Vol. XXVII No. 9
A monthly publication of the Department of Agriculture
Farm mechanization gets P6-B funding The Department of Agriculture is pursuing a P6-billion farm mechanization program (FMP) to further increase the productivity and incomes of rice farmers. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the DA through the national rice program has allotted P1 billion (B) last year, P2.6 B this year, and proposes another P2.4 B in 2013 — for a total of P6 B, mid-way through the implementation of FMP, from 2011 to 2016. The amount is used to purchase various production and postharvest machinery and equipment, which the DA provides to qualified farmers groups and cooperatives, irrigators’ associations (IAs), and local government units (LGUs) under a counterparting agreement. He said the DA aims to increase the present farm mechanization level of the Philippines, from 0.57 horsepower per hectare (hp/ha) to 0.80 hp/ha, making the country a par with Thailand and Vietnam. The DA chief said the farm mechanization program, which is a major component of the Aquino government’s Food Staples Suf(Pls turn to p11)
Congress okays 2013 DA budget The House of Representatives in a plenary session, September 13, 2012, approved the proposed 2013 P74.1-billion budget of the Department of Agriculture. The DA’s 2013 budget, which is 21 percent more than this year’s P64.1-B allocation, s 2013 budget, was sponsored by TawiTawi Representative Nur G.
Jaafar as part of the 2013 General Appropriations Bill. The DA will next defend the proposed 2013 budget at the Senate of the Philippines in midOctober. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala thanked the members of the House of Representatives for supporting and approving the
DA’s proposed 2013 expenditure. He said the P74 billion will mostly go to irrigation, other major agri-fishery infrastructure, and support services to attain sufficiency in rice and other major staples by the end of 2013, and bankroll the Aquino (Pls turn to p2)
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (5th from left) poses with the project partners and beneficiaries of the four Agri-Pinoy Trading Centers (APTCs), totaling P914 million, that the DA will put up in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and North Cotabato, benefiting at least 12,000 farmers and livestock raisers. They include (from left) Benguet Representative Ronald Cosalan, Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan, Benguet Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative President Aurelio Lapniten, Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Perez IV, University of Southern Mindanao President Jesus Antonio Derije, and Benguet State University President Ben Ladilad.
DA allots P914M for 4 agri centers The Department of Agriculture will construct four Agri-Pinoy Trading Centers (APTCs), total-
Secretary Alcala and Bukidnon tribesmen Martin Ilaga and Mentilio Bajao proudly show their harvest of coffee berries, during a farmers’ field day and technology forum, at the DA-Northern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center (NOMIARC), in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City. (Pls see related story on page 2.)
ing P914 million, that will benefit at least 12,000 farmers and livestock raisers in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and North Cotabato. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the establishment of the APTCs is part of the Aquino government’s continuing efforts to enable small farmers earn more profit as they will have a venue to sell their products directly to institutional buyers. The DA will put up 10 more APTCs in the next two years, said Secretary Alcala, who signed the respective memorandum of agreement with the APTC beneficiaries, September 14, 2012, at the DA-BSWM convention hall in Quezon City. The four APTCs will rise up in La Trinidad, Benguet; Urdaneta City, Pangasinan; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecij a; and at Kabacan, North Cotabato. (Pls turn to p2)
DA, NIA, PCIC launch 3rd cropping The Department of Agriculture launched a third rice cropping program, in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA), September 11, 2012, in Bagroy, Bago City, Negros Occidental, Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the program will provide free crop insurance and seed subsidy to farmers nationwide who are scheduled to plant from August to September, and harvest by the end of the year. “This program seeks to assist farmers who will be affected by severe crop damages caused by flooding, typhoon and pests attack,” Secretary Alcala said. “It will cover a total area of 91,495 hectares, benefiting 91,000 farmers, with insurance coverage amounting to P914,950,000. (Pls turn to p10)
Editorial 2013 DA Budget = Sapat na Pagkain Nakatakdang busisiin sa Senado ang panukalang 2013 budget ng Department of Agriculture, matapos makapasa sa Kongreso nitong Setyembre. Kung tutuusin, malaking tagumpay na para sa sektor ng agrikultura ang approval na iginawad ng Kongreso sa panukalang P74.1 bilyong (B) pondo para sa susunod na taon. Ito’s mataas ng mahigit 20 porsyento sa P64.1-B budget para sa taong kasalukuyan, na pinakamataas sa ating kasaysayan. Kung aaprubahan ng Senado, ang P74-bilyong budget ay gugugulin sa pagtatayo ng makabago at rehabilitasyon ng mga sistema ng patubig sa buong bansa, at iba pang imprastraktura at ayuda upang masugid na ipatupad ang pambansang Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP). Pangako ni Sec. Procy, ang bawat piso ay itatakda sa mga pangmatagalang programa at proyekto ng DA. Kaya naman panatag siyang makakamit natin ang kasapatan sa bigas at iba pang pangunahing pagkain sa katapusang ng 2013. Sa ilalim ng FSSP, target ng DA na makaani ng 20 milyon metriko toneladang (MMT) ng palay at 8.75 MMT ng mais. Maliban sa irigasyon, malaking bahagi rin ng P74.1B ang ilalaan sa pagtatatag at modernisasyon ng mga pasilidad at imprastrakturang agrikultural. Bibigyang suporta din ang mga serbisyong pang-produksyon at ektensyon, gayundin ang pagpapabuti ng merkado, pananaliksik at pagpapatupad ng mga polisya at reglamento tungo sa mas maunlad at kompetitibong sakahan at pangisdaan. Maliban sa sa bigas at mais, maglalaan din ng kaukulang pondo para sa ibang kasing-halagang sektor ng pangisdaan, paghahayupan at ‘high-value commercial crops.’ Muling maglalambing si Sec. Procy sa ating mga kagalang-galang na Senador na ipasa ang panukalang 2013 DA budget upang maisakatuparan ang ating minimithing kasapatan sa bigas — na marami ang nagdududa na hindi mangyayari. Ang ilan nga ay tahasang nagsabi na ‘not in our lifetime.’ Pangalawa, pinipilit ng DA sa pamamagitan ng matuwid na pamamahala ng mga lider nito na ibalik ang tiwala ng taumbayan sa ahensya — dahil ito’y nasangkot sa sarisaring ‘scam’ at kontrobersya noong nakaraang administrasyon. Kaya naman, umaasa ang karamihan na ‘di magtatagal —dahil sa matapat na pangunguna ni Sec Procy at mga pinuno at kawani ng DA — ay abot-kamay na ang pangarap ng bawat pamilyang Pinoy na sapat na pagkain sa ating hapag.
is published monthly by the Department of Agriculture Information Service, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City. Tel. nos. 9288762 loc 2148, 2150, 2155, 2156 or 2184; 9204080 or tel/fax 9280588. This issue is available in PDF file. For copies, please send requests via email: da_afis @yahoo.com. Editor-In-Chief : Noel O. Reyes Associate Editors: Cheryl C. Suarez & Adora D. Rodriguez Writers: Adora D. Rodriguez, Jo Ann Grace B. Pera, Arlhene S. Carro, Catherine N. Nanta, Bethzaida N. Bustamante, Marshall Louie Asis
Contributors: DA-RFU Info Officers, Public Info Officers of DA Bureaus, Attached Agencies & Corporations, MRDP & other ForeignAssisted Projects
Photographers: Jose Lucas, Alan Jay Jacalan & Kathrino Resurreccion Lay-out Artist: Bethzaida Bustamante & Almi Adeli Q. Erlano Printing & Circulation: Teresita Abejar & PCES Staff
Make NOMIARC a model Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala instructed the DA regional directors nationwide to make the Northern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center (NOMIARC), in Bukidnon. NOMIARC as a model in showcasing to farmers, the general public and interested investors the best farming and livestock raising technologies, equipment, agricultural practices, including outstanding crops and livestock species. He issued the verbal instruction in a speech during a farmers’ field day and technology forum at NOMIARC, as he was
impressed with its transformation into a leading and top-notch government research center. The forum was attended by more than 1,000 farmers and local officials in Bukidnon and other Northern Mindanao provinces. He handed over to dozens of farmers’ groups and local government units P23-million worth of various farm equipment, facilities and inputs. He was assisted by Bukidnon Governor Alex Calingasan, DA Northern Mindanao Regional Director Lealyn Ramos and NOMIARC manager Juanita Salvani.
