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Peanut farmers urged to tap new technology for asha peanut

May 16, 2009 5:58pm
MANILA, Philippines — Peanut farmers interested in the production of the asha peanut can now avail themselves of a package of technology for the production of big-seaded peanut variety.

Developed and brought to the Philippines through a collaborative effort between the India’s International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropic and the Philippine Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), the asha variety is known to produce nuts larger than those traditionally grown in the country.

“Due to its size and high-yielding nature, asha showed great potential in increasing the harvest and income of local peanut farmers," a BAR report has said.

The technology package was developed by the Department of Agriculture-Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Center (DA-CVIARC) through a three-year project on the production and promotion of asha peanut.

Initiated in April 2005, asha was field tested in pilot areas in Cagayan Valley, including Ilagan in Isabela and Iguig in Cagayan.

The project aimed to evaluate and compare the adaptability and agronomic performance of Asha with locally grown peanut varieties. Various varietal tests were conducted on-station and on-farm taking into consideration plant spacing, fertilizer and lime application rates, and other technology interventions.

Results of the activities served as the bases in the development of POT for the suitable production of Asha variety in the country.

Following the development of the technology is the production of seeds for the promotion and commercialization of asha.

According to DA-CVIARC, they have produced 11,353 kg of seeds amounting to Php 567,650 using its five hectare production area in Ilaganand farms of DA-assisted seed growers.

The seeds were distributed for planting purposes to initial farmer-producers and government accredited seed-centers.

With asha adapting well in the Philippine soil and the developed POT , peanut yield increased dramatically by 600-1,100 kg/ha. This is translated to a Php 15,000-27,000/ha increase in farmers’ income, a BAR statement said.

To further promote the suitable use of Asha in the country, CVIARC produced and distributed Information Education Communication (IEC) materials. The center also conducted five batches of Asha production training in the provinces of Isabela, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, and Batanes wherein a total of 333 stakeholders participated and were technically capacitated. Field days and television airings were also done to promote the technology for asha..

Asha is now being planted nationwide due to the strong promotion of the variety. In Region 2 alone, this peanut is planted in about 47.1 hectares excluding some unaccounted areas. In Jones, Isabela, a community-based and village-level peanut industry continues to thrive where Asha peanut variety is being mass-produced for processing. - GMANews.TV
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