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Agriculture

Govt to set 2-year moratorium on land-use conversion

The government is preparing an executive order that will set a two-year moratorium on the conversion of agricultural lands in the country. The proposed moratorium on land-use conversion was formally adopted by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) during a meeting convened by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in Malacañang last Monday. “PARC has agreed, adopted the imposition of a two-year moratorium of conversion of agricultural lands. We have started to draft an executive order  that will subject to the study and approval of President Duterte,” Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said in Filipino during a Palace press conference. "There is a state policy to preserve agricultural lands to ensure food security," he said. Mariano said the draft EO seeks to declare a “moratorium on the processing and approval of all applications for land use …

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ToFarm launches 2017 film festival

ToFarm will be holding its 2nd Film in 2017 with the theme "Planting the seeds of change." Because of the advent of change and the fast development of modern technology as well as the changes in attitudes, cultures, mores and lifestyle, the farmer needs to open himself up to new visions and perspectives. He is encouraged to look for innovative approaches to farming and agriculture, fishing, and animal husbandry. These objectives should be incorporated in the film entries. A total of six (6) film scripts will be selected by the screening committee and will each be given grants of P1.5-million for production. The ToFarm Film Festival aims to uplift the farmers as well as his professional development. It is most worthy and significant since this is the only film festival that showcases …

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Record crowd attends harvest fest in Tanauan

A record crowd of more than 500 farmers and other visitors attended the first day of the three-day harvest festival which ends today, Saturday, at the Farm 2 of Agri-Tech Integrated Services (ATISCO) in Brgy. Talaga, Tanauan City, Batangas. The attendees observed the high-value crops planted by three leading seed companies that include East-West Seed, Allied Botanical Corporation and Bayer Vegetable Seeds. Aside from vegetables and other high-value crops, there was also a showcase of Korean agricultural machines that include the Branson tractor and its equipment, and the compact Lee Hwa rice mill. The farmers and other attendees also listened to the agricultural programs of the local government unit headed by Mayor Antonio Halili and other city and agriculture officials. Also speaking before the attendees were Arnel de Mesa and Jennifer Remoquillo …

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Harvest festival features veggies, farm machines

A three-day harvest festival starts today and will end on Saturday at the Farm 2 of Agri-Tech Integrated Services Co. (ATISCO) in Brgy. Talaga, Tanauan City. The event will feature a demonstration on the capabilities of Branson tractor from Korea using various land preparation equipment like rotavator, disc plow, levee maker, buck hoe and others. At the same time, the visitors will see for themselves the performance of various vegetable varieties and other high-value crops planted by participating seed companies that include Allied Botanical Corporation, Bayer Vegetable Seeds and East-West Seed. The seed companies have planted their favorite varieties so the farmers  can  see for themselves how the hybrids fare under the conditions obtaining in Tanauan City, particularly Farm 2 of  ATISCO.  ATISCO pioneers in a farming concept that starts with the production …

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DA eyeing to set up Visayas’ first halal abattoir Negros Occidental

BACOLOD CITY -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing to set up the first halal slaughterhouse in the Visayas in Negros Occidental. DA Assistant Secretary for Livestock Enrico Garzon Jr., who visited the province over the weekend, said Negros Occidental is being considered because of the strong implementation of its various livestock development programs. He added that the agency plans to assist Negros Occidental in developing a halal slaughterhouse for commodities such as sheep, cattle and goat. Halal food refers to food permitted under the Shariah (Islamic) Law. Garzon said halal commodities have to pass certain guidelines in accordance with Muslim laws, from production to slaughtering. During his visit to Negros Occidental, Garzon toured the Provincial Livestock Breeding Center and Dairy Farm in Barangay La Granja, La Carlota City, and the Negros First Ranch …

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Mechanization is the way to go in farming

In the past, about the only form mechanization in the Philippines was the use of tractors in tilling the land. That was fine but times have changed. Some have expressed before that mechanization would displace the manual workers in the farm. That is not true. With more machines that produce bigger harvests, there are new opportunities for people to be employed in higher-paying employment in the community. With higher income of farmers, there are new investments that could be made. Today, it is possible to mechanize many farm chores. The latest we have gathered is that FIT Corea which distributes various Korean farm machines in the Philippines is introducing a direct-seeding machine for rice. This can seed four hectares in one day, according to FIT Corea president Philip Kim. The good thing about …

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Animal nutrition innovations at Agrilink

Innovations in animal health and nutrition will be showcased at the Agrilink trade show slated on October 6 to 8 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Doing the honors will be the Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO), a leader in its field. The company manufactures and distributes animal health and nutrition products for swine, poultry, gamefowl, pigeons, dogs and fish. To bolster its capability to meet the requirements of the industry, it has formed alliances with global leaders in the field of animal health and nutrition such as Akey Nutrition and Research Center, Alltech, Novus International and Royal DSM in the development of new specialty ingredients, innovative products, new inputs and technologies. UNAHCO president and COO Ricardo C. Alba said: “Celebrating 50 years in the animal health industry, …

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Kids taught importance of farming

A leisure farm in Taiwan has way of inculcating the importance of agriculture in the young minds of kids and their parents. This is at the Tongshan Rice and Tea Resort, a member of the Taiwan Leisure Farms Development Association based in Yilan county. We visited the place recently in the company of other journalists and travel agents. What did we find when we arrived there? About a dozen kids less than ten years old accompanied by their mothers. The kids were really enjoying straining and mixing the medium for producing mushroom spawns. Tongshan township is where 40,000 people, mostly farmers, reside. Several years back, Tammy Chien decided to convert an old warehouse into a learning center with focus on farming. The town’s four main products are rice, mushroom, pomelo and tea. At …

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SC justices have conflicting views on Marcos burial issue

Even Supreme Court (SC) justices have conflicting views on the decision of President Duterte to bury the remains of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City. Justice Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro said there is no system of evaluation to determine who are qualified to be buried at the LNMB. In her interpellation of the petitioners in the six cases against the Marcos burial at LNMB, De Castro pointed out that most of the people interred at the LNMB were those with military connections. She said that “even spouses of the secretaries of national defense are buried there.” Then she asked: “Are they heroes?” Justice Jose Portugal Perez said “there is no established body or agency which can determine who is a hero or …

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Stop blaming goat meat for high blood pressure

JAKARTA -- To reduce import of beef, the Indonesian government will focus on developing sheep and goat farming in the country to provide alternative animal protein for consumers at home. However, even though it is more of a myth than reality, the fact is that many people still consider goat meat as something that leads to high blood pressure and increased cholesterol in the body. Many doctors have clarified that consuming lamb or goat meat is not the main cause of hypertension as understood by certain quarters. Goat meat has high saturated fat content yet the unsaturated fat is even higher. It should also be noted that the saturated fat in goat meat is less than that found in beef or lamb. So, one should not avoid consuming goat satay if one consumes …

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