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Vol. XXVII No. 1

A monthly publication of the Department of Agriculture

January 2012

DA to spend P61.4B to attain food staple sufficiency, build more infra With an increased budget of P61.4 billion this year, the Department of Agriculture will vigorously pursue initiatives to attain sufficiency in major staples by 2013 that include rice, white corn, cassava, and other basic commodities. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said a big

chunk of the DA’s 2012 budget will be used to implement the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), the Aquino administration’s centerpiece program to food security and sufficiency. A major feature of the FSSP is the frontloading of investments to build major infrastructure like irri-

gation systems, farm-to-market roads, and postharvest facilities. “We hope to regain momentum in irrigation, with particular focus on cheaper and shorter gestating small-scale irrigation system,” Secretary Alcala said. The DA through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), with a 2012 approved budget of

P24.45B, will construct new irrigation systems, and restore and rehabilitate existing ones, servicing a total of 224,850 hectares (has). For its part, the DA’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management will spend P500 million to construct 4,584 small-scale irriga (Pls turn to p11)

SPJA issues marching orders to attain FSSP targets Secretary Proceso J. Alcala issued his initial marching orders and instructions to top Department of Agriculture officials to implement major commodity programs and remain on track to attain rice and food staple sufficiency targets during their 1st quarter DA national management committee (Man Com) meeting on January 11, 2012, at the DA-BSWM convention hall in Quezon City. He said much is expected from the DA as the Aquino administration has substantially increased the agency’s budget this year, 60 percent more than last year. “Talagang malaki at mabigat ang mga gawaing inaako natin para sa 2012 at sa susunod pang taon, lalu na sa ating flagship program na Food Staples Sufficiency Program o FSSP,” Sec. Alcala told some 80 top DA officials, comprising of undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, national commodity program coordinators, regional and bureau directors, heads of attached agencies and corporations, DA-OSEC directors, and technical advisers. He urged them to focus their energies and efforts to pursue the FSSP, particularly during the four cropping seasons from (Pls turn to p11)

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (right) issues his initial marching orders and instructions to top DA officials during their 1st quarter national management committee meeting, January 11, 2012, in Quezon City. He urged them to vigorously implement major commodity programs, particularly the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), and remain on track to attain rice and food staple sufficiency by 2013. He said much is expected from the DA as the Aquino administration has substantially increased the agency’s budget to P61.73 billion this year, 60 percent more than last year.

Fishery program gets P2.4B The DA through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has received an increased budget of P2.4 billion this year to implement fishery initiatives, including a community-based fisheries and aquaculture program. Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the program aims to produce adequate supply of quality, world-class yet affordable fishery and aquaculture products, and at the same time lift small marginal fisherfolk families from abject poverty. The program, led by the DABFAR, involves implementation of major initiatives that include: • Establishment of community multi-species hatcheries and aqua-silviculture projects;

• Maintenance of 62 mariculture parks and 9 regional and municipal fishports; • Expansion and intensification of the “fishcage-for-livelihood” program; • Provision of training and technical assistance in aquaculture, municipal, commercial, post-harvest, and regulatory services; • Establishment of fish hatcheries and nurseries; • Implementation of Coastal Resource Management projects; • Operation of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) System; • Ensure compliance with global food safety standards; and (Pls turn to p9)

DA allots P594-M irrigation, agri projects in Palawan Marking his first provincial field visit this year, Secretary Proceso J. Alcala on January 16 and 17 launched and inaugurated irrigation and fishery projects in Palawan, totaling P594 million, aimed at making the province sufficient in rice, major staples, as well as fishery and marine products. The projects include the construction of the P498-M IbatoIraan small reservoir irrigation project that will irrigate 1,600 hectares, benefitting 425 farmers in Aborlan town, covering four barangays (Sagpangan, Maligaya, Ibato and Iraan). He led the groundbreaking of said project on January 16, as (Pls turn to p2)


DA allots P594M ... (from p1) part of his two-day visit in Palawan. He was joined by Palawan Governor Abraham Kahlil Mitra, DA ass’t. sec. and national rice program coordinator Dante de Lima, National Irrigation Administrator (NIA) Antonio Nangel, DA region 4B director Cipriano Santiago, NIA-4B acting regional manager Conrado Cardenas, Jr., and Aborlan Mayor Jaime Ortega. Adm. Nangel said the project involves the construction of a dam (30 meters high and 68.9 meters long) that can store about 2.4 million cubic meters of water. “We will finish the project in two to three years. Then, we will also develop the reservoir into a fish pond and park for eco-tourism. We may also look for partners to develop it into a source of hydroelectric power,” Nangel said. The following day (January 17), Sec. Alcala led the inauguration of the P40-M Iwahig Penal Farm irrigation proj ect in Puerto Princesa, which can irrigate 414 hectares. The proj ect, started in July 2011, was completed six months ahead of schedule. Unlike other NIA projects, it was constructed by the inmates themselves. Secretary Alcala commended them for their efficient and speedy work.

Editorial Pasasalamat ang unang mensahe ni Kalihim Procy Alcala sa idinaos na kaunaunahang management committee meeting ng taon. Pasasalamat sa kooperasyon at pagsisikap ng buong pamilya ng Kagawaran na nakatulong ng malaki sa pagkamit ng mga target noong nakaraang taon. Ilang magagandang balita ang ibinahagi ni Sec. Procy. Una na dito ang mabilis na pagbangon ng agrikultura mula sa hagupit ng mga nagdaang bagyo. Aniya, bagamat dagok sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda ang mga bagyo at baha noong 2011, madaling nakabangon ang lahat. Ito’y sa pamamagitan ng seed distribution sa mga nasalantang lugar, ratooning, pagbabayad ng crop insurance, dagliang pagkukumpuni ng mga irigasyon, pamimili ng mga storm-damaged palay, at

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is published monthly by the Department of Agriculture Information Service, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Q uezon 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.

P498-M irrigation system in Palawan. Sec. Alcala ( 3rd from

right) and Palawan Gov. Abraham Kahlil Mitra ( 2nd from right) lead the ceremonial groundbreaking of the P498-M Ibato-Iraan small reservoir irrigation project, at Barangay Sagpangan, Aborlan, Palawan, which will irrigate 1,600 hectares, benefiting 425 farm households. Joining them (from left) are Aborlan Mayor Jaime Ortega, NIA Palawan officer Mario Hebreo, NIA-4B acting regional manager Conrado Cardenas, Jr, NIA administrator Antonio Nangel and DA-4B regional director Cipriano Santiago. The Iwahig irrigation system, which draws water from the nearby Balsahan River, will enable inmate-farmers to increase their previous average yield of 4.5 tons per hectare of palay. Aside from commercial rice, they also produce certified palay seeds for their use in succeeding seasons and the excess is

sold to farmers in Puerto Princesa. The DA will provide registered seeds which will serve as their source of certified seeds. Sec. Alcala said the DA will continue to partner with the Bureau of Corrections of the Department of Justice to transform idle lands at other penal colonies into productive rice farms.

