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Duterte dreams of corruption-free Agri Department

One of the big changes that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to implement today is to make the Department of Agriculture corruption-free, at least, during his term of office. In his speech read by Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña at the opening of Agrilink 2016 at the World Trade Center, the president said he has instructed the DA to link up with the Bureau of Customs and other relevant agencies to once and for all stop and never to allow ever again the smuggling of rice, meat products and other agricultural products like onion, garlic and ginger.

The president said he truly appreciates the “huge assistance that private sector groups like FRLD provide us to spur the growth of agricultural production and trade through agricultural trade fairs like Agrilink.”

  • AT THE NEGROS ISLAND EXHIBIT BOOTH – Antonio V. Roces (left), president of FRLD, talks to Occidental Negros Gov. Alfredo Marañon on opening day of Agrilink 2016. They are at the exhibit booth of Negros Island where they sampled the specialty food products of the new region. With them are Sen. Cynthia Villar, DA Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña for agribusiness and high-value crops, Ramon Uy Jr. of Bacolod and others. This year’s Agrilink theme is “Negros Island: A Model of Agribusiness Resiliency.”

    AT THE NEGROS ISLAND EXHIBIT BOOTH – Antonio V. Roces (left), president of FRLD, talks to Occidental Negros Gov. Alfredo Marañon on opening day of Agrilink 2016. They are at the exhibit booth of Negros Island where they sampled the specialty food products of the new region. With them are Sen. Cynthia Villar, DA Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña for agribusiness and high-value crops, Ramon Uy Jr. of Bacolod and others. This year’s Agrilink theme is “Negros Island: A Model of Agribusiness Resiliency.”

  • EVELYN LAVIÑA, DA undersecretary for agribusiness and high-value crops, read the speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the opening of Agrilink 2016 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. The president spelled out the government’s focus in agricultural development which is production of sufficient staple food and high-value crops for export.

    EVELYN LAVIÑA, DA undersecretary for agribusiness and high-value crops, read the speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the opening of Agrilink 2016 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. The president spelled out the government’s focus in agricultural development which is production of sufficient staple food and high-value crops for export.

  • MARY ANN WU shows her Red Lady papaya which she is selling at her booth at the Agrilink trade show. She has developed a five-hectare area in her farm in Sto. Tomas, Batangas where she is commercially producing papaya, various ornamental plants, salad vegetables and others. One special crop that she grows is the black pepper from India.

    MARY ANN WU shows her Red Lady papaya which she is selling at her booth at the Agrilink trade show. She has developed a five-hectare area in her farm in Sto. Tomas, Batangas where she is commercially producing papaya, various ornamental plants, salad vegetables and others. One special crop that she grows is the black pepper from India.

  • JULIUS BARCELONA of Known-You Philippines smiles as he shows his favorite Jade Lady honeydew melon in his company’s booth at the Agrilink trade show. Honeydew, watermelon and melons are the focus crops of his company. These are high-priced fruits that are harvestable in just a little over two months from planting.

    JULIUS BARCELONA of Known-You Philippines smiles as he shows his favorite Jade Lady honeydew melon in his company’s booth at the Agrilink trade show. Honeydew, watermelon and melons are the focus crops of his company. These are high-priced fruits that are harvestable in just a little over two months from planting.

  • SUPER HOT CHILLI – Diablo is the varietal name of this super hot chilli at the exhibit booth of Harbest Agribusiness at the Agrilink trade show. There is an increasing interest in hot peppers because this is one crop that commands a high price. The fruits are processed into several value-added products like hot sauces, flakes, powder and many more.

    SUPER HOT CHILLI – Diablo is the varietal name of this super hot chilli at the exhibit booth of Harbest Agribusiness at the Agrilink trade show. There is an increasing interest in hot peppers because this is one crop that commands a high price. The fruits are processed into several value-added products like hot sauces, flakes, powder and many more.

  • KOREAN FARM MACHINERY – One of the biggest foreign exhibitors at the Agrilink trade show is the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO). The members manufacture a wide range of agricultural machinery such as tractors, rotavators, combine harvesters, transplanters, seeders, rice mills and many more. In photo are Philip Kim (left), president of Fitcorea Trading Philippines which represents KAMICO in the country, and Kyu-Chui Nam, deputy general manager of KAMICO.

    KOREAN FARM MACHINERY – One of the biggest foreign exhibitors at the Agrilink trade show is the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO). The members manufacture a wide range of agricultural machinery such as tractors, rotavators, combine harvesters, transplanters, seeders, rice mills and many more. In photo are Philip Kim (left), president of Fitcorea Trading Philippines which represents KAMICO in the country, and Kyu-Chui Nam, deputy general manager of KAMICO.