DA allots P914M...(fromp1) The establishment of APTCs is spearheaded by the DA through its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) led by Director Leandro H. Gazmin, and APTC Program Director Arnulfo F. Mañalac. The Benguet APTC, worth P460 million, will be constructed in a four-hectare lot, at the ‘Strawberry Fields,’ owned by the Benguet State University (BSU). It will serve as a major trading center for “chopsuey” vegetables that include lettuce, broccoli, carrots, chayote, potatoes, and other temperate crops. It will benefit at least 5,000 Cordillera farmers and their families. The Urdaneta and Cabanatuan APTCs will sell lowland and so-called ‘pinakbet’ vegetables and other products of at least 6,000 farmers in Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija. Finally, the APTC at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), in Kabacan, North Cotabato, will serve as a Halal Training and Development Center. It will feature a modern halal slaughterhouse for goat, sheep and beef cattle. It will benefit at least 1,000 livestock farmers in North Cotabato and nearby areas. The APTCs are patterned after a successful agricultural trading center, called Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura ng Quezon, in Sariaya. The facility was established in 2006 by Secretary Alcala when he served as a Representative of the 2nd District of Quezon. Since then the Sentrong Pamilihan has increased the productivity and incomes of Quezon vegetable farmers, enabling them to send their children to school, put up new houses, and
bought farm equipment and vehicles. During the MOA signing, Secretary Alcala said the support and intervention of the DA does not simply begin and end with the establishment of the APTCs. He said farmers, traders and institutional buyers should forge a mutual and continuing production and marketing agreement to ensure that everybody benefits throughout the food supply chain. Among the APTC proponents were: Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan, Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan, BSU President Ben Ladilad, Benguet Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative President Aurelio Lapniten, Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Perez IV, USM President Jesus Antonio Derije, and Nueva Ecija Vegetables Growers’ Association Chairman Jerry Agpalo. (Catherine Nanta)
Congress okays ...
(from p 1) administration’s Food Staples sufficiency Program (FSSP). He assured the members of the House of Representatives that every peso will be well spent on projects and interventions to increase the productivity and incomes of small farmers and fisherfolk, and make available affordable, sufficient and nutritious staples and other basic food commodities on the table of every Filipino family. Under FSSP, the government plans to produce at least 20 million metric tons (MMT) of palay and 8.75 MMT of corn in 2013. The bulk of the 2013 DA budget will be spent on irrigation (P28.75B), postharvest and other infrastructure (P12.38B), production support (P6.87B), and extension support (P3.04B). (Pls turn to p11)
DA assists El Niño affected farmers, provinces The Department of Agriculture has started providing assistance to farmers and farming communities affected by dry spell caused by the onset of El Niño, particularly in Bohol. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the DA through the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSW M) has conducted a series of cloud-seeding operations that successfully induced rains over drought-affected areas in Bohol. DA Central Visayas regional director Angel Enriquez said the cloud-seeding operations started August 30 and brought rains over the towns of Sierra Bulllones, Pilar and Alicia, adjacent towns and watershed areas, based on the report of Bohol provincial agriculturist Larry Pamugas. Bohol has experienced an unusual dry spell last month, as its average rainfall dipped to 6.8 millimeters (mm) from an average of 138 mm during the last three years, said Pamugas. Director Enriquez said the DABSWM will continue the cloudseeding sorties that were requested by Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto on behalf of farmer-members of Irrigators’ Associations of Malinao, Bayungan, Capayas and Talibon. Secretary Alcala said the DA will provide the same cloudseeding services to farming communities and provinces that would experience dry spell episodes. The DA through its regional field units will also provide farmers’ groups with shallow tube wells and drought-tolerant crop varieties. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in its August 15, 2012 advisory said El Niño episode has already commenced and would persist until the first quarter of 2013. Initial areas that would experience below normal rainfall include portions of Central and Western Visayas, eastern portions of Northern and Central Luzon, including Palawan, and W estern Mindanao. Secretary Alcala said the DA will also issue advisories and recommendations through trimedia outlets on how to mitigate the adverse effects of El Niño phenomenon.. This early, he said farmers should be vigilant to save available water supply. In particular, the DA through the National Irri-
gation Administration (NIA) will require ‘gatekeepers’ of irrigation systems to properly schedule the time and volume of water to be released. The DA will also teach more farmers to employ controlled irrigation (CI) technology or alternate wetting and drying of rice fields, as recommended by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). The CI technique
entails inserting into the soil a perforated plastic pipe (4 inches in diameter and 8 inches long) to monitor the field’s water level. When water is no longer seen inside the pipe, it is time to irrigate again. On the brighter side, the DA chief said the dry episode may be beneficial to some crops due to longer sunlight and photosynthesis.
DA-BFAR, BOC seize another illegal shipment of baby eels The DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Bureau of Customs re-
BFAR Director Atty. Asis Perez (right) and Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon hold a bagful of baby eels. cently confiscated a shipment of young eels (or elvers) bound for Kaohsiung, Taiwan, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport The shipment, worth P750,000, was found abandoned at the Paircargo warehouse by BOC examiner Enrico Medina. For his part, BFAR airport quarantine chief Ben Curativo said the shipment was composed 13 boxes, with a total weight of 526 kilograms. BFAR director Asis Perez said the eels would be shipped to Tanauan, Batangas, and then dispersed back to their habitat in Cagayan River. Last May 2012, a similar shipment of 2 million elvers was also seized at the NAIA bound for Hong Kong, said BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon. Dir. Asis said it takes about six years for elvers to grow into commercial size. They command a premium price in Japanese res-
taurants, which turn them into a popular dish called unagi, usually served on a bed of white rice. Locally, a kilo of elvers cost from P20,000 to P30,000, BFAR said. The size of young eel is about two inches long, and at this stage it is called ‘glass eel,’ because of its transparent body. In some European countries, glass eels are also favorite delicacies. One famous place for largescale collection of glass eels is Epney, at Severn, in England. Glass eels are also eaten as food in Spain, according to Wikipedia. In 1997, European demand for eels could not be met, and dealers from Asia bought all they could, Wikipedia said. “The traditional European stocking programs could not compete any longer. Each week the price for a kilogram of glass eel went up another $30,” according to Wikipedia. Even before 1997, when eel demand is still low in Europe, dealers from China alone placed advance orders for more than 250,000 kg. Some bidding more than $1,100 per kg,” according . to Wikipedia. “In Hong Kong, elvers sell for up to $6,000 per kg,” Wikipedia said. The demand for eels continues to grow. In Europe, 25 million kg are consumed each year. In Japan alone, more than 100 million kg were consumed in 1996. (Business Mirror)
DA forms El Niño action teams The Department of Agriculture has created Regional El
Niño Action Teams (RENACTs) to assess and anticipate the effects of a possible dry spell, starting October through early next year. Assistant Secretary Dante S. Delima, national rice program coordinator, issued the order to the DA regional directors, on September 12, based on an advisory of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) of an impending El Niño phenomenon. ”As forecast, El Niño is seen to adversely affect large portions of Luzon, and other parts of the country with droughtlike effects at a time when heavy rainfall is traditionally expected. This phenomenon will undoubtedly affect rice production in our rainfed areas, while critically placing water supply in our irrigation facilities at dangerous levels,” Delima said. He cited the report of PAGASA Senior W eather Specialist Anthony Joseph Lucero during the 56th Climate Forum on September 07, 2012. The DA RENACTs will be headed by the respective Regional Executive Directors, with the following members: regional rice coordinators and information officers, focal persons from DA agencies like the NIA, BSWM, ATI, and BPI, and regional president of Irrigators’ Associations, and other concerned DA family officials. The RENACTs are tasked to coordinate with their respective local government units and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils. The teams are tasked to assess the regional rice situation, and plan out El Niño mitigating activities or interventions to minimize the projected impact and ensure good palay harvest, Delima said. Action planning workshops should be undertaken to assess the impact of El Niño on rice production, broken down into the provincial level, and considering various possible scenarios, along with budget (Pls turn to p11)