Editor-In-Chief : Noel O. Reyes Associate Editors: Karenina Salazar, Cheryl C. Suarez Writers: Adora D. Rodriguez, Jo Anne Grace B. Pera, Arlhene S. Carro, Bethzaida Bustamante, Mc. Bien Saint Garcia, Jay Ilagan, Catherine Nanta Contributors: DA-RFU Info Officers, Public Info Officers and Staff of DA Bureaus, Attached Agencies & Corporations, ForeignAssisted Projects Photographers: Jose Lucas, Alan Jay Jacalan & Kathrino Resurreccion Lay-out Artists: Bethzaida Bustamante Printing & Circulation: Teresita Abejar & PCES Staff

The DA chief also provided P42-M worth of various agricultural projects, machinery, equipment and inputs to hundreds of Palawan farmers and their respective local government units during farmers’ forum at Aborlan (Pls turn to p3)

Tara na, Sulong na! pamamahagi ng mga buto na climate-resilient. Ngunit sa kabila ng good news, serious business pa rin ang paalala ni Sec Procy para sa pagpapatupad ng mga nasimulan nang proyekto na kailangang maisakatuparan upang higit pang mapabuti ang serbisyo para sa mga tagapakinabang ng pambansang sektor ng pagsasaka at pangingisda. Binigyang diin niya ng pagpapaunlad at pagpapaganda ng mga pasilidad ng DA, kabilang na dito ang mga research station, stock farm at experimental station. Dagdag pa nya, nararapat lamang na pagbutihin din ang soil and water management, at palakasin ang suporta para sa pagsugpo ng sakit at peste. Sa huli, ang lahat ay makikinabang sa mga programang nakatuon sa pagpapaunlad ng lupa at pagpapataas ng pambansang

produksyon. Bukod sa mga nabanggit, mas mahigpit ang bilin ni Sec Procy sa mga sumusunod niyang lambing. Kabilang na dito ang pagbubuhos ng sipag at galing sa padating na apat na cropping season. Layunin nito na mas paigtingin pa ang Food Staples Sufficiency Program o FSSP. Maglulunsad din ng regeneration, production and protection program ang BFAR upang higit pang pagyamanin ang mga pangisdaan ng bansa. Kasabay nito ang paglalatag ng mga programa upang paunlarin ang livestock at poultry sectors na pananatilihing FMD-free at bird flu-free. Para naman sa mga champion commodities ng bansa, pagbubutihin ang pamamahala ng value chain para gawing mas kompetitibo sa mga merkado, lokal man o international. Sa kabuuan, layunin ni Sec na itaas pa ang kagalingan ng

buong Kagawaran. Magkakaroon ng upgrading, ika nga. Kasama na dito ang pagpapaunlad ng agri and fisheries products standards at climate change adaptation measures. Magbubukas din ng sarisaring oportunidad sa para sa mga bagong magsasaka, kabataan at returning OFWs. Aayusin din ang support mechanisms ng Kagawaran upang mapadaloy ang kinakailangang resources sa pagpapatupad ng mga makabuluhang programa. Higit sa lahat, papagtibayin pa ang pagtutulungan ng DA sa mga lokal na pamahalaan, samahan ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda at investors tungo sa pangmatagalang partnership. Walang oras na dapat masayang. Kaya, tara na! Sulong na!


DA allots initial P10M to produce corn flour The DA will spend an initial P10 million to start commercial production of corn flour. Assistant Secretary Edilberto M. de Luna, national corn program coordinator, said the corn flour will be sold to bakeries, as an ingredient of pandesal. He said the DA will initially partner with Julie’s bakeshop chain, which conducted successful trials making use of corn flour for pandesal. He said the DA through the UP Los Baños Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) has partnered with Julie’s last August 2011 and successfully produced pandesal using a mixture of 25% corn flour and 75% wheat flour. “It will be produced by IPB, but later on we would expand production in other areas,” de Luna said. “We are pushing for the use of corn flour not only because of its nutritional value, but also because it is cheaper compared to wheat flour,” he added. He said corn flour retails for an average of P31 per kilogram, P5 cheaper than wheat flour. He said white corn, from which the flour is derived, has low glycemic index, hence, beneficial especially for diabetics. Making use of corn flour in producing pandesal is another initiative to expand the demand for white corn, which will eventually benefit the country’s corn farmers. (Business World)

DA Chief opens P40-M Iwahig irrigation proj. Sec. Procy Alcala (inset, 2nd from left) leads the

ceremonial opening of the P40-million Iwahig Balsahan irrigation project that will irrigate 414 hectares at Iwahig Penal farm, in Puerto Princesa. The project will enable Iwahig inmate-farmers increase their previous average yield of 4.5 tons per hectare. Also shown (from left) are DA assistant secretary and national rice program coordinator Dante Delima, DA-National Irrigation Administrator Antonio Nangel, NIA 4-B acting regional manager Conrado Cardenas, Jr., Bureau of Corrections director-general Gaudencio Pangilinan, and NIA Palawan officer Mario Hebreo.

DA allots P594M ...

(from p2)

and Iwahig. These included flat bed dryers, greenhouses, a processing center, barangay food terminals, several sets of hermetic cocoon storage, draft animals, and thousands of various planting materials. He also launched three aquaculture projects, and provided fishing gears and equipment to Palawan fisherfolk, amounting to P13.8 M, at the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Inland Sea Ranching Station (ISRS) in Puerto Princesa.

Abra tobacco farmers get P5.4-M loan The DA through the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) has to date given a total of P5.4 million in loans to tobacco farmers in Abra this cropping season, under the DA-NTA’s tobacco contract growing system. NTA Administrator Edgardo D. Zaragoza commends Abra officials led by Governor Eustaquio P. Bersamin for using their share from the tobacco excise tax under Republic Act 7171 for the benefit of tobacco farmers through fertilizer subsidies and counterparting for the loan program.

