"Nueva Ecija intends to intercrop vetiver and napier in bamboo plantations", Governor Aurelio M. Umali said during the bamboo training held in this town on March 20-21.
Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) is a fodder crop for dairy farmers while vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides), a deeply rooted grass, is used as hedge against erosion.
The Provincial Capitol is willing to buy raw bamboo to be used as fuel for gasifiers. Bamboo charcoal, output of the process, will be converted into activated charcoal, Gov. Umali also said.
Recent ordinance prohibits drying of palay on roadways all over Nueva Ecija. Gasifier will be used as an alternative means for drying paddy seeds (unmilled rice).
Meanwhile, activated bamboo charcoal is used in products, such as soap, bath powder, cushions and pillows.
"We need to have nurseries so after 4-5 years we can have bamboo plantations and build the bamboo industry", he told training participants.
More than 40 participants consisted of barangay officials, farmers, aspiring entrepreneurs and youth members of Tambayan ng KC1 mostly from Barangay San Francisco - the site of approved 1-ha bamboo nursery of San Antonio, Nueva Ecija - joined the activity.
Trainers were Mr. Angelito B. Exconde of DENR-ERDB and Dr. Edmundo B. Baccay of Tarlac College of Agriculture.
Titled "Training on Nursery and Plantation Establishment," the activity included lectures and hands-on training on bamboo propagation techniques, such as branch cutting and culm cutting using Kawayang Tinik, and offset/asexual propagation using an ornamental bamboo from China. It was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry-Nueva Ecija. Mheda G. Garcia, NGP-PQPM, LBES