MANILA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 (STAR) By Rudy A. Fernandez - A greenhouse need not be made of synthetic materials like plastic and other petroleum by-products. It can be made of bamboo and other cheap and locally available materials.

With only P45,000, one can construct such a facility, which is much cheaper than the commercial greenhouse that costs as much as P600,000.

“The bamboo–structured greenhouse can last up to five years or longer, giving enough time for farmers to maximize production and increase their profit,” said Agapito Regulacion, agriculturist at the Southern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center (SMIARC) in Manambulan, Tugok, Davao City.

Regulacion shared the results of their study on bamboo-structured greenhouse to a Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) team that visited the SMIARC recently for a documentation of community-based participatory action research (CPAR) projects.

CPAR is one of the banner programs of BAR under the directorship of Nicomedes P. Eleazar. It is a nationwide program that aims to improve farming systems technologies down the provinces and towns in the country.

SMIARC and DA’s high-value commercial crops program (HVCCP) have been supporting and promoting the bamboo greenhouse technology, making it a model for high-value vegetable production.

With bamboo and locally available and inexpensive materials, one can construct a 400-square-meter greenhouse, said Regulacion, who is project leader of CPAR’s “Producton of high-value vegetables under the low-cost bamboo-structured greenhouse.”

Vegetable varieties that were test-planted in bamboo greenhouse included cauliflower (Tokita Silver Cup 40 variety) tomato (Diamante variety), sweet pepper (Improved Smooth Caycne variety), ampalaya (Galary variety) and pechay (Black Bohi variety).

“These vegetables are commercially preferred by the local market,” Regulacion said.

Planting of honeydew (Ilocos Gold, Sweet Globe, Jade Lady varieties) also proved to be a production venture under greenhouse condition.

Regulacion advised: “It is better to use the right varieties that will thrive best in the area. The area where the bamboo-structured greenhouse is to be constructed must be typhoon-free to avoid destruction of the structure.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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