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Eastern Visayas rice yield up, but only slightly

Tacloban City — The total rice output for the first six months of the year in Eastern Visayas posted a 3.3 percent increase, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) noted in its July survey. From 149,867 hectares in the same period last year, the total area harvested climbed to 154,805 hectares. The production level rose from 528,247 metric tons (MT) in 2015 to 545,696 MT this year. “A positive growth in the rice production is somehow compensating to the Department of Agriculture. It means that there is a positive production performance in rice, but we have to take note that what we really want is rice sufficiency,” said Rodel Macapañas, rice program report officer. The region is targeting a total harvested area of 290,356 hectares and one million metric tons for the entire year.

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All roads lead to Agrilink trade show

All roads, so to speak, lead to the World Trade Center in Pasay City as agricultural enthusiasts all over the country flock to the three-day Agrilink trade show which starts today and will end on Saturday. Evelyn Laviña, Department Agriculture undersecretary for agribusiness and high-value crops, will lead the government officials in the ceremonial opening of the event at 9 a.m. today together with personalities involved in agricultural pursuits like Sen. Cynthia Villar, government agency directors, foreign ambassadors and others. Laviña is scheduled to address issues of sustainability, food security, global competitiveness and agricultural resiliency, according to Antonio V. Roces, president of the Foundation for Resources Linkage and Development (FRLD), the company responsible for staging the annual event which is considered the mostly attended event of its kind in the Philippines. More than …

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DA wants higher 2017 budget to P61B

There's still hope for Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to have his ideal budget for 2017 after both the Congress and the Senate asked him to submit an amended budget proposal. Piñol said the DA may get an additional P15 billion for next year, on top of its House-approved budget of P46 billion. If approved, the department's budget for next year could go to as high as P61 billion, quite near the P71 billion the Secretary earlier proposed in order to start working with his rice self-sufficiency program. This, after Senator Cynthia Villar told Piñol to allot a higher budget for Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) projects and for livestock development. Villar is currently the chairperson of Senate committee on agriculture and food. "In the Senate the other day, instead of cutting our budget, Senator …

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DA wants snaps of PHL agri products displayed in NAIA hallways

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said it is planning to boost promotion of Philippine agriculture products by having snapshots of them displayed in hallways of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to pique the interest of arriving tourists. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol announced this plan in a Senate hearing on the department’s 2017 proposed budget of P50.6 billion which is lower by 6.34 percent versus this year’s budget of P53.9 billion. Piñol said he has already spoken with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on the plan to enhance the department’s agriculture marketing service by utilizing the country’s main gateway. He expressed hope that the “simple” idea of placing photos of products with contact details will help the lives of farmers and fisher folk. “We don’t have to spend much to really promote …

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Nigeria targets sufficiency in local food production — president

ABUJA -- Nigeria is looking inwards to solve its present economic challenges and aims to be self-sufficient in food production by 2019, the country's leader, Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday. Buhari, in a national broadcast to mark Nigeria's 56th independence anniversary, said the government has rolled out plans to ensure sufficiency in local food production. He said the government has launched a new scheme to boost rural economy. The scheme has been introduced to local farmers, particularly to reinvigorate agriculture in rural communities. The scheme, Buhari said, would determine sufficiency in the production of millet, sorghum, soybean, rice and maize. Through the scheme, spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, production of staple crops has been increased in 13 states across Nigeria, he added. According to Buhari, the scheme, tagged "Life Program", will …

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Small dairy project right for OFWs

An investment scheme for a small dairy project mainly targeting OFWs has been launched by a dairy farm in Batangas. Called the Dairy Gold scheme, it also offers an excellent livelihood opportunity to retirees and aspiring farmers. The proponent is the King Ranch Dairy Farm in Rosario, Batangas which boasts of a herd of more than 200 dairy cows, many of them in the milk line. Actually, there are three investment packages offered under the Dairy Gold scheme, according to King Carlos who manages the farm together with his father Alex. The investor can choose the package that will suit his financial capacity. Package A consists of three pregnant heifers imported from New Zealand which are crosses of Holstein Friesian and tropical breeds like Sahiwal, Jersey and Ayr. Package B consists of …

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APEC Ministers Issue Piura Declaration on Food Security

Piura, Peru — In recognition of the key role that food security plays in achieving quality growth and prosperity in the region, Ministers and heads of delegation from the APEC 21 economies issued a statement that sets clear steps forward to enhance food markets and sustainably produce food in the face of challenges to production. The statement reflects the outcomes of the APEC Food Security Ministerial Meeting chaired by Peru’s Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation José Manuel Hernández. Specifically, Ministers described collaboration points to enhance regional food markets and trade; develop sustainable and resilient food systems; foster cooperation for the sustainable use and integrated management of water resources; encourage innovation and technology; fast-track rural-urban development and establish infrastructure, investment, and services for food security. Read Piura Declaration on Food Security (Issued by the APEC …

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Containment measure vs. aggressive cocolisap infestation in Basilan launched

The coconut industry of Basilan, valued at more than P2 billion, is now experiencing a more aggressive coconut scale insect (CSI) infestation, prompting the government to launch in full force an emergency containment measure against the pestilence. The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said that its 60-day emergency containment measure against the infestation, or commonly known as 'cocolisap', in the province is now in full force, with the rehabilitation program to follow promptly. With an annual production of 163.2 million metric tons of copra, Basilan, which mainly relies on their coconut industry, is one of the top coconut producers in the country. Basilan has been suffering from the infestation since 2014 until mid of this year due to the prolonged drought in the region, which had already damaged three million of six million coconut …

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Former OFW specializes in bicolor corn

Jorge “George” Edrada, 44, used to work for a construction company in Saudia Arabia. After his overseas employment ended after four years, he decided to return to the Philippines to become a full-time farmer. He has now realized that farming, after all, can provide a better income than working abroad. In the beginning, he tried planting eggplant and other vegetables after rice but that did not suit his liking for long. What he found more profitable is to grow green corn for boiling throughout the year, and one crop of rice for home consumption. Green corn for boiling has its own advantages over other crops. It is saleable and it can be grown throughout the year. The turnover is also  fast. What he has been doing is to plant corn on 5,000-square …

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Philexport calls on PH gov’t to create banana council

By Antonio L. Colina IV DAVAO CITY – Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) in Davao Region has renewed its calls to the Philippine government to create a Banana Industry Development Council that will guide the growth of the banana sector in Mindanao. Philexport-Davao president Ferdinand Marañon told Kapehan sa Dabaw Monday that it is necessary to put up such a body who “will do the planning and handle the overall development of the industry whose potential is big.” The council will also plot which areas in Mindanao are ideal for the expansion of the banana farmers and what specific variety of a banana can be planted in an area in order to address the supply gap in the market. “It is going to be a big help for the banana industry,” he said. He added …

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