SCIENCE CITY OF MUĂ'OZâ€"Thirty years ago, multi-awarded inventor Eliseo Ruiz presented with enthusiasm his â€śOrganicultureâ€ť invention to government officials, hoping to contribute to the campaign to restore rice lands. All he got from them were endorsements for organic farming. Ruiz says his pitch elicited no real initiatives from the government.
But his â€śOrganicultureâ€ťâ€"a bioactivator used in making organic fertilizerâ€"is now marketed in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, and the Middle East and will soon be in the United States, India, Brunei, Mexico, Canada and Africa.
An â€śorganicultureâ€ť production plant in the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China (PROC), which is being put up in collaboration with a Chinese businessman and a provincial government, will operate this year.
Ruiz holds a Ph.D. in Food Engineering at the University of Missouri, and was president of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) before he accepted the presidency of the CLSU Alumni Foundation.
Ruiz says he was still studying in the 70s when he began culturing micro-organisms that can help convert waste materials into organic fertilizer.
In the 1980s, he perfected his â€śbio-plus activator,â€ť which generates organic fertilizers.
â€śI am using only 0.4 percent of this activator and 99.6 percent of waste materials to produce organic fertilizer,â€ť says Ruiz, a former Ten Outstanding Young Men and two-time presidential awardee.
He described the fertilizer as a result of â€śan accelerated decomposition of biodegradable materials, both of plant and animal origins, through an advanced bio-fermentation process involving more than 20 naturally-occurring beneficial organisms.â€ť
â€śTo enhance its efficacy as a fertilizer, chelated trace elements, enzymes, growth promotants and other functional compounds are added to fortify the mixture,â€ť Ruiz adds.
He established a production plant and office in Barangay Bagong Sikat here for the production of the bio-plus activator and his own brand of organic fertilizers in solid and liquid forms.
â€śThe rice land has become acidic due to continuous use of chemical fertilizers and other inputs. The beneficial micro-organisms that help in decomposing biodegradable materials are not there anymore,â€ť he says.
The use of his organic fertilizer for complementation and supplementation to a few bags of chemical fertilizer help restores the good state of the soil.
â€śIn due time balanced nutrition in the soil can be attained and the use of chemical inputs can be greatly minimized if not done away with,â€ť he says.
â€śThe expenses can be reduced and higher yield can be expected,â€ť Ruiz says.
Ruizâ€™ plant and office is managed by a company manned by his family and some in-laws, which produces 250,000 to 300,000 bags of organic fertilizer each year that are shipped abroad. Each bag weights 50 kilograms.
His franchisees, located in Tarlac, Pampanga, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Batangas, Bulacan, Mindoro Occidental, Davao, and Agusan del Norte produce about the same number of bags a year.
â€śItâ€™s a P100-million business now and it is helping a lot of people,â€ť Ruiz says.
He says the company employs about 100 workers who earn from P500 to P600 a day.
The bulk of the materials used are sugar mill wastes, sawdust and animals waste for the organic fertilizer.
â€śI started marketing my activator in Malaysia 10 years ago. Then I expanded in other countries,â€ť Ruiz says.
Ruiz says he is currently exporting two container vans filled with his bio-plus activator every month. The importers then use the activator for the production of their own brand of organic fertilizer.
Ruiz says he is proud that his partners in the PROC is manufacturing his bio-plus activator this year at Da Qing City in Heilonggian province.
Once the plant starts operating, organic fertilizers would be used to regreen several hundred-thousand hectares of barren land in that area.
Ruiz says his invention had been effective in propagating trees and crops in the areaâ€™s most arid landscape.
â€śMy happiness is that my invention is helping mankind in many parts of the globe. Above all, it is a source of pride that I, a Filipino, is recognized as the inventor of that product in many countries,â€ť he says.