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Inspiring stories in April issue of Agriculture mag

Watch for the April 2016 issue of Agriculture magazine and get inspired by the success stories from Vietnam as well as from the local front. From Vietnam, you will read about how they manage to produce big volumes of jackfruit for export as well as for their local market. In dragon production, they really undertake large scale projects. In one place in Long An province, for instance, no less than 800 hectares are devoted to dragon fruit production in one contiguous place. One company, MIT International, processes as many as 20 tons of jackfruit a day because there is sufficient supply from farmers in a province. And that is the reason why a Philippine supermarket chain has been importing frozen jackfruit pulp by the tons. That is something that it cannot procure …

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Cacao Summit slated in Cebu City this May

A three-day Cacao Summit will be conducted on May 27-29 at the Sky Hall of SM Seaside in Cebu City. The event is under the initiative of Plantacion de Sikwate (PDS), a group of agriculturists who claim to have a special concern for the environment and  who are aware of the huge potential of the cacao industry in the Philippines. Christopher Fadriga, national president of PDS, said that the Summit aims to strengthen the industry by expanding the areas of production. He pointed out that the Philippines is ideal for quality cacao production because it is situated ten degrees above the equator. He also notes that the world supply of cocoa beans has been in the decline because child labor in the cacao industry has been banned in some cacao-producing countries. The …

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Growing the exotic and large flowered Cattleya

The Cattleya is one of the trademarks of the orchid industry. Years back, a picture of a huge Cattleya flower always comes into mind whenever the word orchid is mentioned.   Named after the English orchid collector William Cattley, the Cattleyas and their alliance comprise about 60 or more species, and this plant group still remains to be the best known and most popular of all orchids around the world. Cattleyas have long been counted among the best known and most sought-after orchids because of their beautiful, colorful and large flowers.  It is also one of the most recommended orchid group for beginners as they reward the grower with large flowers.  Their value to the nursery man has increased through the culture of specific hybrids and intergeneric hybrids. However, Cattleyas are not native …

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Flower power in the March Agri magazine

Make sure to get a copy of the March issue of Agriculture magazine and read about the increasing interest of seed companies in the business potentials of flowering plants. East-West Seed, Allied Botanical, Ramgo and other companies are prominently showcasing their flowering plants that include different varieties of sunflower, dwarf zinnias, begonias, petunias, cannas and many others. The beautiful thing about promoting the flower industry is that is is one business that both the small players as well as the corporate operators can engage in. The small growers can sell their produce in niche markets that the big operators will not care to get into because these may be too small for them. That includes small flower shops, weekend markets and garden shows. On the other hand, the big players can cater …

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Firm tops global seed index

A seed company that was started in the Philippines 34 years ago, East-West Seed, ranks No.1 in the Access to Seeds Index in 2 out of 3 indices published for the first time last February.. The Index measures and compares the efforts of the world’s leading seed companies to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers. The Index was published by the Access to Seeds Index Foundation, an independent organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch Government. It aims to improve farmers’ access to a wider array of modern, more productive seed varieties by bridging the gap between seed companies and the smallholder farmer. Bill Gates, speaking at a recent forum on innovation, emphasized the importance of agriculture in achieving global prosperity: “Over 70% of the poor people …

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Agriculture overtakes fossil fuels in global methane emissions

WELLINGTON -- Agriculture -- and not fossil fuels -- is the major cause of the rise in methane levels in the atmosphere over the last decade, according to a New Zealand-led study on climate change out Friday. The study led by the government's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) concluded that increasing levels of methane since 2007 were most likely due to agricultural practices, and not fossil fuel production as previously thought. The amount of methane -- a greenhouse gas and one of the major contributors to climate change -- in the atmosphere is estimated to have risen by about 150 percent since 1750, said study leader and NIWA atmospheric scientist Hinrich Schaefer. NIWA researchers worked with scientists in Germany and the United States to calculate the global average methane in …

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PCC puts up Milka Krem branch at UPLB

Nueva Ecija – The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) will establish a Milka Krem branch in its regional center at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, PCC acting executive director, said that PCC Milka Krem at UPLB will showcase profitable dairy processing technologies and quality control protocols that can be adopted and commercialized by private entrepreneurs or the business sector. The dairy outlet will offer deliciously fresh and health-promoting dairy products such as fresh milk, choco milk, coffee milk, fruit-flavored juices, white cheese, mozzarella, pastillas de leche, assorted flavors of yoghurt and yoghurt drink, and ice cream. Supplies of milk will be sourced from the milk collection and processing plant and from assisted dairy cooperatives of PCC at UPLB. The PCC put up the first Milka Krem here …

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National mango congress set in Laoag City

Once again the mango stakeholders are holding the annual National Mango Congress. This time it will be on March 15 to 17 in Laoag City with the mango growers headed by Mango King Ricardo Tolentino as host. Once again, the problem of profitability for the farmers are expected to be brought out and as in previous mango congresses, cooperation among growers in Luzon, Visayas In Luzon, particularly in the north, the bulk of mango harvest comes in the months of April and May. And if the Mindanao growers also time their harvest in the same months, prices inevitably tumble to unprofitable levels. The only players in the industry who would rejoice would be the processors who will be able to buy their requirements at as low as P8 to P10 per kilo despite …

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Mini trade fair in a small town

Activities like trade fairs, garden shows, agri-bazaars can stimulate business opportunities even in small towns like Teresa, Rizal. Teresa is a small town compared to many municipalities in various parts of the country but it has its own advantages. If more Teresians were aware of the opportunities that are hitherto unharnessed, the town could achieve faster pace of progress. And that is probably what Mayor Raul Palino had in mind when he launched the first mini trade fair last March 1 that ran through March 3. And based on the reaction of the people who gathered during the opening rites, the Mayor was confident that from now hence, the trade fair would become an annual event. One advantage of Teresa is that it is very near Metro Manila which could absorb whatever marketable …

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How they grow dragon fruit in Vietnam

Dragon fruit production in Vietnam is different in a number of ways when compared to the Philippines. In the Philippines, dragon fruit farmers are usually on their own growing the fruit crop on limited farm lots. The bigger ones in the Philippines like Refmad Farm of Edita Dacuycuy in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, grow their dragon fruit on about 10 hectares or a bit more. In other places like Pangasinan, Cavite and elsewhere, the area planted may not exceed 10 hectares. Many are growing their dragon fruit on even less than a hectare. In contrast, one farm that we visited in Long An province in Vietnam has a plantation of 100 hectares. In the adjoining areas, other farmers are growing no less than 700 hectares. Thus the visitor will see nothing but dragon …

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