Jadam ultra low-cost agriculture

Flor G. Tarriela Flor G. Tarriela

Jadam. What is Jadam? Jadam is short for “Jayonul Damun Saramdul” which means “people who are like nature” or follow the wisdom of nature. Before, farmers produced their seeds, seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides, all inputs needed in the farm. Nowadays farmers buy practically all the inputs in the farm.

We are fortunate that Youngsang Cho, his wife Son and son Rabi did a Philippine Jadam tour this February encompassing Luzon (Antipolo, Isabela), Visayas (Cebu), Mindanao (Davao, Bislig, Zamboanga). Andry Lim (Secretary of Agriculture awardee for Outstanding Organic Agriculture in 2009) and his wife Joji joined them in the tour.

Andry has been teaching Natural Farming for years now, and learned from Master Han-kyu Cho, the master of Korean Natural farming, and the father of Youngsang. Youngsang studied agriculture for 30 years and introduced Jadam. It is so simple and easy and effective that anybody can follow it. I find it so mind boggling that we have the resource right in our farm and garden and have even looked at them as wastes (egg shells, animal bones, fish waste)all these years.
Those who eat bulalo, we just throw the bones and its excellent source of calcium. His method allows farmers to turn materials around them into powerful soil conditioners, natural fertilizers and pesticides. Thus, by producing their own fertilizers and pesticides, the cost of production goes down 10 to 100 cheaper than conventional or commercial agriculture.
In this seminar, Youngsang taught us:

•how to build nutrient-rich living soil from the ground up,

•how to control insects with easy to make safe to use Jadam Organic Pesticides,

•how to make your own farming inputs from locally available inexpensive materials, and

•how to use each inputting the right amount.

and with added bonus as Son taught soap making which my friends and I are going to try to do soon!

To have healthy plants, the secret is in the soil. On soil management, he said the soil is now contaminated with antibiotics, chemical pesticides and fertilizers. He says what is visible (crop above ground) represents what is invisible (root condition). If plant is not growing well, generally because of poor soil. How to solve poor soil? How do you produce best soil? Jadam believes the ideal soil is Leaf mold soil.

How to collect leaf mold soil? Collect from mountains near your farm or area. Look at where there are many leaves. Look under decaying leaves. remove undecomposed leaves on tip and take the soft soil with decomposed or decomposing leaves. You can put in black plastic (garbage) bag and store in shade, use as needed.

What If the mountain is too far, he says, then make your own leaf mold soil. How? Look for areas not polluted with chemicals, collect dried leaves and if there are no leaves, grass will do just allow them to decompose. Cover with soil. Keep moist by frequent watering and soon the soil will be soft that you can use as leaf mold soil.

Leaf mold soil are full of microorganisms called indigenous microorganisms or IMO. In one (1) gram of microorganism, do you know that there are approximately 2 billion to 10 billion microorganisms with over one million different species? IMO, the indigenous microorganism in your area, says Youngsang is the best microorganism foryour soil. He prefers indigenous to imported, and likens It to locals with stronger stomachs compared to balikbayans or foreigner with very sensitive stomachs when drinking Manila tap water.

Once you have the leaf mold soil, what to do with it? With the leaf mold soil, you can make JADAM INDIGENOUS MICROORGANISM SOLUTION which can be applied to soil and improve your soil condition. Heres what you'll need:

Starter leaf mold .5 kg
Medium boiled potato 1.0 kg
Sea salt .5. kg
Water 500 Liters (132 gal)
plastic container with lid, 2 socks, 2 rocks, stick, string
(The above amount when done, diluted 10 times with water is good for 3.3 hectares. For bigger or smaller areas, need to adjust amount accordingly. )

  1. Pour 500L of water in a container. Dissolve the .5 kg of sea salt in to the water. Put 1 kg of boiled potatoes, leaf mold soil in a socks or fine net bag. Hang the bag over the container so that the bag is underwater. Knead well so that the contents melt into the water.

  2. To further diversify microorganisms, blend 1 kg of crop leaves, fruits, branches and grass from surrounding, put in fine bag and hang it over the container, adding them to the solution as a medium.

  3. Close the lid and leave under the sun for culturing. It takes 1-3 days till completion depending on the weather. It works faster and more foam in the summer.

  4. When the foam is most vigorous, use it immediately. Dilute 10 times with water. This is good for 3.3 hectares. For smaller areas, you can just prorate the amounts accordingly.

He said that plants prefer to have their own leaves fertilize them. So, collect leaves of plants and fruiting trees and just place them leaves around their trunk. I mentioned it to Ruby Roa who has actually done it after seeing leaves around fruit trees in her Taipei farm trip. She said her barren mangosteen and durian trees became fruitful! Wow! Such a simple act is almost a “miracle.”

Daisy Langenegger, a natural farmer from Isabela said it all: “Jadam has captured the imagination of many farmers. We were an amazing mix of farm owners, teachers, students, seniors, young people, DA, technologists, community leaders. The Chos worked as a team. Very engaging, knowledgeable and captured our full interest-no dull moment in the seminar. It was high energy all throughout. We anchor our hopes on its success in our country to uplift our farmers’ lives and save our poisoned surroundings from further degradation.”

The Phil economy grew by 6.2% in 2018, while lower compared to plan, is healthy and still one of the fastest in the region. Sadly, agriculture was a sort of drag to the overall growth, posting a measly 0.8% increase due to typhoons and tropical depressions that hit the country. Farmers whose average age now is about 60 need to be self-sufficient as well as produce quality products, with international standards at lower cost. Otherwise, they won’t be able to survive nor compete. Cynthia Villar says that it’s ironic that most farmers who are supposed to feed us can’t even feed their family.The good thing is that government, private sector, even our friendly relations like Israel are helping with the recent agri forum they sponsored.

Jadam may just be one of the answers to this problem. Let’s JADAM!

Ms. Flor GozonTarriela is the Chairman of Philippine National Bank.She is former Undersecretary of Finance and the First Filipina Vice President of Citibank N.A. She is Go Negosyo 2018 Woman Intrapreneur Awardee.She is a FINEX Foundation Trustee and an Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Fellow.