The Wood Vinegar : MOKUSAKU

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To take action to reduce the use of chemical fertilizer, Japan developed new technology to boost organic farming and introduce this technical approach to our country. Mokusaku, also called as wood vinegar, is a Japanese technology developed by Makasi Yomori, senior technical adviser of Japan Agricultural Exchange Council. Mr. Yokomori introduced Mokusaku to the farmers in Benguet through a seminar sponsored by the Provincial government. Through this, a resident from Buguias town, Sotero Capsuyan, came to know this new form of technology.

He’s been engaged in farming for the past 39 years. He owned almost a hectare of land planted with Chinese cabbage, carrots, potatoes and lettuce. Capsuyan said that farm inputs did not cost much in his earlier year of farming. But when the leaf miner pest on potatoes broke out in the late 1990’s everything changed and farming became harder and expensive. Then in 2011, Mokusaku have been introduced to them.

After the Philippines passed its Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, Municipality of Tublay was the first municipality where Mokusaku introduced and Tublay made history. They are the first municipality in the country to pass an ordinance institutionalizing organic agriculture which was later recognized by the provincial board of Benguet. They produces cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and rice.

Mokusaku is liquid obtained from oil, juices, sap and other liquid contents of organic materials such as wood, coconut shell, bamboo, grass, and other plants after being heated in a chamber. The chamber is heated by burning firewood placed at the base of the chamber. When these organic materials are heated, their liquid contents evaporate as steam (gas, smoke). The steam passes through a tube (cooling chamber) where it will be allowed to cool. When the steam is cooled, the vapor will turn into liquid (condensation processed). The liquid is what is known as Mokusaku. From the tube, this liquid is collected in a container.

The Mokusaku helps soil to prevent from drying and help to prevent unnecessary loss of fertilizer nutrients while serving as repellant, herbicide and fungicide. The wood vinegar is a pyroligneous acid, a liquid substance obtained by destructive distillation of wood, coconut shell, bamboo and plants that placed in a heating chamber made up of volcanic rocks from Tarlac, an alternative for coated iron sheets that are habitually used to contain more heat.

Capsuyan was able to harvest 4 tons of carrots from 400 grams of seed by his application of Mokusaku on his carrots as an insecticide in a 16 liter capacity knapsack sprayer during vegetative stage compared to his past harvests that has only 2 tons. He said that his yield increased since he started using this wood vinegar. He usually produce 6 tons of carrot but this became doubled the yield with a Mokusaku-enriched soil.

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Reference: https://www.rappler.com/science-nature/environment/86891-japanese-technology-organic-farming-benguet


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