According to the National Food Authority (NFA), 1 out of 5 Filipinos eats corn as their staple food after rice. But have you wondered how cornfields are tilled and prepared to be a good seedbed for planting?
Nowadays, technology is changing the way we cultivate and harvest our crops. We see gas-powered tractors plowing the field. However, the traditional way of tilling the land is slow and painstaking.
Today, as we celebrate the last day of Rice And Corn Week, we feature the traditional plow and yoke known locally as Daro and Yugo, from the ethnographic collection of the National Museum of the Philippines in Bohol. Magdaro is the term used when plowing the field partnered with the farmer’s ally – the carabao. The Daro or plow attached with punta or harrow pulverizes the soil to prepare for planting. The process itself is long and arduous. First is to dig up the soil and mix, then break the big soil mounds to smaller masses, and lastly to level the field. To level the field, another implement called sudlay is used. It usually takes 3-4 weeks to prepare the field before corn planting.
In Bohol, farmers still use these traditional tools and implements in cultivating corn and rice fields to save costs and avoid the high oil prices used in tractors.