LEGAZPI CITY—Technical personnel of the Legazpi City Agriculture Office received 10 Soil Testing Kits (STKs) from the Regional Soils Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture Bicol on March 4, 2021 which they can use to assist farmers in the estimation of soil nutrients present in their farms.

Department of Agriculture Soil chemist Elizabeth Banda said that LGUs need to undergo a hands-on training for the use of the STK before they ARE provided with the kits. She added that this training will re-tool and update the knowledge and skills of agriculturists in soil testing.

The STK is used to assess the quality of the soil to test the pH (acidity and alkalinity), nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

OIC-City Agriculturist Sheila B. Nas said that more than 200 farmers will benefit from the STKs that they have acquired from DA-Bicol. However, they will submit soil samples for laboratory analysis to the RSL.

Laboratory soil analysis will quantify the organic matter, potassium, phosphorus, pH and soil texture from the STK.

For the first quarter, this same intervention will be given to Tabaco City in Albay; Del Gallego, Tigaon and Caramoan, Camarines Sur; PLGU of Masbate; Paracale in Camarines Norte; Bagamanoc, Catanduanes and Castilla, Sorsogon.

RSL Agriculturist II Ailene Babilonia discussed “Paraan ng pagkuha ng lupang ipasusuri”, while Marife Valenciano demonstrated on how to use the STK.

The STK is a farm management tool with a potential benefit to the farmer of increased yields, reduced operating costs and environmental risk management. Each STK COSTS PhP 5,000.00. (jaysonmgonzales with photos from Ailene Babilonia)