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Agriculture

PH dragon fruit reaches Canadian market

BURGOS, Ilocos Norte-- Over a decade since a scaly bright pink fruit that reminded some of a dragon found its way to the Philippines, tons of dragon fruits are now being produced in various parts of the country, giving profitable income and livelihood mostly to Ilocanos in this part of Luzon. On August 26, 2016, the first shipment of more than 600 kilos of Philippines premium dragon fruit landed in Richmond City, British Columbia, Canada through a fruit and vegetable importer Pahoa Produce Ltd. While packing the freshly picked fruits in a box produced by the REFMAD Farms in Paayas village, this town, Edita Aguinaldo-Dacuycuy popularly known as a multi-awarded dragon fruit lady of the Philippines for leading the way in advancing dragon fruit production in the country, beams with gladness that …

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Japan funds eco-friendly lemongrass oil plant

Embassy of Japan’s First Secretary Kenji Terada, together with Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for the Visayas Hansel Didulo, Management Committee of Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI) Head Auke Idzenga and 30 farmer beneficiaries and other guests, led the recent turnover ceremony of  “The Project for the Construction of Eco-Friendly Plant for Lemongrass Oil Distillation in Negros Occidental” in  Brgy. Mambugsay, Municipality of Cauayan, Negros Occidental. The project is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). In 2013, the Embassy of Japan (EOJ) provided assistance to AIDFI amounting to approximately R3 million for the construction of an eco-friendly plant for lemongrass oil distillation. Negros Occidental is known as the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines” for its sugarcane production. However, in Brgy. Mambugsay, Cauayan, …

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Garden people you’d love to meet in Davao

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to cover the Kadayawan Farm and Agri-trade Fair in Davao City which is actually a garden show where horticultural exhibits are staged and where commercial as well as hobby gardeners sell their products. The show is ongoing and will end on August 31. The ornamental horticulture industry is very much alive in Davao City and beyond. At the garden show no less than 400 gardeners and traders are offering their goods to the public. These include a lot of orchids, all kinds of flowering and foliage ornamental plants as well garden supplies. At the garden show, we saw a lot of interesting plants, some very rare for the plant collectors while others are the favorite varieties for landscaping in homes and big commercial projects. If …

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Agri-bazaar is for budding entrepreneurs

The Agri-bazaar cum Agri-Kapihan at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City is becoming a favorite venue for young, budding entrepreneurs in launching their products. Just like members of Samahan ng mga Rizaleño sa Sektor ng Agrikultura at Pagkain (SARAP) that include young professionals. Last August 18-20, they got a big space for the members to showcase their products at the Agri-Bazaar. Mona Borromeo who took up business management in college is a young mother who put up Hot Mama with literally hot products. She specializes in hot chili sauce, chili powder and chili vinegar. She takes pride in the fact that her sauce was a prize winner in a previous competition in a chili festival organized by ChilliHeads Philippines. Her business is only three years old but she says she is doing …

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Supreme Court affirms CA ruling on constitutionality of ban on aerial spraying of pesticides on plantations

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a Court of Appeals (CA) decision that declared unconstitutional a 2007 Davao City ordinance approved by President Rodrigo Duterte as former city mayor banning aerial spraying of pesticides in agricultural plantations in the city. In a unanimous decision, the SC denied for lack of merit the petitions filed by the Davao City government and the city residents led by Wilfredo Mosqueda. “Wherefore, the Court denies the consolidated petitions on certiorari for their lack of merit; affirms the decision promulgated on Jan. 9, 2009 in CA-G.R. CV No. 01389-MIN declaring Ordinance No. 0309-07 unconstitutional; permanently enjoins respondent City of Davao, and all persons or entities acting in its behalf or under its authority, from enforcing and implementing Ordinance No. 0309-07….” The challenged Ordinance No. 0309-07 is an “Ordinance …

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Piñol orders creation of Technical Working Group

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered the creation of a technical working group (TWG) that will fix the glitches within the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) to encourage food producers to maximize the use of the facility. During a project steering committee meeting, Piñol directed DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan to head the TWG who will oversee the review of the BAPTC operations and lead the drawing board for an effective and workable manual of operations. "This is a project with well-intentions, however there was no apparent social preparation and so the implementation suffered," Piñol said. "We need to entice the growers to use this facility, because the government built this for them," he added.

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Urban Agriculture Expo slated on September 17-18

The third Urban Agriculture Expo will be staged on September 17-18 at the Market Marke Central Plaza in Taguig City. The two-day event is a project of the Manila Bulletin and Agriculture Magazine to familiarize urban dwellers about many food production projects that they can undertake right in their homes. Different ways of growing vegetables will be showcased by seed companies as well as  hobbyists and commercial growers. The new varieties that are highly productive will be made available by seed companies like Allied Botanical Corporation, East-West Seed Company and others. Visitors will be able to see the vegetable starter kit developed by Ramgo intended for teaching school children how to start propagating vegetables. Each kit includes a biodegradable pot, potting medium, seeds, fertilizer and a piece of paper where the school …

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PHL eyes regional collaboration on rice in ASEAN

MANILA -- The Philippines is pushing for a collaboration with ASEAN members and other rice-growing countries in Asia to make rice available and affordable across the region amid challenges posed by climate change. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will present a 10-point Action Plan to the region’s top agriculture policymakers at the annual Senior Officials Meeting-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF) conference to be held next week in Palawan. The Action Plan dovetails with the ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework and includes the ASEAN Plus 3 Germplasm Development and Breeding Initiative. This initiative effectively creates a regional technology collaboration platform that could improve the genetic resources of rice varieties available to the ASEAN Plus 3 countries. At the same time, it enables work on a bilateral basis to accelerate the development …

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From construction to dragon fruit farming in Taiwan

A 51-year-old architect in Nantou, Taiwan, used to be in the construction business. In 2011, he decided to give up his construction business so he could go into full-time dragon fruit farming. He is Xie Xinke, owner of Xinke Dragon Fruit Farm. He is very glad he gave up his previous business which could be very taxing at times. Now he is very happy tending his 1.1-hectare dragon fruit farm. His plants which are organically grown are very robust and high-yielding. Last year, he estimates he harvested no less than 50 tons of red-fleshed fruits. In the most recent season harvesting lasted from June 2015 to March 2016. Usually, the fruiting season lasts only from June to the following November. But the warm winter months of last December to February favored the …

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Taguig City, Bulacan eyed for agri trade centers

MANILA -- The government is looking to establish Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Trading Centers (FFTC) in Taguig City and Bulacan province in an effort to provide a facility for food producers coming from the Northern and Southern regions of Luzon. “Farmers need to have a steady location where they can bring in their produce and meet traders,” said Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol. Piñol said Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano has already approved the idea and is looking forward to the collaboration, which follows the concept of the Food Terminal Incorporated. He added a possible trading infrastructure in Taguig City can serve farmers from Bicol, Quezon and other food producing provinces south of Luzon. For produce coming from the North, Piñol is eyeing Meycauayan in Bulacan and Valenzuela City as possible locations for …

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