January 2012

NTA-Abra chief Esmeralda G. Valera said 261 tobacco farmers have so far availed of the loan. She said 160 hectares in 19 municipalities in Abra are planted to tobacco this cropping season. Aside from the loan assistance, the DA-NTA and the provincial gov’t. have installed flue curing barns to produce better quality leaves. Zaragoza advised Abra farmers to wait for the leaves to mature before harvesting them to get better quality leaves, which would fetch higher price. (DA-NTA)

The projects include increased production of fry and fingerlings for distribution to fisherfolk, expansion of a multi-species marine fish hatchery, and upgrading of the seaweed tissue culture laboratory, all at BFAR-ISRS. He said the initiatives aim to produce commercial quantities of fry and fingerlings of high value species like grouper, snapper, milkfish, and sea bass for distribution to small fisherfolk and interested fishfarmers. The multi-species hatchery is a joint project of the DA-BFAR, Puerto Princesa City, (which pro-

vided the land), and the aquaculture department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC-AQD), which provided technical assistance and design of the hatchery complex. Top officials present during the project launch at BFAR-ISRS included Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, DA-BFAR national director Asis Perez, DA 4B regional director Cipriano Santiago, BFAR 4B Dir. Emmanuel Asis, and SEAFDEC-AQD chief Dr. Joebert Toledo. (DA-AFIS)

DBM releases P450M for Iloilo irrigation project The Department of Budget and Management has released an initial P450 million for the construction of the DA-NIA’s Jalaur River Multipurpose Irrigation Project phase 2 (JRMP 2). DBM Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the amount will be spent for the preparatory activities that include survey, geotechnical, exploratory and environmental works, road settlement negotiations and other preengineering activities. “The DA’s National Rice Program highlights the Aquino Administration’s commitment to attain rice sufficiency by 2013. W e are investing this much in

Iloilo to bolster its production capacity as one of the major rice basins of the country,” Abad said. “The project was pushed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Franklin Drilon, who wanted to convert the perennial flooding and dislocation problem in W estern Visayas into an opportunity for rural growth and development,” he added. The JRMP 2 is designed with provisions for a hydro-electric power and bulk water supply. It is supported by an P8.95billion official development assis (Pls turn to p4)

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Sec. Procy Alcala enjoins DAOSEC staff to continue exerting efforts and contributing their respective share in the successful implementatiuon of major initiatives, particularly the Food Staples Sufficiency Program, during the agency’s January 9 flag ceremony . Urging them to help improve the lives of small farmers, fisherfolk and their families, he said: ‘Pagtulung-tulungan po nating pasayahin ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa kanayunan.’

PhilRice releases 8 new rice varieties The DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) recently released eight new earlymaturing rice varieties, providing farmers more options to increase their productivity and incomes. The varieties include six inbreds, a hybrid, and an inbred glutinous rice. They were approved for release by the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC), said Thelma F. Padolina, PhilRice chief of the Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division. The NSIC is headed by Sec. Proceso Alcala. She said the varieties performed well during field trials. The varieties were developed for irrigated and rainfed lowland and saline-prone areas. They mature from 108 to 118 days. Three varieties are suitable for irrigated lowland, namely: Tubigan 22 (NSIC Rc240), an inbred; Malagkit 5 (NSIC Rc21 SR), an inbred glutinous variety; and Mestiso 29 (NSIC Rc244H), a hybrid. For rainfed lowland, the inbreds are: Sahod Ulan 2 (NSIC 2011 Rc272) and Sahod Ulan 10 (NSIC Rc288). For saline-prone or near coastal areas, three varieties that could be planted are Salinas 6 (NSIC Rc290), Salinas 7(NSIC Rc292), and Salinas 8 (NSIC Rc294), all inbreds.

The qualities of each variety are: • Tubigan 22 matures in 108 days when direct-seeded, and 115 days when transplanted; could yield up to 11 tons (MT) per hectare (ha) when transplanted, and 8 MT/ha when direct-seeded. It is resistant to blast, sheath blight, bacterial leaf blight, and white stem borer. • Malagkit 5 matures in 122 days, and could yield up to 7 MT/ha. It is moderately resistant to white heads, brown planthopper, green leaf hopper, and yellow stem borer. It is slightly aromatic when cooked. • Mestiso 29, a hybrid, has an average yield of 7 MT/ha, and up to 11 MT/ha. It matures in 113 days. It is resistant to white and yellow stem borers, brown planthopper, and green leafhopper. • Sahod Ulan 2 has an average yield of 3 MT/ha. It matures in 110 days. It is resistant to blast, bacterial leaf and sheath blights, white and yellow stem borers, and green leafhopper.

DA to expand sugarcane areas for bioethanol The Department of Agriculture is keen on expanding areas planted to sugarcane to support the government’s initative of uti-

Secretary Alcala swears into office new DA assistant secretaries: Dante Delima (left), concurrent national rice program coordinator; and Ophelia Agawin, for finance.

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• Sahod Ulan 10 has an average yield of 3 MT/ha. It is resistant to blast, bacterial leaf blight, and stem borer. It matures in 118 days. • Salinas 6 has an average yield of 4 MT/ha, and could yield up to 6.5 MT/ha. It matures in 113 days, and resistant to blast, bacterial leaf blight, stem borer, brown planthopper, and green leafhopper. • Salinas 7 has an average yield of 3 MT/ha, and matures in 111 days. It is resistant to blast and the only new variety that is resistant to tungro. • Salinas 8 has an average yield of 3 MT/ha. It matures in 117 days, and is resistant to bacterial leaf blight and stem borer. The eight new varieties have premium to excellent milling and head rice recovery and good eating quality. Their seeds are available at PhilRice branch stations and from selected national rice seed production network partners for the production of registered and certified seeds. (DA-PhilRice)

lizing fuel ethanol as an alternative source of energy which can complement or even substitute for the traditional gasoline fuel. In the first-ever Philippine International BioEnergy Conference, held January 11, 2012 at the Manila Hotel, Secretary Alcala said that in the long run, bioethanol along with other renewable energy sources could reduce the country’s dependence on imported oil, and at the same time provide cleaner, more stablepriced fuel versus fossil fuels. He noted that sugarcane for bioethanol will not compete with local food sugar, and existing areas will continue to be dedicated to food sugar. Excess area along

DA-PCA to plant 13.8M coco seedlings in 2012 The DA through the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) targets to plant additional 13.8 million coconut seedlings this year to take advantage of the growing demand for cocobiodiesel and other coconut products worldwide. Said volume is four times more than the total coconut seedlings planted last year, at 3.11 million, said PCA deputy administrator for research Carlos B. Carpio during the 1st Philippine International BioEnergy Conference (PIBEC), Jan. 12-13, 2012, at Manila Hotel. He said a fraction of the planted trees will be useed for the production of coconut methyl ester (CME) or cocobiodiesel. In all, Carpio said the increase in coconut production will help augment the income of 25 million Filipinos who are directly dependent on the coconut industry. He said 65 out of the country’s 79 provinces, and about one-third or 3.4 million hectares of the country’s total agricultural land are planted to coconut. (PIA)

DBM releases ...

