By Keith Bacongco
DAVAO CITY – As the people were locked down in their homes as result of community quarantine restrictions, many have made use of their time by engaging in urban gardening.
As a result, there was a notable spike on the demand for flowers, ornamental plants, vegetables and consequently, fertile garden soil in the local market.
Dr. Roberto Puentespina Jr.,DVM, chief executive officer of Davao Thermo Biotech Corporation (DTBC), told Manila Bulletin that they have noted the increase in people engaging in urban vegetable gardening at the start of the quarantine period.
Puentespina added that this may be attributed to the inconvenience of sourcing basic food commodities being quarantined at home and also as a means to ease the boredom of prolonged home stay.
“The demand for good quality potting mix encouraged the DTBC Team to come up with an appropriate product. So in June, after several trials and completing test and quality assurance protocols, Dr. Bo’s Enriched Potting Mix was made available in the market,” he added.
The potting mix, explained Puentespina, is an enriched soil with biofertilizer produced from composting biodegradable agricultural wastes using hyperthermophilic bacteria under controlled environment.
The biofertilizer, Puentespina added, was produced under a hyperthermophilic environment with over 100 degree Celsius temperature that destroys pathogens and weed seeds. He said that the process nurtured beneficial microflora and nutrients.
Unlike the other garden soil sold in the local market, Puentespina said the EPM is also porous for proper soil aeration, retains moisture for proper seedling growth and undergoes sterilization to prevent growth of pathogen and weed seeds.
The biofertilizer, which is the main output, provides organic matter and nutrients for successful germination.
“It is recommended for sprouting seeds and can support healthy seedlings and for mulching productive vegetables and shrubs,” Puentespina pointed out.
DTBC mainly collects biodegradable waste for a fee from food and agricultural industries and treats them to help address the growing problem of wastes in the city, he said.
This composting plant, which is located in Barangay Binugao, Toril can process at least 50 tons of waste a day. Puentespina said it can be increased depending on the demand for waste management.
For every ton of biodegradable waste that would undergo the composting process, the DTBC can recover 10 to 20 percent as biofertilizer depending on the substrate.
“We want to demonstrate the sustainability of proper management of waste as our contribution to nation building and a waste-free Philippines,” Puentespina said.
Operating commercially since 2017,DTBC is a biodegradables-to-fertilizer company that employs Hyperthermophilic Composting Technology, which originated in Japan, to produce biofertilizers.