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Agriculture

Poor farmers’ sweet pepperis productive

We visited the open house at the Allied Botanical Corporation’s experimental farm three days before it opened. We wanted to be the first to see what’s new in high-value vegetables and other crops. We were not disappointed. We were particularly impressed by Clarabel, the new sweet pepper which farm manager Herlo Atole called the poor man’s sweet pepper. Why poor man’s sweet pepper? Because it is a variety that even the poor farmer can afford to grow. It is very adaptable to lowland as well as highland conditions all over the country and can be grown even in the rainy season because it has high tolerance against soil-borne and foliage diseases compared to other varieties. Clarabel is prolific but Herlo stresses that the plant has to be adequately nourished to achieve the variety’s …

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BFAR to construct vessels worth P375 million to fight illegal fishing

As the government intensifies its fight against illegal fishing, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will be constructing two units of steel-hulled offshore vessels both worth P375 million. In a launching program in Navotas City last January 27, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala and National Coast Watch Center Undersecretary Jose Luis Alano along with other government officials led the ceremonial laying of keels for two units of 50.5-meter multi-mission vessels, which will soon be part of DA-BFAR’s inventory of floating assets intended to guard Philippine waters against illegal fishing practices. "This momentous event indicates government’s serious commitment for inclusive growth and poverty alleviation in all sectors, particularly agriculture and fisheries sectors, as we further intensify the country’s stance against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing," said Alcala. The multi-mission …

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Imperial Couple’s visit underscores Japan’s commitment to world food security

IRRI News LOS BAÑOS, Philippines – Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko received an overview of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the institute’s vibrant partnership with Japan during a short visit to the IRRI headquarters on Friday afternoon (29 January). IRRI director general Matthew Morell presented the institute's goals, financial supporters, and some prominent Japanese scientists who have been associated with the institute. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were briefed by V. Bruce J. Tolentino, deputy director general for communication and partnerships, on some of the improved rice varieties developed at IRRI. "Their Majesties expressed special interest in IRRI's work on climate-ready rice, particularly submergence-tolerant rice," Tolentino reported. "They also seemed pleased about the long-term relationship IRRI has had with the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and …

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Farm field day becomes a tourism event

What used to be a simple field day where farmers are invited to see the latest crop varieties in the experimental farm of Allied Botanical Corporation in Tayug, Pangasinan is becoming an agritourism event. The open house which is open to the public on February 5 to 7 will now feature activities designed to attract groups or families for the educational as well as fun-filled recreational presentations. Among the target visitors are people who are going to Baguio for the Panagbenga flower festivities. The company said the open house could be a worthwhile stopover for the Baguio-bound travelers, or for those who are traveling to other places in the north. According to Michael Caballes, ABC president, this year’s main highlight is the introduction of the company’s green products with the theme “Live Life …

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Novel ideas at farm tour destination

You will pick up practical farming techniques if you join the AANI Farm Tour on Sunday, January 31, which will visit the feed mill and experimental farm of Agrichexers in sta. Maria, Bulacan. The experimental farm is where the products of the feedmill are tested  for their efficiency not only in promoting animal growth but also in cutting cost of production. For instance, if you are a broiler raiser, whether backyard or commercial, you might like to adopt their practice of incorporating Noni juice in the drinking water of the birds. That’s their way of preventing respiratory and other diseases in chickens. You might also want to copy their practice of supplementing their commercial feeds for pigs and chickens with Azolla. This is a water plant that multiplies fast and is relished by …

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Black pepper in your home or your farm

Whether you reside in the urban area or in the province, you can grow black pepper for home use of for commercial purposes. Black pepper is very easy to grow with minimal care. In the urban area, you can grow your ‘paminta’ in two ways. You can grow plants that will grow up high, attaching themselves to a support, or you can grow dwarf black pepper in pots or containers that may be just one to two feet tall. Dwarf black pepper? The late Salvador Dolar who studied at UP Los Baños found that by rooting fruiting vines, instead of runners, and planting them in a container, the plants will not grow tall. Nevertheless, they are also fruitful. The other way is to grow plants that were propagated from runners or non-fruiting stems. …

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Poor Cebu corn farmers getting richer

The poor farmers in Cebu who used to lead a hand-to-mouth existence because of meager harvest from their native white corn have become much richer now, thanks to the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) launched by Dr. Romulo Davide in the mid-1990s. Dr. Davide is a retired professor from UP Los Baños who was given a grant of P500,000 for having been named the Most Outstanding Agricultural Scientist of the Year in 1994 by the Department of Agriculture. He decided to use the P500,000 grant as seed money for his FSTP and launched a program to teach the poor corn farmers the scientific way of improving not only their corn yields but also other crops and farm animals that they can take care. Late last year, no less than 2,000 graduates of the FSTP …

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Ilocos Norte supports tissue-cultured garlic

Laoag City, Ilocos Norte — To improve the quality of the locally-produced garlic in the province, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte supported the implementation of the garlic’s tissue culture production program here. Agriculturist Imelda Adalem of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) expressed gratitude not only to Governor Imee Marcos for spearheading the usage of this technique in the province, but also to a group of scientists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) consisting of Professor Lilian F. Pateña, Dr. Raol P. Pamiloza, and National Scientist Dr. RC Barba, who aided in planting and monitoring the crop. Tissue culture is a process allowing agriculturists to replicate one plant with desired characteristics into thousands of identical crops. Fragments of plant tissue are transferred to an artificial environment in which they are …

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Update on dairy goat production

It takes private initiative to come up with a viable system of dairy goat production in the tropics through a scientific approach that involves close observation and experimentation. The guys who now believe that dairy goat production under the tropical conditions of the Philippines are Rene Almeda and his two sons Art and Toti of the Alaminos Goat Farm. For eight years now, they have been raising dairy goats and are succeeding very well. GENETICS – The father and sons team now believes three important factors are needed in order to succeed in producing goat’s milk commercially under local conditions. Very important is genetics. This means that the herd must have superior bloodlines, no matter the high cost. The Almedas, for instance, did not mind importing a pedigreed Saanen buck from the …

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Farming the sea in Lanao Del Norte

Government projects that showcase practical opportunities whether in farming or fisheries, will always have positive results. Just like the mariculture park project in Lanao del Norte which was launched in 2010 in Panguil Bay. There, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) demonstrated fish farming in the ocean with circular and square cages for culturing bangus and other species. The first cycle showcased the stocking of 20,000 bangus fingerlings in one circular cage with a diameter of 8 meters. Bangus grows well in sea water. In four months of culture, and spending P250,000 on feeds, they harvested eight tons. Half of the harvest was sold to employees of the government at a discounted price of P110 per kilo whereas the other half was sold through the ordinary market at P120 per …

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