Ready-to-harvest ABS 763 variety of sorghum. ### Image by Michael John Galivo, RAFIS-MIMAROPA.
The Department of Agriculture pushes to relive the production of sorghum as support to the growing poultry and livestock industry. Known as the “camel of crops”, sorghum is a drought-tolerant, hardy, easy-to-propagate and rich in protein crop which can be used as an alternative raw ingredient for animal feeds.
Seeing its potential as the next smart crop, former Secretary Emmanuel Pinol created a program called the National Sorghum Development Program. As among its initial measures of promotion, DA established demo-farms all over the region as a learning site for those who are interested.
In MIMAROPA Region, the Regional Corn Program established the demo farms in Oriental Mindoro and Palawan where the ABS 763 variety were planted. The first harvest festival was conducted in the Regional Office’s research station in Victoria on October 30, 2019. The event was witnessed by 70 attendees composed of provincial coordinators from the provinces of the region, and around 20 farmers from Alcalte, Victoria, Oriental Mindoro.
“Ang pagtitipon na ito ay para ipakilala ang sorghum sa ating mga farmers dahil isa ito sa maaring maging dagdag kita sa pamamaraan ng diversified farming. Maari itong itanim sa ilalim ng puno ng niyog o kaya naman ay kasabay ng cassava,” explained Ma. Christine Inting, Regional Focal Person, Corn and Cassava Program.
Apart from the harvest festival, a technical briefing about its production from land preparation to harvesting was held on September 29 with a speaker from Allied Marketing, supplier of sorghum seeds; San Miguel Corporation, buyer of sorghum harvests, and researchers from the Regional Office that discussed about the Fall Army Worm, a pest that infest grains like corn and sorghum.
In the technical briefing, it was explained that its ratooning capability wherein it can propagate even after cutting most of its upper part, the crop can be harvested three times in one planting season. As mentioned in the Philippine News Agency website the estimated average production of the crop reaches to 10 metric tons (MT) per hectare per harvest.
A short technical briefing happened at the demo site in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. ### Screenshot
Meanwhile in Palawan, the harvest festival was conducted on October 24, at the Regional Agricultural Center in Abo-abo, Sofronio Española. It was attended by around 200 participants from different municipalities also.
Aside from being complementary for corn as a feed grain, a study also says that its grain being rich in protein can be a source of food that would help address malnutrition.
A group photo of the attendees of the Sorghum Festival in Palawan. ### Photo by Michael John Galivo.