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Agriculture

Seminars set at Agrilink trade show

Visitors who will attend the Agrilink trade show on October 6 to 8 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City will have a wide choice of seminars to attend during the three-day event. This was announced by Antonio V. Roces, president of Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development (FRLD) which is the lead organizer of the country’s premier agricultural trade expo. INDIGENOUS CROPS – On October 6, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) will discuss the various indigenous food crops found in different parts of the country. These include the sugod-sugod and kapas-kapas which are vine crops with edible fruits and shoots found in the Ilocos region. Another is the lagikway which is found in many parts of the country that …

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DA chief: San Miguel eyes investments in power, agriculture sectors in Sulu

MANILA -- Conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) plans to put up a power plant and feed mills in Sulu before the year ends, said Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on Friday. Piñol bared SMC’s planned investments after a meeting Wednesday with SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang, who considered these interventions their “important contributions to the peace efforts” of President Rodrigo Duterte. While these investments may be considered risky by other entrepreneurs, Ang said "Yes, we are willing to take the risks just so we could help President Duterte achieve peace and stability in the Southern Philippines, especially in the troubled island of Sulu." Piñol said the conglomerate will put up a 20-megawatt power plant for the main island. “For the small islands, I will ask the Department of Energy to establish solar …

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Nueva Ecija to be a top farm-tourism destination in the Philippines

Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija - Farm tourism in the Philippines is being developed as a relatively new way to attract tourists the same way to help farmers supplement their agricultural income is soon to be a big-break to come in this province known by many as the “Rice Granary of the Philippines” and the “Food Bowl of Central Luzon”. Recently, the first-ever tourism caravan held at SM City Cabanatuan wherein Senator Cynthia Villar made an announcement that Nueva Ecija will become one of the top Farm Tourism Destination in the country is supported by the new law R.A. No. 10816, also known as the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016”. “Farm tourism, as defined by the law, is the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, …

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Urban Agri trade fair a big success

The two-day Urban Agriculture trade fair on September 17-18 was a big hit at the Market! Market! Central Plaza in Taguig City. The event is part of a continuing project of Agriculture Magazine of Manila Bulletin. The trade fair was the third of a series that Agriculture Magazine plans to undertake in the coming years to promote farming and gardening in the urban areas. There are many plants and even small animals that can be produced for food in limited space, using innovative techniques of production. A number of entrepreneurs have shown that mushrooms can be grown practically every where in the city. Eric Rodriguez of Tanauan City was very proud in showing the Ganoderma mushrooms that he grows in his home. This is a special species with medicinal attributes. He also displayed …

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DA orders massive action to fight cocolisap in Mindanao

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered massive efforts be exerted to immediately contain the "cocolisap" infestation in Basilan, Sulu, Zamboanga Peninsula and Caraga region. “Unless immediate action is taken, these pernicious insects could lead to the collapse of the coconut industry in the Southern Philippines and worsen poverty in the farming sector of the country,” he said. Piñol said he issued a directive to DA regional officials to undertake massive efforts to support the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in containing the cocolisap infestation. “I have authorized the utilization of funds from the DA to immediately address the problem,” he said. The agriculture chief stressed that cocolisap is starting to destroy coconut trees in mainland Sulu, Caraga Region and the whole Zamboanga Peninsula. Piñol cited initial PCA reports indicating that 3 million out …

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DA launches lending program for marginal farmers, fishers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched a nationwide lending program that aims to address the financial needs of the marginal farmers and fishers, especially those in the 10 poorest provinces of the country. DA Secretary Manny Piñol led the launching of the nationwide Program for Unified Lending to Agriculture (PUNLA) in Northern Samar (Catarman) last September 15, and Eastern Samar (Borongan) last September 16. Together with Executive Director Jocelyn Alma Badiola of DA's Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), Piñol set in motion the lending facility which covers 10 of the poorest Philippine provinces. "This is part of the government’s effort to provide trouble-free services to rural communities, as we want to make things easier for them," Piñol said. "The problem with the current credit systems is that it has too many requirements, and …

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PH pledges full support to combat illegal fishing

The Philippines, led by Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr. and Agriculture Undersecretary for Fisheries and concurrent Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) Director Eduardo Gongona, pledged full support to combat illegal fishing during the Our Ocean Conference held in Washington D.C. on September 15 to 16. During the conference, RARE, a conservation organization in collaboration with Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), announced the creation of a $20 million Meloy Fund for Small-Scale Fisheries which attempts to attract private impact investments in community small-scale fisheries in the Philippines and Indonesia. “Despite providing half the world’s fish, constituting the vast majority of fishing-sector employment and encompassing our most critical marine habitat, there is a yawning gap in investment in the sector. The Meloy Fund aims to bridge that gap …

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Degraded streams into fish habitat

Dr. Macrina Zafaralla is a one-woman army going around the country to promote her advocacy of reviving degraded shallow streams and rivers by a very simple and doable technique that rids the water of pollution so fishes will thrive and multiply. In the scientist’s words, the technique is called Aquatic Macrophyte Biosorption System (AMBS). In the layman’s language, the technique simply uses water plants (water hyacinth or kangkong) that are held in place by a barrier made of short bamboo poles. The plants’ roots form a mat that filters out floating solids as well as absorbs and adsorbs substances that are dissolved in water. With the clean water, various fish species make the place their home. This way, the rehabilitated water system becomes a fish habitat that becomes a continuing source …

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PH to produce flavorful and fine cacao seeds

DAVAO CITY -- Cacao industry players are training their tools to produce flavorful and fine cacao seeds, said, Valente Turtur, chairperson of the Philippine Cacao Industry Development Council, during the Kakao Konek Asia Pacific Cocoa Conference which opened Thursday at the SMX Convention Center here. Turtur said, "We need to do it right from the start;" adding, "we need to influence all sectors to follow the standards." "We will not go wrong if we start right," he said. The 3rd Kakao Konek conference is attended by over 800 participants coming from the 16 regions in the country. He said the world is hungry for chocolate and chocolate consumption will continue to rise. The market globally is so huge and two countries in Asia have the highest consumption of chocolate, he said. "We are interested in …

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Plastic mulching made easier with machine

The use of plastic mulch in growing various crops, especially vegetables, has become very popular with farmers these days. This is the use of plastic sheet installed atop the planting bed. The usual dimension of those in the market is one meter wide and 400 meters long currently costing about P900 to P1,000 each. Toto Barcelona of Harbest Agribusiness is the fellow we know who first introduced plastic mulching commercially in the Philippines.  He will tell you that the first shipment of 10 rolls that he brought from Taiwan in 1998 took him more than a year to sell. Today, 18 years later, he could sell to just one customer one container load consisting of several hundred rolls. That’s how much the use plastic mulch has become popular as a standard …

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