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College stud wins prov’l. climate change contest on innovative tech

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Instead of dumping them into garbage baskets, chicken eggshells can enhance soil quality and lead to better plant growth.

The Chicken Eggshell, as pH Enhancer technology, was introduced by Jese Jones Nacario, a 19 year-old incoming 4th year chemical engineering student from the municipality of Minglanilla.

_MG_4665Nacario won the provincial level of the Department of Agriculture’s Innovative Technology on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Contest. It was held during the 58th Provincial Farm Family Achievement Day in Cebu City last May 12.

The objective of the technology, according to Nacario is to contribute in increasing the adaptive capacity of agricultural soils to climate change impacts by enhancing its pH with the use of pulverized chicken eggshell.

In chemistry, pH is a measurement that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. In his findings, Nacario said that in acidic conditions, “many soil minerals dissolve and increase the concentration of metal ions to toxic levels.” He said these toxic metals and high levels of manganese and iron impair plant growth.

He claimed that the chicken eggshell is rich in calcium carbonate like lime, which is useful in reviving and even improving soil quality.

Calcium is also a very important mineral for plant roots. If soil nutrients reach maximum level, it increases the ability of the soil to absorb water, he further stated.

A valedictorian in public high school, Nacario is a beneficiary of Capitol’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), in collaboration with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

He currently works at Minglanilla agriculture’s office as a summer job employee. He enjoys a minimum rate salary with 60 percent being paid by the province and 40 percent paid by DOLE.

_MG_4443Aside from the innovative technology category, there were 12 other competitions during the event.  Minglanilla won the innovative technology, duck meat cooking, indigenous plaque making, extemporaneous speaking and photography and feature writing contests. Sibonga topped the lubok, tahop, alig-ig, and balak competitions.

San Fernando reigned in the 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) quiz bee and cassava-based processing contests while the city of Naga dominated the sweet potato processing and packaging technology challenge.

_MG_4566Toledo City won the duet-singing contest while Daanbantayan stood out in belly dancing. Balamban also prevailed in the on-the-spot canvass painting category.

Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena said Nacario and the rest of the contest winners will compete in the regional level this week in Dumaguete City.

The aim of the activity is to strengthen farm families as members of the Rural Based Organization who plays a significant role towards the success of every government’s projects and programs. It also bolsters the partnership among all stakeholders towards achieving the province-wide goal-Sustainability and Progress.

Other participants in the activity include the contingents from Oslob, Santander, Argao, Consolacion, Danao City, Catmon, Barili, Tabuelan, Borbon, and Carcar City.