Mongo Industry in the Philippines

VICE MAYOR ROBERTO C. AGCAOILI is the Vice Mayor and three-time mayor of San Mateo municipality of Isabela. Under his leadership, it has garnered awards in agricultural development, solid waste management and governance. The Galing Pook Award of 2007 for “Munggo: The Black Gold of San Mateo” is a proof of his administration’s thrust of addressing malnutrition problems, alleviating poverty, developing agriculture and creates additional jobs that provide additional income for the farmers.

Monggo (Vigna radiata) also known as mung bean can provide a lot of benefits to health, the environment and socioeconomics. In its 2012 issue, Readers’ Digest cited it as one of the five (5) foods that can save the world. Being rich in protein, it is called the “poor man’s meat”. The nitrogen fixing bacteria in its roots can help restore the fertility of the soil thus it is great as rotational crop. Because it has a lot of uses, it is very marketable and demands high price so it can give the farmers a sustainable livelihood.

With the objective of restoring the fertility of the soil which was once depleted due to the mono-cropping practice, the local government of San Mateo, Isabela under the leadership of Mayor Agcaoili has introduced modified cropping pattern and used munggo as rotational crop. To encourage the farmers to plant, they implemented the “plant now, pay later” scheme in which the LGU allocated 20 kilos of munggo seeds to farmers which is payable also with munggo after their harvest.

As a result, 7000 hectares of farmland is now devoted to munggo. Three hundred fifteen thousand (315,000) employment for harvesters have been generated with an income of Php P91,462,000.00 at PhP 290.00 per harvester. Return of investment is
reported to be 132.66%. Its success has earned them the title “The Munggo Capital of the Philippines” as declared by the Department of Agriculture through Administrative Order No 23, Series of 2011 and the “Galing Pook Award” in 2007. To celebrate their success and to showcase the different products derived from it, “Balatong Festival” is being held annually. ‘Balatong” is an Ilocano term for munggo.

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