Plant and eat more mongo, peanuts for better soil and health
The Food and Agriculture Organization is pushing for increased production and consumption of legumes such as mongo and garbanzos to improve soil conditions and provide people with more nutrition.
“Pulses are good for people, and are good for soils,” the FAO’s head of land and water division Eduardo Mansur said.
The FAO recently held the event dubbed as “Soils and pulses; symbiosis for life” in Rome for the International Year of Pulses.
The FAO said pulses, or legumes, offer exceptional nutritional inputs for human diets, economically affordable, use relatively little water compared to other sources of protein, and reduce the need for industrial fertilizers.
In the Philippines, farmers traditionally intercropped peanuts with rice to bring back nitrogen to the soil to boost productivity.
Peanut production in the Philippines grew by only 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year to 5,004 metric tons with the increase in harvested area in Agusan del Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Bukidnon, and Lanao del Norte.
There was also an increase in area planted to peanut in Cebu as some private individuals extended financial assistance to farmers.
The Ilocos region is the biggest producer of peanuts, accounting for over a fifth of total production during the period.
Mongo production, meanwhile, grew by 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of last year to 3,100 metric tons.
The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said drought in some provinces resulted in an increase in mongo harvest as some farmers opted not to plant a second crop of palay.
The distribution of mongo seeds by provincial agriculturists and local government units provided farmers with the incentive to increase its production. (By: Eileen A. Mencias)