‘Mayor Organic’ receives international award Another “kababayan” made history in the international scene as Dumingag Mayor Nacianceno Pacalioga, Jr., of Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, was recently chosen as recipient of the ‘One World Award’ (OWA), in ceremonies held in Bonn, Germany, September 14, 2012. He bested other four finalists and organic agriculture advocate from India, Turkey, Nicaragua, and Cuba. The OWA is spearheaded by International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Rapunzel Naturkost, a manufacturer or organic food products. For his feat, Pacalioga received a cash award of 25,000 Euros (about P1.34 million). In his acceptance speech, Pacalioga said the award does not only bestow honor to him and the Philippines, but affirms that his advocacies towards organic agriculture is on the right direction. He said Dumingag’s organic agriculture program seeks to free its people from poverty, sickness and hunger, and the OWA validates that their efforts are towards the attainment of a noble intent. Dumingag is the first-ever municipality or LGU member of IFOAM. Pacalioga said the OW A award will not only inspire and motivate Dumingagons to venture into chemical-free farming, but will emncourage other towns and cities in the Philippines and other countries to turn into safe and healthy way of planting and growing food. The OWA recognizes and honors people and their projects that make the world a better place to live in. It also celebrates inspira-
The VIPs with Mayor Pacalioga (4th from left) are (from left) One World Award Chairman of the Jury Bernward Geier, Executive Director Markuz Arbenz of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Girlyn Pacalioga, OWA Jury Vandan Shiva, and Rapunzel Naturkost Founder Joseph Wilhelm. The OWA is spearheaded by IFOAM and Rapunzel Naturkost, a manufacturer or organic food products. tional achievements of individuals and their communities on sustainable and organic agriculture. Pacalioga was recognized for successfully implementing a ‘Genuine People’s Agenda’ or GPA, which serves as an umbrella program for sustainable and rural development projects of Dumingag and all of its 44 barangays or villages. Under GPA, teachers are trained on the basic principles of organic farming, and workshops are organized in all villages. Vacant lots of local military stations are now used as organic farm areas. Prior to the OWA rites, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala forged an agreement with Mayor Pacalioga which seeks to capacitate farmers in the lowland and upland communities in diversified organic farming system. The DA will grant Dumingag P10 million as counterpart funding for its organic agriculture projects. For its part, Dumingag will share P2M, while about P12M will be solicited from other sources.
“The project is a participatory intervention of the government in agricultural production that seeks to promoteorganic farming system,” he added. I am pleased to know that NOAB, the National Organic Agriculture Board, has approved a grant from the Organic Agriculture Fund to sustain and expand your work in Dumingag. I also thank Mayor Jun for taking the initiative to organize other mayors who share his commitment to promoting organic agriculture in their municipalities. I look forward to meeting your group which you have appropriately called LOAM- the League of Organic Agriculture Municpalities. The fund will cover components including techno-demo farm, education development, community organizing, increased material capacity, and third party certification. The town aims to further increase its production of organic products like rice, corn, vegetables, and root crops. It will also raise organic ducks and fish, as well as biofertilizers and earthworms for vermiculture. (Adora Rodriguez/Cath Nanta)
Sec. Alcala and Mayor Pacalioga proudly show a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement for a P10million DA counterpart to implement several organic agriculture initiatives in Dumingag, at the DA office in Quezon City, September 12, 2012, two days before the mayor went to Germany for the OWA rites. Joining them (from left) are: Ed dela Torre, member of the Secretary’s Technical Assistance Group (STAG), Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Asst. Secretary Dante Delima, Mrs. Girlyn Pacalioga, Julius Breva, chief of staff of Mayor Pacalioga, and Teresa Saniano of DA-STAG.
DA, PLDT partner to upgrade info, communications The Department of Agriculture (DA) is partnering with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) to upgrade its current communications that will serve all DA family agencies and regional offices nationwide. The j oint proj ect is called “Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS),” which aims to install a reliable information dissemination system linking all DA agencies Secretary Alcala said the proj ect will help in the department’s efforts to spreading information of its various programs to regional offices and agencies, and monitoring projects and other initiatives on the ground. He said the DA is privileged to partner with PLDT, which has always been a reliable partner especially in the communication requirements of our operations. Aside from the MPLS project, PLDT has also provided the DA several communication solutions such as the ISDN for its internet connectivity and the ‘load wallet’ for its mobile data system, in partnership with the DA Information Technology Center for Agriculture and Fisheries (ITCAF). “The agricultural sector is an information sensitive sector that’s why it is important that the DA invests in communication systems and services to provide reliable connectivity needed to upgrade and maintain that continuous flow of information,” said ITCAF Dir. Gary Fantastico.
DA-BPI okays onion imports The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) has approved imports of onions to cushion off spiraling prices due slack in supply and increasing demand. BPI Director Clarito Barron said his agency has issued 182 import permits, or Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) plant quarantine clearances, for white and yellow onions. He said imports are allowed only until October 31, 2012. The importation was recommended by the National Onion Action Team (NOAT), composed of the country’s confederation of onion growers. Onion imports will come from China, Holland, New Zealand and India. The NOAT said the country’s inventory of yellow and white onions based on the Bureau of Plant Industry’s (BPI) Allium Task Force report has gone down
since July, causing prices to shoot up to as much as P80 to P100 per kilo. Director Barron said the import permits are issued to currently accredited onion importers, who are required to submit a duplicate original copy of a purchase order from their institutional buyers like manufacturing companies and/or commissary of food or hotel chains. They should also submit a duplicate copy of a sales contract with their foreign supplier. For his part, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon has instructed BOC officials to facilitate the release of imported onions upon verification and validation of importers who complied with required government permits and clearances. He said the immediate release of onion imports will help stabilize supply and prices in the market. (BOC, DA-BPI)
Farmers to manage Pangasinan RPC A farmers’ group will manage and operate a Rice Processing Center (RPC) in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan, funded jointly by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Department of Agriculture. The Association of Land BankAssisted Cooperatives of
USM experts develop food products from ‘marang’ A group of experts and researchers from the University of Southern Mindanao Agricultural Research Center (USMARC), in Kabacan, North Cotabato, has developed a host of products from ‘marang’ (Artocarpus odoratissima). The group, led by Dr. Emma K. Sales, was able to develop at least 11 products (shown at right): nine from the pulp; and two from its seeds. These include vinegar, chips, butter, coffee, and ice cream, among other by-products. Marang is native to the Philippines and thrives well in the marginal and hilly areas, particularly in Mindanao. There are two varieties that are locally available: brown and evergreen. The brown variety bears bigger fruits than the evergreen, but the latter has more edible portions and sweeter than the fromer. Marang fruit has an appetizing taste, and fragrant sugary smell. It contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, crude fiber, ash, calcium, phosphorus, iron, retinol, beta-carotene, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid. The fruit is available from May to September. A mature fruit is highly perishable, lasting for only two to three days only. Once opened, a ripe marang must be consumed immediately