(from p3)

tance (ODA) extended by the Korean government through its Export-Import Bank’s Economic Cooperation Fund. The Philippine government is counterparting P2.2 billion, which includes the initial P450million fund release. Abad said the project will increase the irrigated lands in Western Visayas by 10 percent, and will contribute five percent to annual regional rice production. It will likewise expand the production areas of sugarcane and (Pls turn to p10) other crops. (DBM)


DA-BFAR, CHED, SUCs partner to promote aquasilviculture The DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), representing 61 state universities and colleges (SUCs), forged an agreement last December 2011 to jointly implement the Aquino

opportunities for capability-building for both its faculty and staff. She fully supports the advocacy of the DA-BFAR to protect and restore the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources and the habitats associated with them. She said the SUCs will help

The resulting fish fry, fingerlings and/or crablets will be distributed to interested fishfarmers for commercial production, and the excess will be stocked in municipal waters for the benefit of all fishermen. “The community-based hatcheries will differ much from the expensive and sophisticated hatcheries we are accustomed of because our purpose really is for the fisherfolk to realize the importance of stock enhancement. A gravid crab, for instance carries with it millions of eggs which if allowed to hatch in the said hatchery will benefit the fishermen and the consumers as well,” Perez added. Under the agreement, the DABFAR will transfer funds to part-

ner SUCs to implement the project. Among those who witnessed the MOA signing were CHED commissioner William Medrano and BFAR ass’t. directors Gil Adora and Benjamin Tabios, Jr., and BFAR regional directors: Nestor Domenden (R1), Jovita Ayson (R2); Remedios Ongtangco (R3); Esmeralda Manalang (R4A); Emmanuel Asis (R4B); Dennis del Socorro (R5); Drucila Bayate-Ong (R6); Andres Boj os (R7); Juan Albaladejo (R8); Ahadula Sajili (R9); Visa Dimerin (R10); Fatma Edris (R11); Sani Macabalang (R12); Nerio Casil (CARAGA); and Keise Usman (ARMM). (DABFAR)

DA-BAI allots P20M for AI facilities The DA-BFAR has forged an agreement with 61 state universities and colleges (SUCs) to provide technical assistance and serve as co-project managers in implementing a national mangrove and aquasilviculture. BFAR Dir. Asis Perez (2nd from left) and Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan (middle), chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, lead the signing og the MOA among DA-BFAR, SUCs and CHED, at UP Diliman, Quezon City. Also shown (from left) are: BFAR ass’t. director Gil Adora, CHED commissioners William Medrano and Dr. Jean Tayag. government’s P238-million ‘aquasilviculture’ program. BFAR director Asis Perez said aquasilviculture involves the growing of fish and other aquatic organisms in mangrove areas, without cutting down a single tree. It is an environment-friendly approach to enhance fisheries production in the wild, while at the same rehabilitate the country’s mangrove habitat, which currently represents less than a quarter of what used to be a 550,000-hectare mangrove cover in the 1950s. The agreement’s signatories included BFAR Dir. Perez, CHED chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan, BFAR Regional Directors, respective SUC president. The SUCs are either a university or college for fisheries, or provincial institute for fisheries under the DA-CHED National Agriculture and Fisheries Education System (NAFES) program. Dr. Licuanan said the partnership will have a significant impact in improving the delivery of services of SUCs by providing

January 2012

BFAR attain sustainability and resource conservation through the continued development and promotion of innovative interventions such as aquasilviculture. For his part, Dir. Perez said the program’s two-pronged objectives would also generate job opportunities and livelihood for the marginal fisherfolk, and the SUC fisheries graduates as well. He said the DA-BFAR is initially investing P237. 5 million to implement the program that involves the following: • Planting of 11 million mangrove trees • Establishment of 62 multispecies community hatcheries • Development of 100 technodemo aquasilvi-farms in selected coastal areas nationwide. “For mangrove habitat rehabilitation alone, a fishermen could plant 2,000 mangrove trees and earn as much as P12,000 a year,” Perez said. The multi-species hatchery, on the other hand, will be established by the SUCs in suitable areas. It will serve like a “lying-in” center for gravid high-value species, said Dir. Perez.

The DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is allotting P20 million to put up liquid nitrogen facilities in four pilot provinces, as a component of the government’s Unified National Artificial Insemination Program (UNAIP). BAI Dir. Efren Nuestro said liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and preserve the semen of livestock animals. The frozen semen is subsequently used to artificially inseminate ‘in heat’ dairy and beef cattle, caracows, swine, goats and sheep. Sec. Proceso Alcala has instructed the DA-BAI and other DA livestock agencies (Philippine Carabao Center and National Dairy Authority) to massively conduct AI services in partnership with provincial and municipal governments to increase the

country’s livestock and ruminant population. As the lead coordinating agency of the UNAIP, the DABAI will oversee the establishment of liquid nitrogen facilities in Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Masbate City, Masbate; Tacloban City, Leyte; and Gen. Santos City, South Cotabato. Dir. Nuestro said these government investments will pave the way to increasing and improving the genetic quality of the livestock population in said provinces and their respective regions. As AI service is a function devolved to Local Government Units (LGUs), Dir. Nuestro enjoins the vigorous support and cooperation of provincial veterinarians and AI technicians to the make the UNAIP a success.

DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) officials led by director Efren Nuestro (middle), Dr. Rubina Cresencio (left) and Dr. Paul Limson inspect liquid nitrogen gas tanks at the BAI facility in Quezon City.

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DA celebrates, fun-filled 2011 Christmas party The Department of Agriculture family officials and staff celebrated their 2011 Christmas Party with fun-filled activities, highlighted by song-and-dance presentations of seven OSEC Services and Divisions, December 15, at the DA car park. With the theme, ‘Paskong Handog at Pasasalamat,’ the celebration started with a morning thanksgiving mass in gratitude for a productive year, despite of several typhoons that adversely affected major crop producing provinces. It was followed by a DA employees’ children’s Christmas party, hosted by the DA Employees’ Association (DAEA), and enjoyed by more than 100 kids. The party was capped by an afternoon program, emceed by Ms. Shirley Fuentes and DA staff (Ms. Jet Arañas and Milo delos Reyes), that featured performances of two guest bands, Christmas presentations by seven DA-OSEC services, and raffle of hundreds of items and appliances, courtesy of benefactors led by Sec. ‘Procy’ Alcala. He also gave “aginaldo” to all children. In addition to sharing his Christmas message, Sec. ‘Procy’ also belted out a ballad (“Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang”) with Ms. Fuentes, and joined a medley with other top DA officials (U/Sec Antonio Fleta, A/Sec Allan Umali, OIC-COS Atty. Emerson Palad, AMAS Dir. Leandro Gazmin, and NABCOR president Honesto Baniqued). Adjudged as the best Christmas presentations were those of the Administrative Service (1st), and the DA-OSEC and AFIS (tied for 2nd place), who received corresponding cash prizes. Other presentors were: FOS, ITCAF, PDS and AMAS.


