Pola, Oriental Mindoro

About 65 percent or 10,501.426 hectares of Pola’s total land area are devoted to agriculture. Coconut is the major agricultural crop occupying 4,500 hectares distributed in all barangays. Banana is the second predominant crop planted in all barangays. There are 1,065 hectares of irrigated rice planted by 582 farmers in 13 barangays and 350 hectares of non-irrigated rainfed) rice planted by 280 farmers in other barangays. The municipality is also a major producer of high value crops, citrus, fruit trees and vegetables. Table below shows the area coverage and average production of major agricultural crops.

Existing Major Agricultural Crops by Area, Production and Market

Major Crops Area Production Product Market
Hectares % Total Volume
Value (Php) Local Export/other
1. Rice
Irrigated 1,065.00 10.14 5,325 74,5550,000.00 Batangas-
Non-irrigated 350.00 3.33 1,400 19,600,000.00 Batangas-
2. Banana 2,520.00 24 25,200 25,200,000.00 Batangas-
3. Coconut 4,500.00 42.85 9,000 135,000,000.00 Lucena
City & Manila
4. Citrus/Oranges 1,408.00 13.41 5,632 50,688,000.00 Batangas-
5. Other HVC,
Lansonez, Mango
and Coffee
658.426 6.26 1,456 21,787,500.00 Manila
TOTAL 10,501.426 100 48,022 326,825,500.00
Source: Municipal Agriculturist's Office

Farming Techniques

The current farming practices consist of several components. Farming management practices varies for individual crops. Cropping systems consist of interrelated activities in the farm which involve the quality of land, crops planted, livestock raised, climate or weather condition and availability of water supply.

The types of cropping system are the following:

1. Mono-cropping – growing of single type of crop on a piece of land on an annual basis like palay, coconut and citrus.
2. Intercropping – growing of two types of crops simultaneously on the same piece of land. Farmers have a base crop like coconut intercrop with banana or any other crops planted in between rows of the main crop. The main objective of intercropping is to maximize the use of land for higher production and stability of farmer’s income.

3. Mixed cropping system – a common practice of farmers in one backyard. It is the growing of two or more crops intermingled without any row pattern. The objective is to meet per capita requirements for vegetables and other crops. The system is also popularly known as subsistence farming.

4. Integrated farming – it is a method of integrating major permanent crops like fruit trees/HVCC with vegetables/roots crops, poultry and livestock and inland fishery for sustainability. It is the intensification of cropping in time and space dimension. Through integrated farming, forage grasses were planted to serve as feeds for small and large ruminants. Farmers allow livestock to graze the land reducing labor cost on grass cutting, in turn the excreta of these animals serve as fertilizer for some crops. When livestock and crops attain a certain level of growth, they were marketed providing additional income for farmers. This practice is considered as sustainable agriculture aimed at meeting the needs of the present generation without endangering and damaging the resource base of the future generation. It is also known as organic or natural farming considered as low input but highly productive system. Organic matter like animals’ and plants wastes serve as the main source of fertilizer. Table 5.2 below shows the different farming techniques in different barangays.

Farming Techniques in Different Barangays

Barangay Farming Techniques
Intercropping Mixed
Bacawan 29 806 21 0
Bacungan 121 91 0
Batuhan 13 65 5 0
Bayanan 18 53 10 0
Biga 146 114 12 0
Buhay na Tubig 20 649 6 0
Calima 15 714 20 0
Calubasanhon 25 750 30 0
Campamento 21 496 12 0
Casilingan 161 199 5 0
Malibago 155 518 8 0
Maluanluan 438 425 21 2
Misong 18 215 9 0
Pahilahan 35 773 12 0
Panikihan 23 314 20 0
Pula 220 689 40 0
Puting Cacao 25 496 10 0
Tagbakin 50 585 16 0
Tagumpay 35 299 9 0
Tiguihan 10 266 6 0
TOTAL 1660 9406 307 2
Source: Municipal Agriculturist's Office

Grains Production

• Rice About 75 percent of the total rice area of Pola is irrigated while 25 percent are non-irrigated. Table 5.1 shows that Pola produced 6,725 metric tons of Palay. Rice production performance in the municipality is satisfactory with an average productivity of 4.75 metric tons per hectare per annum. There are five major rice producing barangays- Maluanluan, Casiligan, Biga, Pula and Panikihan representing 70 percent of the total irrigated areas.

Most of the farmers in Pola practice semi-mechanized farming in the land preparation of rice field using carabao drawn plough and hand tractors. Trans planting of rice seedlings and harvesting are done manually. Post-harvest facilities are limited and palay drying in basketball courts, roads and vacant lots are common during harvest season.

• Permanent and High Value Crops (HVC)

Approximately 9,086.43 hectares were devoted to permanent and High Value Crops (HVC). Of these, coconut occupied the biggest area equivalent to42.85percent followed by banana (24%), citrus (13.41%) and other high value crops – oranges, rambutan, lanzones, durian, mango and coffee 6.26%.

For the year 2015, banana production is 25,200 metric tons, followed by coconut at 9,000 metric tons, citrus at 5,632 metric tons and other high value crops (HVC) at 1,465.

The common methods of coconut harvesting and drying are still being practiced by the farmers in upland and lowland areas. Coconut is being harvested in practical ways through climbing and using bamboo pole with bladed gadgets. Copra drying is done either by flatbed smoking and sun drying.

Harvesting of banana, citrus and high value crops are done manually with the aid of improvised bamboo ladders.