agricultural Systems Cluster, which aims to give farmers, especially those in upland communities, direct contact with agricultural scientists. This is primarily designed to develop their technical and scientific capabilities to grow corn and other crops and animals utilizing appropriate farming technologies. It also aims to strengthen the agricultural research and extension capabilities of local government units, state colleges and universities and other government and non-government agency-partners for better services.
FSTP has been a recipient of several awards from local to national levels. These inlcude: the 2006 Outstanding College of Agriculture Extension Team Award on March 6, 2006; the 2006 UPLB Outstanding Extension Program Award on March 6, 2006, and the Presidential GawadLingkod Bayan Award 2006, which was awarded by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Civil Service Commission at the CCP, Manila on September 21, 2006.
From just being implemented in pilot areas of Argao, Cebu and other selected provinces, FSTP has become a national program of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) through Executive Order 710 signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 27, 2008. Regions 4,5,7,8,9,10,11,12 and CARAGA are among the priority areas covered by the program.
Dr. Romulo G. Davide
Program Leader, FSTP
Crop Protection Cluster, CA-UPLB
Mobile Phone #: 09287111321
Telefax: (049) 536-2467