DA-BFAR provides Sulu town P4M fishing equipment The DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) provided several fishing equipment and patrol boat engines worth P4 million to fisherfolk and local officials in Banguingui, an island-municipality in Sulu. BFAR director Atty. Asis G. Perez said the initiative is part of the Aquino government’s continuing efforts to improve the lives of Sulu ruralfolk, mostly fishermen, by providing them needed logistics and technical assistance. He led a simple turnover ceremony of the fishing paraphernalia on December 30, 2011 to Banguingui officials led by Mayor Abdulwahid Sahidulla, who accepted the P4-M package composed of 28 units of 16-HP motor engines for‘Bantay-Dagat’ patrol boats, 10 units of shallow water payao, 200 units of seaweed farm materials, and an ice-making machine. Dir. Perez said the people of Sulu could make the seas more productive for their economic benefit with proper resource management and intensified coastal protection, “Your seas harbor millions and millions of fry and fingerlings of commercially-important fish and crustaceans that could serve as the country’s largest natural hatchery,” he said. “The Sulu Sea could supply the needs of the growing number of fish cage operators, considering

DA-NIA completes two P5M CIS in Zambo City

Rice Processing Facility to Rise in Davao Sur. Sec. ‘Procy’

Alcala (2nd from right) inspects the design of a modern P200-million integrated rice processing complex (inset) that will rise in Bgy. Sinaragan, Matanao, Davao del Sur. The facility is funded by a grant from the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), with counterpart fund from the DA, Davao del Sur and Matanao. KOICA is funding three similar facilities in Pangasinan, Bohol and Iloilo. Also shown are DA-Davao regional director Oscar Parawan (2nd from left) and DA-Philippine Coconut Authority Davao regional director Lornito Orillaneda (left). (Photo by DA Davao Info Div.) that there are now more than 60 mariculture parks established by the DA-BFAR, in partnership with LGUs, private sector, and fisherfolk organizations nationwide,” he added. He said the DA-BFAR continues to teach fisherfolk sustainable ways of gathering fish fry and fingerlings from the wild. For his part, Mayor Sahidulla said the DA-BFAR fishing equipment will complement their efforts as they currently implement several proj ects that include shallow water payao, sea ranching, seaweed farming, shallow

water fixed cages, pen cages, floating cages and aqua-tourism, among others. The municipality Banguingui, formerly called Tongkil, is composed of 17 islands and islets. It has 14 barangays. Dir. Perez said the DA-BFAR will continue to provide technical experts to assist ARMM LGUs, particularly in developing and implementing livelihood projects and sustainable coastal resource protection and management initiatives. He led a five-day patrol of selected areas in Sulu and Visayan Seas which currently observes a three-month closed season for sardines which started on December 1, 2011.

The DA-National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has completed two Communal Irrigation Systems (CIS), worth P5 million, and turned them over to the Irrigators’ Associations (IAs) of Barangay Buenavista-Curuan and Boalan in Zamboanga City, on December 16 and 20, 2011, respectively. Zamboanga City APCO Raul Ramon Bucoy urged the officials and members of the two IAs irrigators to efficiently maintain their respective CIS, and pay their irrigation fees and amortization promptly. He commended the IA of Buenavista for achieving a 100% amortization repayment rate. Hence, he will recommend to the DA and Zamboanga City government to continuously support and provide the IA with more projects to further increase the productivity and income of it farmer-members. He said the DA-NIA in partnership with Zamboanga City will repair and construct more small scale irrigation projects in the medium-term to contribute to food staple sufficiency efforts of the Aquino government. (DARAFID 9)

He also visited on Dec. 29 Sulu mainland and Siasi island, together with Sulu 1st District Rep. Tupay Loong, where they launched a mariculture park project.

FBD is also good for cassava

DA-BFAR provides Sulu town P4-M fishing equipment. BFAR dir. Asis G. Perez (middle, in blue shirt) joins Sulu Represen-

tative Nur-Ana Sahidulla and husband Mayor Abdulwahid Sahidulla (both seated) of Banguingui, Sulu during the turnover of P4-million worth of fishing equipment (foreground) and patrol boats (below) to local officials and fishermen of the 14 barangays of Banguingui. (Photo by DA-BFAR)

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While it is basically designed to dry palay, a flatbed drier (FBD) can be used to dry cassava, too! In fact, farmers in Quirino, belonging to Abrasa Multi-Purpose Cooperative (AMPC) in Diffun, have been using their FBD efficiently since July 2010. W ith the FBD, they can dry cassava even during rainy season, enabling them to harvest regularly, thus giving them sustained income. More importantly, it has encouraged them to expand the area planted 10-fold, from merely 20 hectares in 2008 to 200 hectares. They will plant another 500 hectares this year, said Director Ricardo L. Cachuela of the DA’s

Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech). Provision of FBDs to qualified farmers’ groups, cooperatives and Irrigators’ Associations is one of the interventions undertaken by the DA through PhilMech. Cachuela said at Diffun, the AMPC sells its dried cassava chips, used as an ingredient to animal feed, to San Miguel Corp. in Echague, Isabela. W ith the FBD, the AMPC farmers now harvest cassava year-round. Previously, they only harvest after the rainy season, said Jomar Corpuz, AMPC op(Pls turn to p10)


7 P-Noy, DA Chief honor 2011 Gawad Saka awardees. President Aquino (6th from left) and Sec. Alcala (5th from left) proudly pose

with the 2011 Gawad Saka national winners, or outstanding achievers in agriculture and fisheries, December 13, 2011, in Malacañang. The awardees—composed of 14 individuals and nine groups—received a Presidential citation and trophy, and cash prizes and project grants, totaling P4.25 million. Now on its 41st year, Gawad Saka recognizes the major contributions and breakthroughs of the country’s outstanding farmers, fishers, agri-entrepreneurs, scientist, and farmers’ and fishers’ groups. The 2011 Gawad Saka was chaired by DA ass’t. secretary Edilberto de Luna (3rd from left).

New rice bug infests rice crops in 4 regions A new insect pest has infested rice farms in four regions (5, 7, 8 and 13), according to Director Clarito M. Barron of the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry. In an advisory issued December 21, 2011, Dir. Barron said the pest — initially identified as Paromius longulus — was reported infesting rice panicles, from flowering stage to milking stage, resulting to unfilled or discolored grains, and eventually reducing yield.

