Image from RTNMC Facebook page.

Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) has started harvesting eggplants from its experimental demo farm using the bioreactor soil compost which currently undergoes study for the purpose of improving lateritic topsoil for agriculture purposes.

Mining Technology and Geosciences coordinator of RTN, Blitz Paeste, said that the community relations department took advantage of the available time during the pandemic to learn how to plant that would be beneficial for the ongoing research. Paeste added that the agricultural produce from the demo farm signifies that the bioreactor soil compost added to the lateritic topsoil has a higher possibility to be beneficial for agricultural ventures of the community.

“During this pandemic, although there were shortage sa supplies, we still used this time to start our research,” he said. He said that the harvested agricultural product from the demo farm is not yet for public consumption and still subject to experimentation.

“Right now, Rio Tuba Nickel has research studies sa rehabilitated areas using Palay and other crops. Usually ang sinasabi kasi na hindi masyadong mataba ang lateritic topsoil kaya ang ginagawa ng RTN ngayon ay nagkaroon ng intervention sa lupa para maging akma siya sa agriculture,” he said.

“Ang future plan ay isi-set up na namin ang dalawang greenhouse, ‘yong isang controlled group, ‘yong isa ay experimental group, mismong research activity by September or October,” he said. The product of the study will also be extended on the livelihood programs of the company to communities covered by the scope of the mining firm operations.

He said that the RTNMC aims to share the result of the study by January or February of year 2021. After harvesting eggplants from the demo farm which has established only this year, the ComRel department plans to add tomatoes to see if it will also fit with the bioreactor soil compost.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.