The coconut tree, also known as the Tree of Life, is well known in the country for its many uses; ranging from its leaves to its roots. Coconut leaves are used for roofing and other woven items, their bodies for house frames and furniture, their fruit for oil and beverages, and their roots for medicinal purposes. Indeed, coconuts have undeniable significance and benefits in terms of health, livelihood, and economic matters.
In MASIPAG, coconut is utilized as a tool to further its advocacy for sustainable agriculture and resistance to corporate domination in agriculture, such as pesticides, which are costly to farmers and render their agricultural practices chemically dependent.
During the 2019 Farmer Developed and Adapted Technology (FDAT) Forum in Mindanao, MASIPAG farmer-trainer Ericson Campomayor, of Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay PCB shared his innovation of fermenting coconut broth with salt. Compomayore says it is an effective natural weed control to his farm.
In 2020, the said innovation has undergone verification where the Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao (CTCSM), a partner of MASIPAG’s indigenous school in Mindanao has seconded and confirmed the effectiveness of coconut-saline weed control.
How to prepare the solution?
- Melt 3 kilos of salt in coconut broth.
- Ferment the solution for 30 days.
• Ferment the solution for 30 days.
How to apply the solution?
- Transfer the salted solution to a clean knapsack sprayer. Directly pump the solution to the weeds. It is better to do it on a sunny morning. Drying of the grass can be seen immediately within 2-3 hours.
The use of fermented coconut water as a herbicide demonstrates that sustainable farming is possible and attainable. Our farmers’ technology is a reaffirmation and a practical application of local knowledge systems in agriculture while also providing their fellow farmers with additional farm management alternatives. Indeed, the tree of life is a blessing to MASIPAG farmers, not only because of its benefits but because it represents the possibility of a pesticide-free world for future life.