IN THE NEWS
ASTS, pursuing tomorrow's agriculture
Chito F. Sace, Ph. D. | 2010-08-02 11:37:27 AM

The Agricultural Science and Technology School is now pursuing tomorrow’s agriculture. Using modern systems like greenhouse and pressurized irrigation technologies, the school exploits hydroponic techniques to grow honeydew melon and other high value crops.

Established on August 18, 1995 with the concept of revitalizing the curriculum of the Central Luzon Agricultural School, the school’s main objective is to train future farmers the modern ways of farming by applying new technological innovations. Armed with this concept, the university, headed by then president, Dr. Fortunato A. Battad, chose and assigned group of educators to work on the design of the curriculum and figure out the policies of its implementation.
Now on its fourteenth year, the school has a 1,000 sq m technology demonstration farm with a Pinoy tropical greenhouse that is complete with hydroponic system irrigated with an automated recirculating drip method. The set up utilizes mixtures of non-soil growing media such as sand, gravel and pumice with rice hull.

The project was budgeted by the Department of Science and Technology Region 3 headed by Dr. Conrado J. Oliveroz. It was facilitated by Dr. Julius V. Sicat, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services through the Provincial Science and Technology Director, Orlando G. Anselmo. The university president, Dr. Ruben C. Sevilleja, is fully supporting the project and welcome more development in the school such as creating a center for advanced agricultural technologies.    

The techno-demo farm has a lean-to greenhouse nursery for the propagation of seedlings where the nutrient solution reservoir and automatic controller are also housed. The site is also surrounded with dragon fruit climbing on concrete posts intercropped with various high value vegetables and irrigated with drip system. The nursery will also be used in integrating aquaculture (growing fish) and hydroponics (vegetable production) or aquaponics after the seedling requirement is met every growing season.

Dr. Edgar M. Ricamonte, the first principal of the school, shared the vision of creating the institution as a leader of agricultural modernization to the first batch of educators that implemented the school’s curriculum in 1996. Prof. Cresenciano V. Merculio, the present principal, carried on the challenge and moves forward to meet the demand of future: to produce new breed of farmers that are aware of the advantages of advanced agricultural systems.

Dr. Chito F. Sace, project leader and member of the first batch of implementers of the curriculum, is even more challenged to apply his expertise and advocacy to train and equip the students through the immersion program of the school. The training will be extended to farmers and investors who are interested to help the school practice and promote or even commercialize these modern technologies.

In line with university’s thrust, the school will continuously pursue advanced agricultural technologies in response to the government’s call to modernize the agriculture and fishery sectors and educate Filipinos to believe that agriculture is potentially an effective weapon against hunger and poverty.

The overwhelming challenge of sustainable production of fresh vegetables in the country will probably end when Filipinos learn to revolutionize their approach to farming through the utilization of modern technologies like hydroponics.

Hydroponics, a type of urban agriculture, is a poten...

The Agricultural Science and Technology School is now pursuing tomorrow’s agriculture. Using modern systems like greenhouse and pressurized irrigation technologies, the school exploits hydroponic techniques to grow honeydew melon and other high value crops.

Established on August 18,...

The Agricultural Science and Technology School is pursuing tomorrow’s agriculture. Using modern systems like greenhouse and pressurized irrigation technologies, the school exploits hydroponic techniques to grow honeydew melon.
The ASTS was established on August 18, 1995 to revitalize t...