as it easily loses its flavor. This prompted the USM experts to develop various products, under a project entitled, “Pilot testing of post-harvest technologies and product diversification of marang.” The research was funded by the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and High Value Commercial Development Program (HVCDP). With the successful project, Filipinos can now enjoy marang products year-round, said BAR Dir. Nicomedes Eleazar. This will also encourage farmers and entrepreneurs to and venture into marang processing, he added. Dr. Sales said to store the
marang fruits longer, they should packed using appropriate materials and frozen immediately. For ripening techniques, washing and covering the fruit with wet sack or cloth were found to be faster and easier, while ethylene scrubber and packing in a closed polyethylene bag or keeping them under modified atmosphere condition could delay ripening. (Rita dela Cruz, DA-BAR)
Pangasinan or ALBACOPA, is set to undergo training by the DA’s National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) to eventually manage and operate the RPC, said Genaro M. Tolentino, of the DA’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), who serves as program leader of the DA-KOICA RPC project. ALBACOPA is composed of six cooperatives, with 600 members each, mostly rice farmers, Tolentino said. For his part, PhilMech Director Rex L. Bingabing said selected ALBACOPA officers and members will train for at least one year before actually taking over the operation and management of the RPC. “A farmer organization taking over the management and operation of a modern RPC could be considered a milestone in this project. The goal is to have all four RPCs managed and operated by the qualified and trained farmer organizations,” he added. The DA-PhilMech is tasked to implement the KOICA-funded project, which had four RPCs completed and under construction. Two other RPCs were already completed: in PIlar, Bohol (which will be inaugurated this October); and the other in Pototan Iloilo, which was completed March 2012. The fourth one, in Davao del Sur, is under construction, and will be completed in December 2012. The three completed RPCs are initially operated and managed by the DA-NABCOR. A farmers’ organization will be likewise selected and trained to manage and operate the RPC in Iloilo, Dir. Bingabing said. KOICA has granted a total of (Pls turn to p10)
Garlic industry surges back By Adora Rodriguez and Catherine Nanta During the last two decades, compete globally. the country's garlic production The success stories of the has experienced a rollerfive leading Ilocos garlic coaster ride, plummeting to its growers’ associations were lowest level last year, at 9,056 driven by the interventions of metric tons (MT). the DA to assist and aid the But hope floats. local industry, which have With the assistance from the grown more and more obscure Department of Agriculture, the with the entry of imported and garlic industry looks forward to smuggled garlic in the past attain a harvest of about 20,000 years. MT, as proudly predicted by The DA’s Bureau of AgriculBatanes garlic farmers led by tural Statistics (BAS) production Arnold Sagon, President of the figures show that the highest Itbayat Garlic Producers and garlic harvests, during the last
Multi-Purpose Cooperative (IGPMPC). Sagon said garlic production is set to post a positive growth this year, ensuring sufficient supply until the end of the year. The current situation also eases the pressure on the government to import one of the countries most popular spice until the end of the year. “We thank DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala for giving a “new life” to the dying local garlic industry,” said Sagon. He adds that his group and four other associations which include the Aritao Garlic and Onion Growers Association (Nueva Vizcaya), Kooperatiba ng Bayang Sagana (Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija), San Jose Garlic and Onion Growers Association (San Jose, Mindoro) and the Magro-MPC (Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro), remain optimistic that DA will continue to extend support and assistance to the industry until it can
20 years, were recorded in 1990 (17,849 MT), 1997 (at 20,180 MT), and in 2002 (16,257 MT). The lowest yields were experienced in 1992 (11,766 MT) and 1999 (9,335 MT), and 9,056 metric tons (MT) last year. With the influx of cheap garlic imports and entry of illegal or smuggled ones, farmers were discouraged to plant. Some years back, farmers choose to dump their produce into the sea to be able to reuse the sacks containing the previous cropping season’s yield, because the bags are more valuable than the contents, garlic bulbs. In Mindoro and Nueva Vizcaya, a number of farmers were even forced to exchange their produce with worn-out clothes. Emphatic to the plight of Pinoy garlic growers, Sec. Alcala vouched for the government’s full support to the
industry after his June 25, 2011 visit in Itbayat, Batanes. A month later, the DA set aside a total of P25 million in funds for the development of the garlic industry in Cagayan and Ilocos regions. Aside from Ilocandia, the DA also provided funds to other garlic-producing provinces in the country, like in Mindoro. Other interventions provided by DA were packages of postharvest assistance, which included hanging dryers, established in strategic garlic producing areas. The DA also gave away seeds and other planting materials. According to IGPMPC spokesperson Girlie Ruiz, the DA provided loans to Itbayat garlic farmers. “The 20 member-group used the money as a revolving fund that enabled them to buy, sell and maintain their products,” Ruiz added. She narrated that one of the biggest difficulties faced by garlic growers such as high transport costs and unpredictable weather conditions were solved when Sec. Alcala sent to Batanes the Vegetable Importer, Exporter and Vendors Association of the Philippines (VIEVA) in April. “Through the efforts of the good Secretary, VIEVA helped us market our products,” Ruiz said. Now, the Itbayat group and similar garlic-producing associations are linked to market networks enabling them to trade their produce at reasonable prices. “Our farmers are happier these days,” she added. Next planting season, Batanes farmers will plant other appropriate varieties of garlic. According to Robert Olinares, Region 2-High Value Crops Development Program coordinator, aside from the common Ilocos White, garlic producers are now growing Batanes Red variety which yields 30% more and produces bigger bulbs. “Our local garlic is ready to compete with its imported counterparts, because it is more aromatic and spicy,” Olinares said. Today, garlic producers are far from dumping their produce and wearing hand-me-down clothes, as the Philippine garlic industry continues to see bright prospects, thanks to the support of the DA, the Bureau of Plant Industry, and other concerned agencies.
BOC seizes P9-M smuggled garlic The Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently seized four 40–footer container vans with illegally imported garlic from China worth P9 million. Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said the shipment was ‘discovered’ operatives of the BOC Operations and Intelligence Office (OIO) Enforcement Group (EG) under lawyer Imelda Cruz. He said the OIO-EG operatives acted on an intelligence report of a possible attempt to smuggle garlic from China by using fake import permits. They said the four containers of garlic were left unclaimed at a warehouse at the Port of Manila (POM). “The people involved in this smuggling attempt may have ‘chickened-out’ when they learned that we were already waiting for this illegal shipment. and we were just waiting for its entry to be filed,” Biazon said. “And we know that it is during the start of the “ber” months when smuggling attempts of agricultural products normally happen,” he added. For his part, Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Group Horacio P. Suansing, Jr. said the garlic shipment from China was first opened by the OIO-EG operatives on September 18, 2012, after lying unclaimed by its consignee ( Aque Blue Marine Trading) for almost two months at the POM. The four vans contained 6,948 bags of garlic. “Upon our confirmation that the garlic shipment were not properly documented, we immediately issued the corresponding alert order to facilitate its seizure,“ Suansing said. The four containers were shipped to the Philippines by a Chinese firm (Jining Wanlixing Fruits and Vegetables Co., Ltd. of Wantang, Jinxiang, Shandong, China). Suansing said the illegally imported garlic will be disposed of in accordance with law, to avoid its getting into the local market, if only to protect the local garlic farmers. (BOC)
