To be strict
One of the hardest part in managing is to correct a subordinate who is older and more experienced in farming than you. Last cropping ( January- July) there were many faults like we knew some planters don’t do the correct way of planting. We had the dilemma to correct them as the planters (who are older than us) might not come back again or hold grudge against us as the community has the kind of behavior. But this is easy, we just need to make work contracts, have it printed, read, explained why we have to do such act and signed by them. If an employee intentionally makes mistakes, we call his attention and correct/ warn him privately not openly. People risk is a major challenge that the Rice Contract Farm faces. We counter it this time with thorough and consistent monitoring and by exercising authority by being strict with the standards. Discipline is something to enforce and most of all to have.
In the first cropping, we experienced a multiple pest outbreak which had an effect in the production. The advantage in this setback is , we now have a standpoint to see where to adjust/ prepare as earlier as now. Though pest is a major risk, yet they can be controlled.
Second cropping plans:
Conduct soil test, revive vermiculture, dapog system ( easy uprooting system), revive the pest resistant native varieties, strengthen biological pest control: Plant bright colored flowers, vegetables, lemongrass to attract predatory insects.
Cultural Pest control
Even if we keep our areas clean but if our neighbor has bushy dikes and canals where rats, snails propagate, it just don’t make sense at all. Keeping the area clean is major community challenge as pest such as bugs and rats transfer from one area to another. Hence, cultural practices are a major consideration if we talk of sustainable pest control.
Last 2010, Barangay( village) Kolong- kolong in Palimbang had a zero harvest when rats infested. Since then, farmers agreed, put in writing, signed to do rat hunting. Until now they still do and if a member farmer does not do his duty, he is charged a fine. If community rat hunting is successful in Kolong- kolong, ii could also be in Kanipaan.
In Kanipaan, Palimbang and so with many other places, rice is the crop planted for over many years (monoculture). However, this explains the build-up of rice pests, viruses, weeds and the depletion of soil fertility. To break or limit these cycle, another crop must be planted as same plants tend to have same pests.
In Palimbang, where most of lands are mortgaged and land rental fee is high, farmers may not agree on crop rotation as other crops to be alternated with rice are less profitable but might also mean less input ( so, still profitable). Also, even if you decide not to till your land, you still have to pay an irrigation fee. Though this need a collective decision, this can be possible.