The pest was initially identified by the DA Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) in Eastern Visayas (Region 8). It will further verified and formally identified by entomologists. However, the pest is called rice seed bug, dirt-colored seed bug or rice grain bug in other regions. The pest was also detected in Bicol region in September 2011 in Ragay town (in Camarines Sur) and Dimasalang (in Masbate), according to Dr. Evangeline C. de

January 2012

la Trinidad, chief of the DA Region 5 RCPC. She said about 100 hectares of rice crops were damaged. She collected several specimens and submitted these to the BPI for analysis. She said they are verifying reports that the pest was also sighted in Libmanan, Camarines Sur. Meanwhile, the BPI advises farmers to undertake the following measures and strategies to control the spread of the pest: 1) plow rice straw/stubbles under the soil, right after harvest; 2) always clean the farm and irrigation dikes of crop b y- p ro d uct s and other debris; 3) monitor the field regularly to detect early pest appearance; and 4) if the pest is already present, apply ‘green label’ contact insecticides at early morning or late afternoon. For his part, DA Bicol regional director Jose V. Dayao assures farmers that there is nothing to be alarmed about, as the infestation is not widespread, but limited to a very small area. He urged farmers and technicians to closely monitor their area and report immediately to the RCPC any pest sighting and incidence. (DA 5 RAFID)

Fishery program gets P2.4B ... (from p1) • Active participation in the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). Sec. Alcala said the establishment of community hatcheries and aquasilvi or mangrove farms is the DA’s flagship program to provide poor marginal fisherfolk families with income and employment opportunities. Under the aquasilvi program, participating fishermen will plant mangrove trees and will be trained how to raise species such as lapulapu (grouper) in tandem with alimango (mudcrabs) and tilapia. BFAR Director Asis Perez said his agency has allotted P280.8 million for the program, and initially identified 31 coastal areas where the program will be implemented. Likewise, BFAR has forged an agreement with some 40 state universities and colleges offering fishery and aquaculture courses that will serve as project managers of community multi-species hatcheries. He said each site shall be planted with 3,000 mangrove propagules. Participating fisherfolk families will be paid up to P5.50 per mangrove (P1.50 for the planting material, P2 for planting and P2 for every tree that survives). Hence, each family could earn up to P16,500 per hectare. Further, participating fisherfamilies will be provided with nets to enclose the mangrove area, making it a fishpen.

Canals will be dug as growing sanctuaries, while excess fish may be set free into the wild to increase the fish population for other municipal fishers. Perez said aquasilvi fishers may choose to raise fish for their own consumption and sell the excess. They may also consolidate their catch with other fishers and sell their harvest to institutional buyers and markets. “W hat is significant about this program is that government money will directly benefit fishermen and their families, create more job opportunities, and importantly result to improving and protecting our aquatic resources,” Perez said. Meanwhile, Dir. Perez led a five-day (Dec. 27-31, 2011) patrol of some areas in Sulu and Visayan Seas, which currently observe a three-month closed season for sardines, which started on Dec. 1, 2011. The Sulu Sea harbors millions of fry and fingerlings of commercially-important fish and crustaceans, making it the country’s largest natural hatchery. He said the Sulu Sea could supply the needs of fish cage operators in more than 60 mariculture parks established by the DA-BFAR, in partnership with LGUs, private sector, and fisherfolk organizations nationwide. (BFAR & DA-AFIS)

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Village sweet sorghum ethanol distillery rises in Ilocos A village type ethanol distillery, making use of sweet sorghum as feedstock, has risen in Ilocos Norte. It is expected to pave the way to mass-producing ethanol and create thousands of jobs in the countryside. The pilot village ethanol distillery was established making use of a P1-million initial fund from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Region I under the KR2 program. Currently, it can produce 50 liters of hydrous ethanol per day. This type of ethanol could be used as a disinfectant or moisturizer, said Dr. Heraldo L. Layaoen, team leader of the National Sweet Sorghum Program (NSSP), funded and implemented by the DA through the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR). However, the long term goal of the NSSP is to produce fuel-grade anhydrous ethanol, said Layaoen, who is also the concurrent vice president for planning and extension of the Mariano Marcos State University in Batac, Ilocos Norte. He said the NSSP is finding ways to make dehydration, or the process of removing water from the hydrous ethanol, cheaper compared to the present cost to produce fuel-grade ethanol. He said farmers in Batac, Ilocos Norte have been planting sweet sorghum for the last five years, with assistance from the DA-BAR, led by Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar. Layaoen said by February 2012, the Bapamin Multi Purpose Cooperative (MPC), together with its cooperator Bungon Seed Producers’MPC, will start milling sweet sorghum for processing into ethanol. The excess juice will be processed into syrup, which will be used for ethanol production during rainy days when milling of stalks is not convenient. Bapamin, headed by farmer Doris Bumanglag-Arcangel, has been selling food-grade syrup and vinegar in 66 outlets all over the country. They are currently planting sweet sorghum to 65 hectares. They aim to increase the area to 100 hectares. The DA-BAR has been funding field testing of sweet sorghum varieties in Ilocos and other sites to make Philippines less dependent on expensive, imported ethanol oil and generate rural jobs. Sweet sorghum is a good al-

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ternative to other ethanol feedstocks. It has also many food products like juice and syrup. But we will maximize its economic value if we are able to successfully produce ethanol, said Dir. Eleazar. The DA-BAR has crafted a NSSP master plan, where it envisions the setting up of a cluster of village distilleries that could produce a combined volume 5,000 to 10,000 liters of anhydrous alcohol daily. This volume will be collected and transported to a Central Dehydrating Plant (CDP), which should be near a fuel depot. Dir. Eleazar said investors are needed to realize such commercial operation set up. The DA-BAR has obtained in previous years outstanding varieties of sweet sorghum from its partner, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), based in India, which is headed by former DA secretary William D. Dar. The village ethanol distillery was developed with the assistance from Department of Science and Technology through its ‘Balik-Scientist’ Dr. Sergio Capareda of the Texas University. Capareda designed the distilling column and guided its fabrication, while MMSU material science expert Samuel S. Franco designed the furnace. The NSSP expects a bright future for the commercial production of sweet sorghum ethanol as several companies are interested, namely Seaoil Fuel Inc. and PNOC-Alternative Fuels Corp. (PNOC-AFC). Another company, Green Future Innovation Inc. (GFII), Layaoen said is completing an ethanol plant in San Mariano, Isabela, which has a capacity of 250,000 liters per day. While its feedstock will primarily be sugarcane, it intends to use sweet sorghum as a complementary crop. Field trials have shown that farmers can produce an average yield of 55 metric tons (MT) of sweet sorghum stalk per hectare and 4,500 kilos of grains per harvest. Sorghum stalks can be harvested thrice a year, that is, one main crop and two ratoon crops. At a cane price of P700 per MT and at P10 to P12 per kilo of seeds, farmers can earn a net

Sec. Alcala receives a book on ‘Sweet Sorghum in the Philippines: Status and Future’ from former DA secretary Dr. William Dar, and concurrent director-general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, during the recent 1st Philippine International BioEnergy Conference.

DA to expand sugarcane areas ... (from p4) with newly-developed areas will be allocated for the production of sugarcane feedstock for ethanol. The DA along with the Departments of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the National Convergence Initiative will implement a “block farming system” among sugarcane farmers, particularly agrarian reform beneficiaries, who will venture into bioethanol feedstock production. He said participating farmers will be integrated into cooperatives to achieve economies of scale, and government agencies like DA and DAR could provide them needed interventions. income of P83,000 to P95,000 per cropping. If cane price goes up to P900 per MT, farmers could earn a net income of P103,000 to P115,000 per cropping. Along with job-generating benefits, sweet sorghum ethanol production may generate for the country carbon emission reduction benefits. It is estimated that the bioethanol industry could generate potential jobs totaling to about 180,000 by 2015 and 290,000 by 2020. It may also generate foreign exchange savings, at over $780 million in 2015 and $1.27 billion in 2020, based on an NSSP study. (DA-BAR)

FBD is also ...