  • BIG BEGONIA – Eduardo A. Arro Jr., business manager for Farm-Ready seedlings of East-West Seed, poses with the new begonia which comes by the varietal name of Big Begonia, a newly introduced flowering ornamental in the country. There is an increasing interest in flowering ornamentals in the country. The major seed companies, aside from East-West, are introducing more and more flowering ornamentals to meet the growing interest of local customers.

    BIG BEGONIA – Eduardo A. Arro Jr., business manager for Farm-Ready seedlings of East-West Seed, poses with the new begonia which comes by the varietal name of Big Begonia, a newly introduced flowering ornamental in the country. There is an increasing interest in flowering ornamentals in the country. The major seed companies, aside from East-West, are introducing more and more flowering ornamentals to meet the growing interest of local customers.

  • BEST-SELLING RAMBUTAN – The fruits as well as the grafted planting materials of R-5 rambutan are bestsellers in the Agrilink trade show. This variety is an award-winning rambutan that produces big, fleshy fruits that are sweet and juicy. The flesh readily separates from the seed. Photo shows Rose Banzuela attending to a fruit buyer at the outdoor exhibit section of Agrilink. Planting materials of other exotic fruit trees are for sale at the trade show, including longkong and duku lanzones, sweet kamias, Vietnam pummelo varieties, super avocado and many others.

    BEST-SELLING RAMBUTAN – The fruits as well as the grafted planting materials of R-5 rambutan are bestsellers in the Agrilink trade show. This variety is an award-winning rambutan that produces big, fleshy fruits that are sweet and juicy. The flesh readily separates from the seed. Photo shows Rose Banzuela attending to a fruit buyer at the outdoor exhibit section of Agrilink. Planting materials of other exotic fruit trees are for sale at the trade show, including longkong and duku lanzones, sweet kamias, Vietnam pummelo varieties, super avocado and many others.

FRLD is the Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development headed by Antonio V. Roces which has been staging the country’s biggest agricultural trade expo every year in the last 23 years.

The president said that the country’s agricultural efforts today are focused on the production and trade of two groups of commodities, namely: staple food commodities to ensure food sufficiency and security, and high-value crops to generate jobs and foreign exchange.

The chief executive added that his administration is working on a national color-coded agriculture and fisheries map, a food consumption quantification study, a massive institutional restructuring of the DA, intensive technology updating, and agricultural credit review for lower interest rates.

For rice, corn and other staple food, his administration is aiming for self-sufficiency. This will mean intensified research efforts to improve farming technologies for rice and other commodities, including the use of high-yielding varieties, effective soil rehabilitation and fertilizer program and modern postharvest facilities to minimize losses.

For the high-value crops such as coconut, banana, rubber, pineapple and many more, processing, value-adding and aggressive global marketing will be the keywords. The president said he also supports the DA’s efforts to involve urban communities and businesses in sustained vegetable production in the urban areas.

Touching on the theme of this year, which is Negros Island as a model of agricultural resiliency, the president said that it falls in line with the new government’s focus on grassroots-initiated, participatory and inclusive development and growth. Gov. Alfredo Marañon of Negros Occidental was at the opening day to lead a delegation from his province.

HUGE TURNOUT – This year’s edition of Agrilink attracted a large turnout of attendees from various parts of the country, A retired civil engineer, Arnold Arias from Naga City, had to visit the expo just so he could buy exotic fruit trees to add to his collection. From Batac City, a retired medical doctor, Camilo Garganta, and his wife came to visit Agrilink just like they had done in previous years because they want to know the latest technologies in farming. Modern hog production is a major interest of Dr. Garganta.

From La Union, agribusinessman Daniel Bolong Jr. brought along with him his nephew, Jake, who has taken over the management of a diversified farm left behind by his grandfather who passed away last year. Daniel Jr. wants his nephew to get acquainted with the latest technologies in livestock and crop farming. Jake is now managing a farm that is engaged in poultry, piggery, dairy and production of various crops.

NEW TECHNOLOGY – A double-deck broiler house is one of the latest technologies that is being introduced in the country by Bitrade, a member of the Infarmco Group that is engaged in livestock production and distribution of supplies. Did you know that on a 2,700 square meters of land one can now raise 90,000 broilers that can be harvested in just a matter of 30 days, each bird weighing 1.5 to 1.7 kilos? The technology, according to Dr. Arnel Amurao, a veterinarian of the company, was first developed by the Germans but was significantly improved by the Japanese. The first farm to adopt this is Gama Farm in Bukidnon.

FLOWERING ORNAMENTALS – One very visible development is the introduction of more and more flowering ornamentals by the major seed companies in the country. Ramgo, for instance, has intensified its distribution of flowering plants. The same is true with Allied Botanical Corporation which is adding more and more species to its sunflower varieties. And so is East-West Seed which has brought a begonia that comes by the varietal name Big Begonia.

There are really a lot of exhibits to explore at the Agrilink. Today is your last chance to visit. You will be glad you did.