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Agriculture

How to remove chemical residue in vegetables

Would you believe that by soaking your vegetables in a solution of two teaspoons of vinegar in a liter of water you can remove up to 80 percent of the pesticide residues? Yes, that’s one of four easy ways you can remove pesticide residues recommended by Dr. Susan May F. Calumpang of UP Los Baños. She and members of her team have found that out in a research project funded by PCAARRD, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology. The study was aimed at establishing mitigating measures to minimize pesticide residues in intact and fresh-cut vegetables and sprouts. The research team now suggests four very easy and simple ways of removing pesticide residues in vegetables. Here they are: 1. Mix two teaspoons of vinegar into 4 cups of water and use …

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Producers aim for quality coffee to meet global demand

DAVAO CITY -- The government and the private sector involved in coffee production are advocating for quality consciousness in order to improve value for products as well as meet the global demand. Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Evelyn G. Laviña said the market only needs quality coffee and “this is what we need to do.” Laviña was the guest speaker at the opening of the 9th National Coffee Summit on Wednesday at SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang. She said the DA has placed coffee as one of the priorities under the high-value crops program. There are initiatives that were lined up to address pressing concerns affecting coffee production, she said. Laviña mentioned that quality production must start with the planting materials which DA regularly provides. However, she said that procurement of the planting materials must …

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Interesting agri-people at Agrilink

At trade shows like the recent Agrilink, you don’t only see new products on exhibit, you also meet interesting agri-people who are full of valuable information and ideas concerning agribusiness. One such fellow is Arleen Valera, a UP Los Baños graduate who for many years was the biggest producer of sweet corn in the Philippines. We remember reading about his success in an issue of Readers’ Digest. Oh yes, that was how successful he was. Then we have lost track of him, only to meet him on the last day of Agrilink 2016. Where did he go? Why did he give up his sweet corn business? He said he was a victim of climate change. He confessed that when his sweet corn business was devastated by strong typhoons five years in a row, …

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Stronger law enforcement key to boosting fish production, says fisheries bureau

MANILA -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is pushing for stronger enforcement measures to achieve sustainable fisheries and seafood self-sufficiency in the country. “We have to maintain and protect our traditional fishing grounds. If we properly enforce our fisheries law, we will have enough fish. We need action, and we need to do it now,” the bureau’s national director, Eduardo Gongona, told reporters in a recent press conference in Quezon City. Gongona pointed to the lack of enforcement as one of the reasons why illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing prevails, worsening the damage to the Philippines’ rich but vastly threatened marine resources. Lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, vice president of Oceana Philippines estimated that 56 percent of the Filipinos’ animal protein comes from fish, and 93 percent of fish caught …

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AgriNurture buys 49% stake in China-based agri-commodity trading firm for Php 308 M

MANILA -- Listed firm AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) has bought a 49-stake in agri-commodity trading company Zongshan Fucang Trade Co. Ltd. for Php 308.12 million (Renminbi 42.63 million) to expand its operations in China. Fucang is an agri-commodity trading company based in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, China, mainly engaged in the importation of rice and fruits from South East Asia and export of spices from China to various countries worldwide. It has also various investments in rural real estate development and agri trading platform. “The acquisition is expected to expand the trading business of the company and to develop new distribution networks in China,” ANI told the local bourse.

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P100-M agri lab to rise in Davao City

By Antonio L. Colina IV DAVAO CITY — A one-stop-shop laboratory facility to further promote research and development in Davao region’s agriculture industry will soon rise in Davao City. Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol announced plans to construct a P100 million laboratory facility in Bago Oshiro in Tugbok District here that will handle plant disease, animal disease, water and soil analysis. He said this will especially benefit the banana industry, which “has largely been left on its own in dealing with problems on plant diseases, tenurial issues and extortion by rebel group.” One of the problems banana growers face is the Fusarim wilt or Panama disease, which the Department of Agriculture Region 11 said has already affected 15,700 hectares of banana plantations in Davao Region. Piñol added that the banana industry levies over P6 billion annually in taxes, provides a total of P150 billion …

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NFA: Davao region to get 20,000 MT of imported rice

By Antonio L. Colina IV DAVAO CITY — Davao region will receive some 20,000 metric tons of rice out of the 250,000 metric tons it imported from Vietnam and Thailand to augment its buffer stock for the last quarter of 2017, the National Food Authority said. Edegary Roncal told Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday, October 10, that the region needs to increase its supply after it suffered adversely from the El Niño phenomenon, which damaged about 60 percent of the region’s rice production. “A few months back, our crops had been severely damaged due to drought. Because of that, we expect a decrease in the volume of production of our local farmers. We need to import to augment the food requirements,” she said. She said the latest harvest of the local rice farmers will not …

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Body formed to lobby for law on PH banana council, research center

By Antonio L. Colina IV DAVAO CITY – Banana exporters in Davao Region have formed a group to push for the passage of a law that will establish a banana council and a research and development center. The interim body comprises six private-sector members and three from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and local government units, Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) region 11 president Ferdinand Marañon said. The move comes as President Rodrigo Duterte expressed support to the formation of the Philippine Banana Industry Development Council to guide the growth and address the concerns in the industry. During the three-day Banana Congress 2016 at the SMX Convention Center Davao, Duterte rejected a draft executive order prepared by the banana players and instead advocated for the passage of the Philippine Comprehensive Banana Act of …

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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.” FRLD is the Foundation for Resource …

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PH can be rice self-sufficient thru hybrid seeds, farm mechanization

The country’s rice industry faces a bright future, and in the next two to three years it could be self-sufficient and ably compete with its Asian counterparts. This is the sentiment of more than 3,000 farmers, private seed producers and government officials who attended the 3rd national rice technology forum from September 27 to 29, 2016, in Polangui, Albay. The key is planting quality inbred and hybrid rice varieties, adopting the recommended package of technologies and farm mechanization — which was successfully demonstrated to thousands of Bicol farmers at a contiguous, commercial-scale 20-hectare technology demonstration farm in Barangay Balangibang, Polangi, Albay. To date, it is the largest techno-demo area planted to various wet season hybrid and inbred rice varieties, said Recher Ondap, president of the Rice Productivity Advocacy, Inc. (Rice Board). The farmer-cooperators, led …

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