Brgy. San Jose, Banga, South Cotabato - From cassava to cash. This is the noble goal of a growing multi-purpose cooperative here, as it seeks to improve productivity of its members who are mostly cassava farmers. Cassava is one of the major crops that thrive well in this town, however farmers do not earn much as it is highly perishable and postharvest losses had been very high. Traders also come into play, which usually buy farmers produce into cheaper price leaving farmers short change with their profit. “The San Jose Multi-purpose Cooperative (SJMPC) was organized to address the need for better pricing and at the same time works for equal benefit of cassava farmers,” said SJMPC manager Abraham Oso. “The cooperative offers numerous benefits to cassava farmers. Aside from providing them access to financing, they can have patronage refund and yearly dividend,” Oso said. The increasing demand for cassava in feed formulation provided wider opportunities to farmers as private processors offered joint venture for the cooperative to supply them with products for animal feeds. Cassava had been considered as rich in carbohydrates and protein making a viable source for animal feeds. Cassava roots are processed into chips and pellets forms as main ingredients in formulating animal feeds. “Although the offer would be a big boost to our cooperative as well as to cassava farmers, lack of adequate post harvest facility constrained our capacity to keep up with the quality and volume requirements,” Oso said. “Feed processors only buy good quality chips with a moisture content of not more than 14 percent. Fresh cassava roots contain roughly 65 percent water and removing this would require a lot of time and effort. This makes drying crucial in meeting the quality required by the buyers,” he stressed. “Time is another important concern since cassava is a perishable crop and need to be processed within 48 hours after harvest to avoid spoilage. Manual chipping alone would take a lot of time and energy. So aside from drying facility we also need chipping machine and other equipment to enhance our product but it
Coop turns cassava farming into lucrative enterprise By Noel T. Provido
San Jose Multi-Purpose Cooperative manager Abraham Oso (2 nd from right) with chairperson Estella Feliprada (2nd from left) and other officials pose behind a truckload of cassava for processing at their cooperative. entails huge capital investment,” he said. Into the big-ticket Their opportunity came when the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) expanded the coverage of its livelihood portfolio from to P250, 000 to a maximum of P5 million. MRDP is a special project under the Department of Agriculture jointly funded by the World Bank, the national and local government units. Through MRDP’s Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD) big -ticket projects, the SJMPC was able to access P3.5 million for their proposed Upgrading of Cassava Postharvest Facility project. The said amount was used to buy postharvest facilities such as flatbed dryer, chipper, and granulator. Solar dryer and processing center was also established including necessary logistical support such as motorcycle cab for hauling of cassava roots in remote areas and the truck scale, which facilitates convenient and faster scaling of delivery raw materials. “The assistance we have availed ourselves of from MRDP has improved the efficiency of our cooperative especially in improving the quality and reliability of our products,” Oso said adding: “It has boosted our confidence to meet the required quality and volume of our cassava chips and pellets products paving the way for our cooperative to forge a marketing agreement with San Miguel Corporation (SMC) – one of the
country’s leading animal feeds processors.” The SMC processing plant in Gen. Santos City required the SJMPC to supply them at least 1,500 tons of cassava chips and pellets for one year. While before they could hardly meet the said volume, the postharvest facility has enabled their cooperative to supply SMC in just within six months. “SMC has again given us another purchase order of the same amount for the second half of this year,” Oso said. The marketing opportunity offered by SMC did not only boost the cooperative’s financial standing it has also improved the income of cassava farmers as it assured them of a ready market for their produce. On a one-hectare cassava plantation, a farmer can harvest at least 50 tons of roots and if sold at P2.50 per kilo, he can have gross earning of P125, 000. Production cost can usually reach up to P15, 000 per hectare giving the farmer of at least P110,000 net income in 11-13 months. Banga municipal agriculturist Jerry Estrella said farmers can earn more than this amount if they will intercrop cassava with other crop particularly corn which is also a major crop in the area. “We are recommending this farm practice so that farmers can maximize their land and inputs and eventually double their income,” he said. Aside from marketing of cassava chips, SJMPC is also earning from the truck scale being the sole large-scale
weighing facility in the area. It does not only cater to the cassava suppliers but also other farmers’ products such as rice, corn, and livestock. “We have included the truckscale in our upgrading project as this is essential in facilitating faster and honest-to-goodness transaction with our farmersuppliers,” Oso said. Banga Mayor Henry Ladot while expressing his continued support to SJMPC also thanked DA Region 12 Office and MRDP for enhancing the capability of their farmers to manage a profitable enterprise. “Cassava is a major crop among smallholder farmers in our town and only through this CFAD project that it has given a big boost. The development of cassava as an enterprise will surely make a significant contribution to our local economy,” he said. MRDP program director Lealyn A. Ramos lauded the SJMPC, the local officials, and the private sector particularly the SMC for offering marketing opportunity to cassava farmers. “Cassava used to be considered a poor man’s crop is now enjoying a better value chain where farmers are assured of its markets and at same time processors can expect better quality and reliable supply,” Ramos said. “We are currently working into strengthening commodity value chain to develop viable rural enterprise. The cassava processing project in Banga is one concrete example that farmers are capable of not only in producing but also in developing marketable products,” she added.
DA introduces ‘farm service providers’ The Department of Agriculture in Region 12 (SocCKSarGen) is spearheading the institutionalization of ‘farm service providers’ in the country. DA Region 12 Director Amalia J. Datukan said SocCKSarGen is the first to come up with the novel program in March this year, partnering with Firmus Farm Service Cooperative (FFSC), based in Koronadal City. FFSC chairman Jaime Junsay said his group is composed of farm workers, who are hired to perform various operations, from land preparation up to harvesting. Farm owners agree on a ‘service fee’ depending on the work to be done. Just like other regular employees, farm service providers are given benefits like access to PhilHealth and Social Security System (SSS), said Junsay. He said the FFSC gives priority to landless farmer-members. “Bilang member ng Firmus ay nagkaroon kami ng PhilHealth at SSS cards. Sa ilang taon na kami’y magsasaka, ngayon lang kami nagkaroon ng ganito. Nagpapasalamat kami dahil mayroon ganitong cooperative,” said Rodelia Navales, a farm service provider. She fellow farm service workers are trained by FFSC so they could offer efficient and competitive services to clients. “Tinuruan kami ng mga scientific at mga
Secretary Alcala pledges his full support to the dairy industry through a milk toast, during a visit to Cebu Federation of Dairy Cooperatives, in Consolacion, Cebu. With him (from left) are: DA-National Dairy Authority administrator Grace Cenas, Hilario Davide III, and Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado. tamang pamamaraan sa pagtatanim at iba pa, upang maging maganda ang serbisyo na maibibigay namin sa aming mga client,” she added. Since the cooperative started its operations, it has already served and worked on a total of 272.56 hectares of farmland, providing services to 126 landowners in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. FFSC is set to operate in North Cotabato soon. Currently, FFSC is the only recognized farm service provider in the region, said Dir. Datukan. There are other cooperatives in SocCKSarGen that aspire to carry out the same concept. However, Junsay said these cooperatives will be under the umbrella organization of Firmus. The cooperative utilizes modern farm machinery such as hand tractors in land preparation and rice combine harvester, which can harvest and thresh simultaneously at least eight hectares of rice a day with only three persons operating it. Besides land p r e pa r a t i o n, FFSC is also offering other services like soil fertilization, seed bed p r e pa r a t i o n, planting and harvesting. The farm service providers project of the DA is part of the agency’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program or FSSP. (LMSalvo, DA 12)
The business ...
