June 17, 2024

The Urban Agriculture Division of the Baguio City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) has emphasized the significance of crop rotation and diversification in ensuring sustainable agricultural practices in Baguio City.

Monocropping, the continuous cultivation of a single crop variety in the same field over successive seasons, poses serious risks to farmers’ livelihoods and the environment, according to CVAO Supervising Agriculturist Marcelina Tabelin.

“This practice leads to proliferation of pests and diseases and market fluctuations that can significantly impact the farmers’ income,” she said.

When farmers engage in monocropping, they often repeat the exact crop cycle after cycle, driven by perceived profitability. However, this practice creates an ideal environment for pests to thrive, as they find a continuous food source in the same crop.

According to Tabelin, this perpetuates pest infestations and makes them increasingly difficult to control.

CVAO advocates crop rotation to combat these challenges, which involves planting crops not from the same family as the previous crop. By diversifying crops, farmers disrupt pest cycles and reduce the risk of crop failure due to diseases and soil nutrient depletion.

Despite the clear benefits of crop rotation, Tabelin notes a hesitation among some local farmers to adopt this practice. Some farmers prefer sticking to what they know best, for example, lettuce, due to their expertise in its cultivation and the stability of its market demand.

However, monocropping lettuce has led to oversupply, driving down prices and diminishing farmers’ incomes.

Tabelin emphasizes the need for local farmers to embrace crop rotation and diversification as a fundamental aspect of sustainable agriculture. By expanding their crops, farmers can mitigate the risks associated with monocropping, ensure a stable income, and contribute to the long-term health of Baguio City’s agricultural sector.

The CVAO is prepared to support farmers in implementing crop rotation practices and ensuring more resilient agriculture in the region. – Jedidiah Ugto and Aileen Refuerzo