Business group to convert chicken dung into organic fertilizer

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President Duterte shakes hands with San Luis, Pampanga Mayor Venancio Macapagal during the turnover of financial assistance to poultry raisers affected by the avian influenza virus that hit the town recently. Looking on is Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol. Also in Photo are Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial. (Photo by Jess Malabanan, InterAksyon)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Bird manure collected in areas where avian influenza (bird flu) virus broke out could be processed and converted into organic fertilizer aside from being a good source of green energy, according to a businessman seeking to resolve concerns that allowing the transport of chicken dung to other parts of Luzon, where farmers have been using them, might further spread the contagion.

Government and health authorities earlier said that chicken dung might be contaminated of the virus, and could cause the spread of bird flu if not properly handled.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol earlier halted the transport of bird manure, including those of ducks and quails, to other places to prevent spread of the fowl disease. “Chicken dung is being sold in vegetable farms for fertilizer use.”

There may be a safe and efficient way to make use of the bird dung, however, while concerns linger over allowing them to be ferried, untreated, to the vegetable farms of Luzon. According to businessman Jojo Soliman of the Sta. Monica Farm Products Corporation, a processing plant is being constructed on a 8,000-square meter land in Bacolor, Pampanga. It is seen to help ease the burden of poultry owners in transporting bird manure from bird flu-stricken areas in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

The company, Soliman said, adopted a composting technology from German and Columbian industries. He said an initial investment of P20 million was infused by the group for construction and operation of the processing plant.

Soliman said the company initially set up boilers that have the capacity of processing 50,000 metric tons of chicken dung.

“Chicken dung to be collected in poultry farms will be processed in our plant and converted into organic fertilizer for distribution to different vegetable farms in Pampanga and nearby areas in Central Luzon.

Soliman said the initial operations would be dedicated for the production of organic fertilizers. He said the company will be venturing into green energy in due time.

“Actually we have two options: first is the processing plant of chicken dung, and second is building a furnace. But because of the urgency of the situation we disregarded the production of energy renewable energy” for the meantime, said Soliman.

It would take one week to convert the chicken dung into organic fertilizer using this process, said Soliman on the sideline of President Duterte’s visit to Pampanga on Monday.

In his speech during the distribution of financial assistance to affected poultry raisers in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, Piñol encourage local farmers to venture into vegetable farming by constructing green houses in idle lands.

Pinol said a memorandum of agreement will be signed between the Columbian-German firms, Department of Agriculture and local governments for the establishment and operations of a composting plant.

Soliman said the company chose Bacolor town because of its proximity to affected areas in Pampanga, and to contain the transport of chicken dung to other places. “The secretary does not want the manure to go out of Pampanga.