(from p 12)
birth while raising their calves. They rest for two months, and then get them impregnated again. The process goes on and on, she said, until the cows get too old to bear offsprings. CEFEDCO was formed when four dairy cooperatives merged as the Liloan-Consolacion Federation of Dairy Cooperatives thru the initiative of the NDA to address the growing problem of milk deficiency in 1989. Cooperative members underwent training in Bukidnon, and to start with they were given 281 pregnant dairy cattle imported from New Zealand. Each cooperative was awarded P5,000 each, making up for the P20,000 initial federation investment, in addition to the P250,000 they collectively availed from the government. In 1991, the P12-million Pitogo dairy plant started construction and was officially turned over to the federation a year later. In 1994, more cooperatives joined, prompting management
to change its name to CEFEDCO. To this date, the federation gives livelihood to close to 300 Cebuano farm-families. Carrying the name ‘Cebu Dairy Fresh’ brand, CEFEDCO’s most popular products include fresh milk, milk bars, pastilles, butter, yoghurt, polvoron and white cheese. At present, the country’s production of fresh milk is far from sufficient. In 2001, consumption of dairy products, fresh and processed, was estimated at 1,805 million kilograms (kg), with local production contributing only 16.45 M kg in liquid milk equivalent, or less than one per cent of total demand. The balance is covered by imports coming from New Zealand, USA, Australia and France. There is a lot to be done but with the government’s continuing assistance, organized dairy groups such as the CEFEDCO, the gaps will be filled up soon. (Adora D. Rodriguez)
Camarines Norte farmers test two new pineapple varieties Far mers in Camarines Norte are now test-planting two new pineapple varieties from Mindanao, adding on to their traditional “Queen” or Formosa variety. The two varieties are ‘Super sweet snack’ or “Ulam” and MD2 hybrid. They were sourced from Mindanao. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala instructed DA Bicol region officals, led by Dir. Jose Dayao, to diversitfy and try out other productive varieties, as he was informed that the yield of Formosa pineapple variety--while it is
known for the fruit’s sweetness-has been decreasing through the years. Dir. Dayao said they procured 1,000 pieces of MD-2 hybrid pineapple from Bukidnon, while the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Camarines Norte purchased 1,000 pieces of “Ulam” variety from Davao. Both varieties are now planted at the DA Research Outreach Station in Calasgasan, Daet, Camarines Norte. Researchers are testing the adaptability and yield perfor(Pls turn to p11)
The Department of Agriculture will implement a P2.5-million rubber and corn production project in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. The project is funded under the DA’s Mindanao Rural Development Program–Community Fund for Agricultural Development (MRDP-CFAD). The municipal government of Bayog will share a counterpart fund of P500,000 for the project. The project will benefit dozens of farmers in five barangays (Bobuan, Camp Blessing, Conacon, Dagum and Dimalinao), Cawanan said. As a prerequisite for the project, a pre-implementation orientation was conducted by Nestor Cawanan, CFAD Coordinator, at the Glupa Gulian Agro-
DA allots P2.5M for rubber-corn project in Zambo Sur Tourism Park, Sitio Quibranza, Kahayagan, Bayog. It was attended by 80 participants, led by Bayog Mayor Leonardo Babasa, Jr., barangay officials, representatives from people’s organizations (POs), SB Member Celso Matias, multisectoral committee chair Allan Grafil, and a representative from a private corn seed company (Pioneer). The orientation was facilitated by Bayog municipal agriculturist Nora Paredes. In his message, Mayor Babasa urged the participants to work hard and support the program to attain its goal. “You play an important role in
New mango drying system set for commercial testing The DA’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DAPhilMech) is ready to test a revolutionary mango drying system that is more energy-efficient and cheaper. PhilMech Director Rex Bingabing said the technology with greatly benefit mango farmers and processors, particularly those producing dried mangoes. He said of the total $35-million of mango exports in 2010, processed mango products comprised 10%. With the new mango drying technology, the country can export more dried products, Bingabing said. “Based on research by PhilMech, the local mango industry is constrained by limited drying capacity to achieve maximum production. And the industry must take advantage of the peak harvest season from March to April to produce as much dried mangoes, which has a growing export demand,” he said. The research entitled “Development of Pilot-Scale Conveyor Dryer for Mango Slices Using Combined Far-Infrared and Convection Heating (FIRCH),” is undertaken by PhilMech researchers Robelyn E. Daquila and Dr. Romualdo C. Martinez. At present, the mango industry uses convection heating to dry mangoes. The process involves circulating heated air to dry various food products, and lasts for 12 hours, resulting in higher energy consumption.
PhilMech researchers undertook studies and tests by combining infra red and convection heating or FIRCH, reducing drying time by 33% to eight hours, and lesser energy cost. PhilMech engineers are now fabricatiing the FIRCH equipment. W ith the FIRCH method, sliced mangoes could be dried in eight hours in two stages: two hours using infra-red heating; and 6 hours using convection heating. The FIRCH method also resulted to a 17% reduction in energy consumption and 32% reduction in overall drying costs, compared to the convection method. Further, the beta-carotene content of FIRCH-dried mangoes was also higher by 40% compared to the slices dried via convection heating. With the reduction of drying time, mango processors could produce more dired mangoes using FIRCH, said Bingabing. Bingabing said PhilMech will commercial-test FIRCH early nextyear. “Again, PhilMech has demonstrated how Filipino knowhow and ingenuity could be tapped to develop technologies and machines to improve the food processing industry in the country,” he added. W ith this technology, the Philippines can outsell in the years to come other mango exporting countries like Thailand, Indonesia and China. (DAPhilMech)
our economy, since farmers are the backbone of the country,” he said.
“I hope you will do your best to attain it so that the government will also continue with this program,” Babasa added. (PNA)
Sec. Alcala (left) hands over to Dir. Minda Brigoli (right) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development - Region VI a P2.4million check as DA‘s support to the Cash-for-work - Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino (CFP-PPP) program, September 11, 2012, at Bago City, Negros Occidental. CFP is a joint initiative of the DA, DSWD, National Irrigation Administration and the local government units. The amount will benefit 879 farmer-beneficiaries in exchange for work they rendered, which include restoration and rehabilitation of irrigation systems and construction of water canals in Western Visayas. Looking on is Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. Maranon.
DA3, HVCDP, Butil farmers launch ‘Gulayan sa Barangay’ in Pampanga The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) launched a ‘Gulayan sa Barangay’ techno-demo farm in Pampanga, September 14, 2012. The initiative, worth P500, 000, is aimed at increasing the vegetable production of farmers in Barangay Calulut, San Fernando City, particularly those belonging to the Bangon San Matias Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BSMMPC). To implement the project, the DA has partnered with Butil Farmers Party-list, San Fernando City, and BSMMPC. The project launch was attended by DA Region 3 Dir. Andrew Villacorta, DA-HVCDP Director Jennifer Remoquillo, Butil Farmers Party-list Representative Agapito Guanlao, San Fernando City Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, and BSMMPC farmer-leaders. Dir. Villacorta handed over a cultivator and a “Nego Kart, while Dir. Remoquillo distributed farm production inputs. For the project, which features a two-hectare techno-demo farm, the DA-HVCDP constructed a greenhouse produc-
tion facility and a small scale irrigation system. The farm is planted with assorted vegetables such as eggplant, pole sitao, squash, and hot pepper. It showcases the good agricultural practices in growing quality vegetables. The farm is maintained by 30 farmers from Guagua. Dir Remoquillo said the project has already benefit farmers, as they earned P250,000 from the first batch of harvest recently. This based on a report by Fidel David, president of the Pampanga Vegetable Growers Association, who sold their produce direct to Divisoria and Balintawak markets.