(from p8)

erations manager. With the FBD, they can now harvest anytime. Shrinkage is minimized, and drying cost is minimal as the drier is fed with biomass (crop by-products) as fuel, said Corpuz. He said the AMPC buys fresh cassava from its members. The cassava is then cut into small pieces using a palay thresher. The pieces are then dried via the FBD, up to the desired 14% moisture content. With more efficient drying operations, the cooperative delivers 100 metric tons of dried cassava regularly to the San Miguel Corp. plant in Echague, Isabela. With more area planted to cassava, they can sell more dried cassava to SMC, giving the AMPC members more income. Cachuela said the DA is promoting the increased production of cassava as a staple and an industrial crop for feed, flour and feedstock for alcohol. He said DA-PhilMech is partnering with a local farm machinery manufacturer (Agricomponent Machinery and Construction Corp. in Cauayan City, Isabela) to develop a drying system for granulated cassava, used as animal feed ingredient. Said company is accredited by the DA-PhilMech and manufactures FBDs and multi-fuel biomass furnace. (DA-Philmech)


SPJA issues ... (from p1) 2012 to 2013, and implement major commodity road maps to achieve desired goals and targets. He said the success of the FSSP rests on the entire agency, including agricultural producers and other partners. In fishery, he lauded the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) for coming up with an ‘aquisilviculture’ program that entails regeneration and protection of mangroves, establishment of municipal hatcheries, and provision of livelihood to marginal fisherfolk and their families. “Bukod sa food staples, ang isda ay malaking parte ng pagkain ng pamilyang Pilipino,” he said. Further, he said the DA will ex pand livestock and poultry pro-

DA to spend ...

(from p1)

tion proj ects that include: 1,283 shallow tube wells, 131 small water reservoirs and water impounding projects, and 3,130 spring development. For postharvest facilities, the DA has alloted P11.28B for 2,777 drying, storage and processing facilities, and 4,526 dryers, milling equipment, including dairy equipment. Four major agri trading centers will be put up in La Trinidad, Benguet; Argao, Cebu; Urdaneta, Pangasinan; and San Jose, Camarines Sur. For banner or commodity programs, the DA will spend a total of P11.89B, broken down as: P6.18B for rice; P950.7M - corn; P1.336B - high-value crops; P1.027B - livestock; and P2.4B – fisheries. To hasten the transport of farm and fishery products from production areas, the DA in partnership with local government units will construct and rehabilitate more than P5-B worth of farm-to-market roads (FMRs), totaling 1,284 kilometers. “We have redesigned FMRs so that at least 50% of the budget goes to concreting critical road sections. This would ensure that the roads do not disappear after a flood,” said Secretary Alcala. “We want to make sure that we do not only build roads and dams. We should build them better. Monitor them more closely, and ensure that they serve the purpose for which they were built,” said Alcala, who is a civil engineer by profession.

January 2012

duction and breeding programs to benefit every farming household. “Kahit limitado ang lupa ng mga magsasaka, malaking bagay sa kanila ang may alagang baboy at manok, kambing, kalabaw at baka. Ang tulong nito sa pagkain at kalusugan gayundin sa kita ay makaka-angat sa mga farming families,” Sec. Alcala said. He urged concerned DA livestock agencies to ensure that the country remains free from the dreaded Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and avian flu, in partnership with livestock farmers and industry stakeholders, and make use of such comparative advantage to export pork and chicken products to other countries. For high value crops, he asked concerned officials to continuously improve the value chain — from research, production, postharvest, processing and marketing — and broaden the domestic and export potentials for coconut, sugar, abaca, pineapple, banana, mango, vegetables, jackfruit, cashew, coffee, rubber, cacao, and other crops. He also urged the upgrading of product standards and climate adaptation measures; the opening of in-roads to encourage prospective farmers like returning OFWs, young farmers, and retirees to engage in agriculture, fishery and agribusiness enterprises; and improvement of technologies and expansion of knowledge pool. In addition, he ordered the enhancement of DA support mechanisms to provide needed resources and logistics to ‘frontliners’ that include agricultural extension workers so they could in turn serve stakeholders and clienteles better, particularly small farmers and fisherfolk. He also enjoined DA officials to further expand and strengthen partnerships with farmers’ and fishers’ groups, irrigators’ associations, LGUs, other government agencies, private sector, and international development agencies. He also urged concerned DA agencies and regional offices to upgrade plant and animal research stations and stock farms. “Ito ang mukha ng Kagawaran sa bawat lugar. Ayusin natin ito at gawing sentro ng teknolohiya na ipamamahagi sa mga magsasaka,” he said. For soil and water management, he enjoined DA agencies to continue efforts in improving the country’s farmlands and encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable practices to improve the soil’s organic matter such as crop rotation, and refrain from practic-

DA, EDC to develop ‘salad bowl’ in Leyte, allot initial P92M. The DA through its National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR) and the PNOCEnergy Dev’t. Corp. (EDC) will partner with 23 upland farmers’ associations in Ormoc City and Kananga, and the Visayas State University (VSU) to develop a 20,000-hectare area at Tongonan mountain range that will produce high value vegetables and fruits. Sec. Alcala (3rd from left) proudly pose with VSU president Dr. Jose Bacusmo (right), RAFC nat’l. president Ed Codilla (2nd from right), and officers and staff of the PNOC-EDC. (Photo by DA Regn 8 Info Div)

DA, EDC ...

(from p12)

dent and CEO Honesto Baniqued, Jr. Another P13 million is earmarked for research and development. Baniqued said the project has five components that include a vegetable consolidation center and postharvest management assurance system, livestock

with feedlot operation, marketing, environmental management, and manpower development as a sustainability mechanism. “We at the DA-NABCOR aim to help transform the OK range into a major vegetable area in Eastern Visayas, which can later diversify to produce high value crops such as cutflowers and fruits,” Baniqued said. Similar initiatives are under taken by the DA to develop major marketing and processing centers in La Trinidad, Benguet, and in Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya. For its part, PNOC-EDC will provide P50M to finance farming activities, at P10M every year, from 2012 to 2016. “We are committed to sustain this corporate social responsibility initiative. Many people in the upland range are still poor. Our main concern is help the farmers on the marketing aspect,” said Emiliano Argoncillo, head of the EDC community partnership department. The LGPF is the country’s largest producer of geothermal energy, with a capacity at more than 700 megawatts (MW). The area covers a total of 107,625 hectares along the Tongonan mountain range. For its part, the VSU will provide farmers technical assistance, and supervise crop production, postharvest handling, processing and marketing, said President Jose Bacusmo.” (DA

ing ‘kaingin’ system and burning of rice straw. He said the DA will also construct more ‘water-harvesting’ structures and small scale irrigation projects to benefit more rainfed and upland farmers. To ensure higher farm productivity and income, he said the DA will also strengthen crop and animal pest and disease control programs. Finally, he urged DA officials to “focus our minds and deliver results.” “Gamitin natin ng lubos ang ating angking galing at talino, para maisagawa ang dapat gawin, at para mangyari ang dapat mangyari. Pagkat ang pinakabatayang prinsipyo ng Agri-Pinoy ay ito: Na manalig sa angking yaman ng Pilipinas – ang ating natural and human resources – at paunlarin ito para tugunan ang ating (mga) pangangailangan,” he added. Finally, he said: “Patuloy nating ipadama sa ating mga partners ang ating katapatan sa paglilingkod, at ipakitang tayo ay talagang bukas sa pagiging partRegn 8 Info Div. & DA-AFIS) ner nila.”

