By Maria Nila O. Argel
Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Sept. 4 (PIA) – Officials here are promoting the use of burnt rice hulls in plastic bags to produce seedling varieties.
Robert S. Savella, municipal plant and nursery coordinator, said rice husks (or the hard protecting coverings of rice grains) used to be untapped and were left lying near farmlands until technology was developed to put the husks to good use.
He said instead of ending up as mere wastes, rice hulls are subjected to the process of carbonization to convert them to valuable commodities known as carbonized rice hull, or CRH.
The process is carried out by burning rice hulls without oxidation to prevent it from turning to ash.
Edgar S. Balangatan, agriculture technician of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), said that carbonized husks are used variedly as fertilizer, an enhancer for seedlings’ growth, as a growing medium for producing high-value crops and as a perfect litter for brooding chicks.
He said seedlings transplanted into media containing rice hulls increase root growth.
First to produce carbonized hulls was the Baclig-Callaguip-Lusong Suyo Multipurpose Association (BACALL MPA) using their flatbed dryer. It now maintains a nursery of seedlings and supplies seeds to the town’s nursery and to individuals or groups. (MCA/MNOA /PIA1- Ilocos Sur)