Friday, May 20, 2011

Dried Mahogany Fruits are Alternative for Fuel


 By: Felix B. Daray (published in the Agriculture Magazine of the Manila
                                    Bulletin Publishing Corporation, May 2011)

MAHOGANY FRUITS are often thrown away. What most people do not know is that the dried pulps are good substitute of charcoal and firewood.

“Four dried pulps are enough to boil a liter of water,” says,  Maregien Abrasaldo, science teacher of Aplaya Elementary School in  Digos City.
 “To have a good burning effect, the pulps should be dried for one day. If used in  clay stove , the pulps should be chopped into smaller pieces, like charcoal.”

Abrasaldo has taken her own advise and it has serve her well for she has reduced her LPG usage by  50%.

Her co- teachers have also tried using dried mahogany fruits as fuel, After all, mahoganies abound in the school because since 1990, graduating pupils are required to plant trees.

Known as a hard wood, mahogany is a fast-growing forest trees commonly made into furniture or used in construction materials. More importantly, mahoganies effectively prevent soil erosion and flood hence these are often planted along river banks. Mahogany trees do not bear flower but grow buds which develop into brown oblong fruit. The fruits fall when they mature, and the dried ones break spreading on the ground.

Pupils of Aplaya are asked to collect fallen fruits for fuel and seeds  for school’s plant nursery . The school has to grow more mahoganies as it has partnered with the local government, Department of Education, and a group of environmentalist in a project to conserve and prevent soil erosion along the banks of Digos River.