Participatory Approach to Optimizing Cabbage Fertilization System for Improved Yield, Quality and Shelf Life

  • Antonio L. Acedo Jr Vegetable Crops Section, Crop Production and Management Division, Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
  • Marilou M. Benitez Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Food Science, Visayas State University, Leyte, Philippines
Keywords: Brassica oleraceae var, capitata, crop productivity, plant nutrition, participatory research


Cabbage fertilization system was optimized following the participatory approach by factoring in farmers’ practices, conducting optimization trials on farmers’ field, and employing farmer-researcher co-management of on-farm trials. Five different rates of fertilizer application were documented in the survey of farmers in a vegetable-growing area in Central Philippines. They served as basis for the fertilizer treatments (2 organic fertilizer levels using chicken dung or CD and 5 inorganic fertilizer levels using complete fertilizer 14-14-14 and urea 46-0-0) tested in on-farm trials in the dry season (December to May) and wet season (June to November). Other cultural practices were those employed by farmers with some good practices introduced. Optimum fertilization rate was 2.3 tons CD/ha + 112-47-47 (336 kg 14-14-14 and 141 kg 46-0-0 per hectare) for both dry and wet season crops, giving yields of 29.5 and 10.7 tons/ha, respectively, with net profit-cost ratio of 4.41 and 2.14, respectively, or more than 2-3 times higher than that of unfertilized crops. In addition, the heads produced were flatter and more compact and had longer shelf life due to lower weight loss and trimming loss, particularly for dry-season crop, compared to other fertilizer treatments. The participatory approach equipped farmers with first-hand knowledge and skills on how to improve existing cultural practices to generate high quality yields and farm profits.


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