PhilRice to expand hybrid rice area The DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Murcia, Negros will expand its hybrid rice seed production area to support the Aquino government’s efforts to achieve rice sufficiency by end of 2013. PhilRice Negros manager Leo Javier said they will allot 1,000 hectares for hybrid rice seed production in Visayas and Mindanao (Pls turn to p11)
DA accredits cold storage warehouses The Department of Agriculture recently created a Cold Storage Warehouse Composite Team (CSWCT) to accredit cold storage warehouses (CSWs) for agricultural and fishery products. The team, chaired by Assistant Secretary Allan Umali, is tasked to centralize and harmonize the certification system of CSWs, and enforce DA Administrative Order No. 21 or the mandatory accreditation of CSW s in the country. The team members are composed of representatives from the DA agencies like the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and representatives from the DA Legal Division, and Committee on CSW Accreditation (CCSWA). The team is also tasked to: investigate and recommend to the DA Secretary appropriate actions and penalties for violators of AO 21; provide forum to address issues arising from the implementation of AO 21; and maintain and monitor regularly a list of accredited CSWs and noncompliant and/or non-accredited CSWs. Ass’t. Sec. Umali said CSWs that have not been accredited by the CSWCT will not be issued an import permit or clearance. Among the requirements for CSW accreditation and renewal are: duly accomplished and verified application form; evaluation report; floor plan and layout of storage rooms and facilities; recent photographs of CSW; and Standard documentary re
quirements (business permit from LGU; DENR Environmental Compliance Certificate; DTI/ SEC business registration: sanitary permit; letter of approval of water source and potability-deep well: and DOH and NWRB permits); reliable recording system; rated capacity; list of clienteles for the last two years; list of products/commodities stored, local and imported. (Bethz aida N. Bustamante, DA Info Service)
FMR spurs farm, economic activities in Lanao Norte town
P649 million for the establishment of the four RPCs, while the Philippine government allocated a counterpart funding of P136.45 million. Each RPC is equipped with five mechanical dryers, multipass state-of- the-art milling facility equipped with color sorter, length grader and automatic bagger. It is also equipped with a storage facility. The capacity of the 5 units of mechanical dryer is 50 tons or 1,000 bags per day at a 10-hour operation per day. The rice milling facility has a capacity of 50 bags of milled rice per hour or 500 bags per day, at a 10-hour milling operation per day. (DA-PhilMech Applied Com-
Residents of barangays Libertad, Inudaran and Pantar in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte are now enjoying the benefits brought by the rehabilitation of a 800-meter farm-to-market road (FMR), amounting to P1, 667,000. It was made possible through a 90:10 cost sharing scheme between the Department of Agriculture-Mindanao North Coast Integrated Area Development Project (DA-MNCIADP) and the municipal government of Kolambugan. The FMR is now providing more opportunities to 670 farmer-households, as they can easily transport their produce to nearby markets, saving on transportation and labor costs. It is also expected to boost farm productivity and income of farmers in Kolambugan, where 50 hectares are planted to coconut and high value crops. Induran Barangay Chairman Julieto Culong said “before, our farmers had to manually carry their produce downtown with the use of draft animals. The labor cost is very expensive and farmers cannot demand a better price in the market due to inefficient post harvest handling that brought damage to the products.” He added that their dreams came true when the FMR was rehabilitated, as they can now move and transport their products more easily, faster and cheaper, making their lives better. Moreover, it has also attracted tourists to enjoy the waterfalls in Barangay Inudaran, providing additional income for non-farming households. (Vanessa Mae S.
Siano, DA-RAFID 10)
Farmers to manage ...
(from p 5)
Sec. Alcala (2nd from left) leads the launch of a DA-NIA-PCIC third cropping program--which provides farmers free crop insurance and inbred seeds--in Bago City, Negros Occidental, September 11, 2012. Also shown (from left) are: NIA administrator Antonio Nangel, PCIC President Atty. Jovy C. Bernabe and PCIC Director David M. Villanueva.
Agri exports top $2.1B The Philippines exported $2.1billion worth of farm and fishery products, from January to July 2012, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO). This is 10% lower than last year’s exports of $2.4 B covering the same seven-month period. The country’s top exports are still dominated by coconut products, totalling $842 million (M), bannered by coconut oil ($642M), desiccated coconut ($138M), and copra meal/cake ($46M). Fruits and vegetables ranked second at $681M, which is 23%
higher than last year’s $552M. Banana exports totaled $340M, followed by canned pineapple pineapple juice and concentrates, and mangoes, at $130M. Sugar came in third at $106M. Exports of other agro-based products grew by 6% to $493M, from $465M. These included fish (fresh and preserved), shrimps and prawns, at $265M; unmanufactured tobacco ($45M), natural rubber ($33M), and dried sea weeds ($22M).
DA, NIA, PCIC... (from p1) The DA-PCIC will subsidize P98.9 million in terms of premium payments, said PCIC President Atty Jovy Bernabe. Secretary Alcala said that the program complements the efforts of the government to achieve its rice sufficiency target by end of 2013. The DA will also vigorously pursue a farm mechanization and postharvest program. In fact, while in Negros Occidental he awarded a total of P43,191,200 project grants to the farmers’ groups and irrigators’ associations. The package consists of eight units of flatbed dryers, a multipurpose drying pavement or solar dryer, 30 units of hand tractors, six units of rice transplanters, 10 units of rice threshers, a combine rice harvester, dozens of laminated sacks, collapsible drying cases, steel plows, and cacao and coffee seedlings.
The DA chief also committed to establish a rice processing center in the province. During a farmers’ forum, he said “the government is with you in all your agri-endeavors. Kaisa nyo po kami sa pagtupad ng inyong mga pangarap.” He said he is visiting the province for the third time to bring the farmers closer to the Aquino government. While in the province, Alcala also awarded a P2.4-million check to the Department of Social Work and Development for the Cash for Work Program – Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino (CFW-PPP). According to DSWD Regional Director Minda Brigoli, the amount will go to 879 families in Western Visayas, who will work for the rehabilitation of 667 hectares of irrigation areas and construction of 33,955 meters of canal. (Adora Rodriguez)
Farm mechanization... (from p 1) ficiency Program (FSSP), aims to distribute thousands of units of on-farm and postharvest machinery, equipment and facilities, from 2011 to 2016. Since 2011, the DA has procured and awarded more than 3,200 units of on-farm and postharvest machinery and equipment, including more than 510,000 pieces of laminated sacks. The on-farm equipment includes rice drum seeders, seed cleaners, rice transplanters, power tillers with trailers, hand tractors, and mini four-wheel tractors with accessories, among others. The postharvest machinery and equipment consists of laminated sacks, collapsible tents, hermetic cocoons, flatbed and mechanical dryers, solar dryers or multi-purpose drying pavements, palay sheds, threshers, shredders, and combine harvesters, among others. ”This is one of the strategies that we are pursuing to increase farm productivity and reduce postharvest losses,” said Secretary Alcala at a farmers’ forum in Bago City, Negros Occidental last week. He assured them that the implementation of a farm mechanization program will not displace farm workers. In fact, he said they will have more time to engage in other livelihood opportunities or additional sources of income. ”Huwag po kayong matakot, dahil lahat naman po ay makikinabang dito, (You have nothing to fear, because all will benefit from the program),” Secretary Alcala assured farmers in Negros Occidental, where the DA has allotted about P43 million for various farm machinery and equipment. One group of recipients are members of the Negros Occidental League of Federation of Irrigators’ Associations (IAs), led by its lady president Rosemary Caunca. They received various farm machinery and equipment consisting of rice threshers, hand tractors, rice transplanters, flatbed and solar dryers, a combine rice harvester, hundreds of collapsible dryer cases, and thousands of laminated sacks. The DA farm mechanization program is implemented through counterparting, where the DA shoulders 85%, while the recipients pay the 15%. (Adora Rodriguez, DA Info Service)
DA forms ...
Secretary Alcala (center) presents to Negros Occidental League of Federation of IAs President Rosemary Caunca (3rd from left) a symbolic certificate for postharvest facilities and equipment, September 11, 2012 in Bago City. The package consists of rice threshers, hand tractors, rice transplanters, and a combine rice harvester. Also shown (from left) are: DA Asst. Sec. Dante Delima, National Irrigation Administrator Antonio Nangel, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, and 4th District Congressman Jeffrey Ferrer.