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DA allots P474M for agri, irrigation projects in N. Samar The Department of Agriculture is allotting P474 million (M) to complete an irrigation project, construct farm-to-market roads (FMR) and implement other agricultural and livelihood projects in Northern Samar. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala made the commitment during his December 12, 2011 visit in Samar, where he also forged an agreement with Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman to undertake a joint DA-DSWD initiative, called “Agrikulturang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” or Agri-Pinoy 4Ps. Of the total amount, Secretary Alcala said P209M is earmarked as an additional fund to complete the irrigation component of the Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAAP). The HCAAP is expected to irrigate 4,550 hectares, and benefit more than 1,600 farm families in the towns of Catubig and Las Navas, in Northern Samar. It will double the province’s irrigated area to more than 9,000 hectares, from the current 4,500 hectares, and subsequently increase its annual palay (paddy rice) production, from 98,300 metric tons (MT) in 2010. The irrigation project could generate an additional harvest of about 40,950 MT, at two crops a year and an average harvest of

4.5 MT per hectare per cropping. Secretary Alcala also allotted P230 million for the rehabilitation and construction of other irrigation projects, and P35M for farm-to-market roads in Northern Samar. He said the DA will also provide counterpart fund to construct a modern rice processing complex in Catubig Valley, along with a satellite office of the DA’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). In addition, the DA through the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) will construct a diversion dam in Barangay Guba, Catarman town, and implement an expanded modified rapid composting project in the province, as part of the DA’s organic agriculture program. Secretary Alcala commended DSWD Secretary Soliman for partnering with the DA to implement the Agri-Pinoy 4Ps, aimed to uplift Eastern Visayan farmers, fishers and ruralfolk from poverty. It aims to enhance agricultural productivity, and provide sustainable livelihood and short-term jobs to marginal families, particularly those engaged in rice, corn, coconut, and sugarcane production, and municipal fishing.

DA, DSWD launch ‘Agrikulturang 4Ps’ in Northern Samar.

Sec. ‘Procy’ Alcala (3rd from right) and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon ‘Dinky’ Soliman (2nd from right) launched Agrikulturang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or AgriPinoy 4Ps in Las Navas, Northern Samar to provide livelihood and short-term jobs to marginal families, particularly those engaged in rice, corn, coconut, and sugarcane production, and municipal fishing. Joining them (from left) are: DA Reg. 8 Dir. Antonio Gerundio; DSWD Reg.8 Dir. Leticia Diokno; Melanie Villarinto, president of the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran Ass’n., who received a P250,000-livelihood fund for their mudcrab fattening project in Carigara, Leyte; and Aida Paner, Las Navas municipal DSWD officer.(Photo by DA8 Info Div.)

1st Phl Intl BioEnergy

Conference. President Benigno S. Aquino III and Secretary Procy Alcala unveil the National Biofuels Board booth to formally open the 1 st Philippine International BioEnergy Conference at Manila Hotel, January 12, 2012, attended by more than 100 Filipino and foreign bioenergy industry stakeholders. The conference took stock of the country’s initiatives to develop the biofuel sector and attract investors. President Aquino said renewable energy has always been a key consideration towards achieving a vision of a greener and more vibrant Philippines. He said the contribution of the biomass sector will increase from 39 megawatts of energy in 2010 to more than 300 megawatts by 2015, creating an additional 89,000 jobs. For his part, Sec. Alcala said the DA is keen on helping investors and farmers to develop more areas planted to bioethanol feedstock like sugarcane and sweet sorghum. Also shown are Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Jan Malkus, CEO of Amitelo AG. (see story on p4)

DA, EDC to develop Leyte ‘salad bowl’ The Department of Agriculture — in partnership with the PNOCEnergy Development Corporation (EDC), other institutions and farmers’ groups — will develop a 20,000-hectare area at Tongonan mountain range, straddling Ormoc City and Kananga town in Leyte, into a ‘salad bowl’ that will produce high value semi-temperate vegetables. Secretary Proceso J. Alcala led the signing of a memorandum of agreement on December 12 to implement said five-year initiative, called Agri-Pinoy integrated and diversified program for the development of the ‘OK’ upland range. OK refers collectively to Ormoc City and Kananga. The Tongonan mountain range is 500 to 800 meters above sea level. The DA and EDC will jointly invest P92 million in the next five years to develop suitable areas surrounding the Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF) to benefit 5,600 farmers, who are members of 23 farmers’ associations in Ormoc and Kananga. Sec. Alcala said the DA through the DA Region 8 and National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR) will assist farmers in the land preparation, cultivation, harvesting, processing, and marketing of vegetables and other high value commercial crops. Currently, farmers at LGPF produce vegetables and fruits like cabbage, green onion, tomato, eggplant, raddish, chayote, cucumber and pineapple. They har-

vest about five tons weekly and sell them at public markets in Ormoc and Kananga. Under the five-year project, farmers will be encouraged to plant other fruit crops like durian, rambutan and jackfruit, including coffee and abaca. Aside from the DA and EDC, the other project partners are the Visayas State University (VSU) and the Partners Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), representing the 23 farmers’ associations, in 16 barangays at the LGPF. It will benefit about 3,000 subsistence farm-families in seven villages in Kananga (Rizal, Hiluctogan, Montebello, Aguiting, Lim-ao, San Ignacio, and Tongonan) and nine villages in Ormoc City (Milagro, Nueva Vista, Cabaon-an, Danao, Gaas, Liberty, Tongonan, Mahayahay, and Dolores). “Sa pagsasamang ito, mahalaga na maliwanag sa bawat isa na hindi lamang tayo tutulong sa produksyon. Tutulong rin tayo sa processing, hanggang sa marketing. At sa marketing, mahalaga ang economies of scale. Hindi kayo makakakuha ng magandang presyo kung walang economies of scale,” said Sec. Alcala. Of the P92-M initial funding, the DA-NABCOR will share P29 million to establish a consolidation center and pilot packinghouse, and provide marketing support, said NABCOR presi (Pls turn to p11)


DA-Aggie Trends