Camarines Norte... (from p 8) mance of the two varieties under different soil and climatic conditions, production methods, and as intercrop under coconut trees. The production methods include medium planting density, and low fertilizer inputs; high planting density, and medium fertilizer inputs; and high planting density, and high fertilizer rate. The ‘Ulam’ variety was developed and registered by Dr. Juan C. Acosta of Bukidnon. He maintains a plantation in Toril, Davao. Ulam has spiny leaves similar to Queen pineapple, and produces sweet fruits with soft edible core. Meanwhile, the MD-2 hybrid was reported developed by a multinational corporation, but is now widely planted in Mindanao. It has a similar plant stand with the spineless smooth cayenne or Hawaiian variety. It also bears sweet fruit with no aftertaste when eaten. MD-2 is also widely in other countries like Honduras and Mexico. Both ‘ulam’ and MD-2 varieties are planted in Mindanao at high elevation areas, ranging from 400 to 800 meters above sea. In Camarines Norte, pineapple production areas are at lower level, ranging from 4 to 100 meters above sea level only. Dr. Faustino Obrero, pathologist and a veteran pineapple researcher in Mindanao, cautioned that the MD-2 variety may be susceptible to a form disease when planted at lower elevations, and especially when harvest is timed during summer months. He recommended the con-
(from p 3) requirements, monitoring and reporting mechanisms, and information management strategies, he added. Earlier this year, the country’s January-June 2012 palay production was estimated at 7.89 million MT, 4.2% higher than last year’s level of 7.58 million MT. Increases in production were reported in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, MIMAROPA, Northern Mindanao, SOCCSKSARGEN and Caraga. Cagayan Valley posted the biggest production increment of 204.6 thousand MT, the BAS data said. If the threat of El Niño in the fourth quarter would not materialize or effecitvely mitigated, the BAS forecasts bigger production increments in Central Luzon by around 282,000 MT; Ilocos Region, 59,000 MT; W estern Visayas, 91,0000 MT; and MIMAROPA, 72,000 MT. (Adam O. Borja, DA national rice program)
struction of drainage canal in waterlogged areas, planting in beds or ridges, and the use of systemic fungicides to control a destructive pineapple disease, called “heart rot.” The DA researchers conducting the field tests are Inocencio Obrero and Roseller Mago. They are assisted on testing “Ulam” variety by Camarines Norte Provincial Agriculturist Francia Pajares and technician, Joseph Ibasco. Meanwhile, some plant experts believe that the main reason why the yield of Queen has been decreasing is inadequate crop management, and not due to using a single variety. Pineapple is unlikely to be affected by inbreeding because planting materials used are suck-
Congress okays ...
The remaining amount will bankroll other major final outputs like regulatory (P2.52B), plans and policies (P2.26B), credit facilitation (P2.01B), research and development (P1.45B), and market development (P1.28B). On a commodity program basis, the DA will spend the following budget in 2013: rice (P7.45B), fisheries (P3.66B), corn (P1.52B), high value crops (P1.36B), and livestock (P1.03B). The DA regional offices, including ARMM, are allotted a total of P43.32B, while its eight bureaus will get P8.19B; nine attached agencies, P3.45B; and subsidy for seven attached corporations, P9.92B.
ers and not seeds, observers said. The most likely reason for lower yield is low fertilizer rates, use of the same area for the same crop over and over again, and early flower induction of pineapple. Other factors are prevalence of pests and diseases, aggravated by prolonged rainy season due to climate change. (Inocencio Q. Obrero, DA5 Info Div.)
this year and in 2013. DA-PhilRice will propagate seeds of two newly-commercialized hybrid varieties, Mestiso 19 (NSIC Rc202H) and Mestiso 20 (NSIC Rc204H). The DA targets to plant hybrid rice in 50,000 hectares in 2013. Javier said the PhilRice Negros station’s 61-hectare seed production area may be devoted to hybrids, while inbred seed production may be contracted out. Under the scheme, landowners will produce the required seeds and shoulder production and harvest expenses. PhilRice will dry, clean, and bag the seeds; and pay the landowner at commercial palay price, he said. PhilRice Negros recently contracted eight hectares of nearby farms to produce high quality seeds of newly-released and climate-change ready rice varieties. (Malaya)
DA allots P11M to boost corn prod’n The Department of Agriculture has alloted P11 million to increase the production of corn in Eastern Visayas or Region 8. The amount will be used to provide farmers with needed production and marketing support services, improve existing postharvest facilities, and procure mobile corn mills for distribution to farmers’ groups that plant white corn for food. DA regional corn program coordinator Brenda J. Pepito said the DA will strengthen and empower farmers’ groups by providing them needed assistance that include production inputs and equipment, and postharvest facilities. She said the DA targets to increase production of white corn by 27%, from this year’s output of 91,267 metric tons (MT). The DA-8 has established a six-hectare production area for white corn seeds, which will be distributed to interested communities. ”We expect to produce 1,200 bags at 20 kilograms per bag of quality corn seeds. Given the right management, each bag of corn seeds has a potential production of six to seven metric tons, and goive farmers a gross income ranging from P72,000 to P84,000 per hectare,” Pepito said. The DA will also distribute to upland farmers 10 village-type mobile corn mills powered by a five-horsepower engine. ”This is a strategy adopted by the program to encourage more farmers to plant and eat white corn grits as alternate staple to rice,” Pepito said. Each mobile mill can process 44,000 kilos of corn per eighthour daily operation. Each mill can benefit a group of 64 farmers. The DA will also conduct corn techno-demo training to teach farmers modern technologies on corn production to post harvest. It will also encourage them to expand their existing production areas. “Several interventions such as planting in coconut areas to increase yield are being considered. The plan is to expand 9,187 hectares of land,” Ms. Pepito said “White corn utilization for food and health is also included in the
DA grants Davao P17.5-M farm tractors; supports corn exports. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (center) leads the turnover of farm tractors (background and inset) that form part of a P17.5-million assistance to Davao farmers’ groups and local government units, during the 8th National Corn Congress, September 28, 2012, in Davao City, where he represented and read the message of President Benigno S. Aquino III. During the congress—attended by 1,000 farmers, local government officials and industry stakeholders belonging to the National Corn Board and Philippine Maize Federation, Inc. (PhilMaize)—he acted favorably on several PhilMaize resolutions, including export of the country’s surplus corn production. He also raffled off P12.8-million worth of farm equipment and corn seeds to lucky participants, mainly regional corn farmers’ groups and cooperatives. Among those shown (from left) are: Davao Oriental provincial agriculturist Raymundo Curameng; Dante Caubang representing Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang; Manay, Davao Oriental municipal agriculturist Belinda Macadagat; PhilMaize chairman emeritus Roderico Bioco; and DA assistant secretary and national corn program coordinator Edilberto de Luna. training to create awareness among farm families on the advantages of eating white corn as alternate staple to rice,” Pepito said. Two out of ten people in the region eat white corn as their main staple, the DA said. Last year, Eastern Visayas has 60,950 hectares (ha) planted to corn, with a total production of 83,992 metric tons, according to the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. Majority or 85 percent of total production is white corn, at 71,228 MT from a planted area of 53,750 ha. Yellow corn is planted to 7,200 ha, with a total harvest of 12,764 MT. The average production is quite low at 1.38 MT per hectare, or 1.77 MT/ha for yellow and 1.33MT/ha for white. With its interventions, the DA expects to encourage and inspire Eastern Visayas farmers to plant quality seeds and adopt modern production and postharvest technologies to increase their productivity to about seven to eight MT of white corn per hectare. (BusinessWorld online, DA Info Service)
The business of milking The Department of Agriculture is urging agencies under it to patronize local milk and other products as part of the government’s continuous support the Philippine dairy sector. Agriculture chief Proceso J. Alcala admits that even if there is no swift solution to the problems hounding the industry, he is optimistic that the placement of proper technologies and intervention will help resolve lingering concerns. The DA through its Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund launched a project, called “Acquisition and Upgrading of Milk Collection and Processing Faculties and Market Expansion Project” in Pitogo, Consolacion, Cebu to enhance the local dairying industry. The project was unveiled during the recent visit of Secretary Alcala at Cebu Federation of Dairy Cooperatives (CEFEDCO), in Consolacion. During the event, he encouraged milk stakeholders to partner with the DA’s National Dairy Authority (NDA) and the local government to increase milk production of dairy cows.
“We have to work together to increase production. I will direct DA agencies in the province to exclusively use your products,” he announced. Developing the local dairy industry is one of the government’s strategies to help reduce poverty in the country. In line with this, the Dairy Confederation of the Philippines is encouraging livestock raisers and farmers to engage more in dairying for milk production instead of fattening for meat production. “Dairying augments profit and uplifts the income and lives of farmers in rural areas,” Alcala said. For her part Adminstrator Grace Cenas of the DA’s National Dairy Industry (NDA) said a dairy cow can produce an average monthly-income of P7,000, and a well-trained farmfamily can raise six dairy animals at a time, earning a potential income of P40,000 to P50,000 per cow. She said dairy cows produce milk for 300 days after they give (Pls turn to p8)