Vol. XXVIII No.
A monthly publication of the Department of Agriculture
Phl joins rice global market as exporter
The Philippines is set to join the global rice market — no longer as an importer, but an exporter. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said as the Philippines attains self-sufficiency in rice by end of 2013, it is prudent to train its sight on exports, particularly of aromatic, long-grain, colored and organically-grown rice varieties. This year, the Department of Agriculture in partnership with farmers’ groups aims to export at least 100 metric tons of fancy, colored and organic rice. Initially, the country will ship 10 MT bound for Macau and Hong Kong, said DA assistant secretary and national rice program coordinator Dante Delima, during the National Year of Rice Commitment Day, in Quezon City, on February 25, 2013. He said the initial shipment will come from the Cordillera region and Quezon province, where several farmers’ groups have since been producing ‘heirloom,’ colored and organic rice varieties. In fact, Delima said more and more farmers in various parts of the country are now capable of producing quality premium, colored, and organic varieties, as the DA was able to help them increase their production during the last two years. Next year and beyond, the Philippines targets to export more, which may reach up to 300,000 MT by 2016, Delima said. Other countries interested to buy Philippine fancy, colored and
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Top rice achievers to get P110M
The country’s top rice producing provinces and towns in 2012 — including the best irrigators’ associations (IAs) and agricultural extension workers (AEWs) — will be honored in the “2nd Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Awards,” and will take home a total of P110 million in prizes, on March 15, 2013. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the contest, led by the DA’s national rice program, is the Aquino government’s way of thanking the country’s rice farmers and their respective provincial and municipal officials, AEWs and IAs for their continu(Pls turn to p2)
President Benigno S. Aquino III (2nd from left) and Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (right) lead the ceremonial groundbreaking of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project in Iloilo that will irrigate 34,340 hectares, and further boost rice production and farmers’ incomes in the province and in Western Visayas. To be completed by 2016, it is the biggest irrigation project outside Luzon. Also shown are (from left) Senator Franklin Drilon, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., and former Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas, Sr. (Photo by DA Region 6 Info Div.)
P-Noy, SPJA launch P11-B Iloilo irrigation project
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the ceremonial ground-breaking of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage 2 (JRMP2), with the theme, "Tubig from Jalaur to Bigas for Pinas," February 21, 2013, at the Provincial Capitol, in Iloilo City. It is the first large-scale irrigation system outside Luzon, featuring the construction of three dams: Jalaur reservoir, Jalaur afterbay and Alibunan catch dam. When completed, the JRMP2 will provide year-round irrigation to 34,340 hectares (ha), comprising of 22,340 ha currently served by five existing irrigation systems; 9,500 ha of new areas; and
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DA-NAFC, PNB offer motorbike loans
The Department of Agriculture through its National Agriculture and Fishery Council (NAFC) renewed its partnership with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) to enable farm technicians avail of motorcycles. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the initiative under the DA-NAFC Special Vehicle Loan Fund
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Agriculture Assistant Secretary Dante Delima (left) leads the recitation of ‘Panatang Makapalay,’ a consumers’ pledge to reduce rice wastage, at the ‘National Year of Rice (NYR) Commitment Day,’ Feb. 25, 2013, at Quezon Memorial Circle, in Quezon City. The event, including a signing of an NYR commitment wall (at right), was attended by 1,500 officials and employees of the Department of Agriculture, its bureaus, regional offices and attached agencies, including those from nearby government agencies. It is part of the year-long NYR advocacy campaign to increase rice production and farmers’ incomes, and lessen rice wastage, towards attaining national sufficiency by end of 2013. (see story on p10)
Noong Pebrero 19, tila thumbs up na naman ang tinanggap ng Mindanao Rural Development Program o MRDP mula sa World Bank (WB) base sa pyesang “ Philippines :Geo-tagging for efficient, cost-effective project management” na nailathala sa website ng international agency. Ito ay kasunod ng paggamit ng MRDP sa Geo-Tagging technology para sa episyenteng monitoring ng mga proyektong inilunsad sa ilalim ng programa na nakatuon sa pagpapaunlad ng kalakhang Mindanao . Ang geo-tagging, ayon sa Wikipedia, ay tumutulong sa pagkalap ng mga impormasyon sa pamamagitan ng pagtukoy sa lokasyon ng isang bagay gamit ang mga uploaded videos at photos na may kalakip na longitudinal at latitudinal coordinates. Ibig sabihin, eksakto ang imahen at walang
‘Geo-tagging’ tungo sa mas tapat na serbisyo
halong daya—location-specific, ika nga. At dahil fraud-proof ang geotagging, epektibo ang “techie” na sistemang ito sa pagmomonitor ng potable water system, farm to market road, at mga kahalintulad na imprastraktura na isinusulong sa ilalim ng MRDP. Kahit pa man nasa malalayong komunidad, natututukan ang progreso ng mga proyekto sa tulong ng geotagging. Matagal na rin kasing suliranin ng Pilipinas ang di-tapat na pamamahala at pagpapatupad ng mga programa na inilulunsad ” sana ” para mapabuti ang kabuhayan ng mga mamamayan. Nakakalungkot isipin na bagamat matuwid ang layunin ng mga proyekto na pinaglalaanan ng malalaking pondo, kadalasang hindi ito napapatupad ng tama dahil sa kasakiman ng ibang sektor.
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Maganda man ang ”purpose” at simulain, nasisingitan ito ng mga tusong ideya na nagbubunga ng malakihang pagnanakaw sa ating mga kababayan na nangangailangan ng suporta at ayuda. Kapag geo-tagged at posted na sa internet ang mga locationspecific projects, mas madaling nasusubaybayan ang estado nito kahit pa man hindi personal na puntahan ang mismong lokasyon. Malaking tipid nito sa oras, pondo at iba pang resources ng mga tagapagpatupad bukod pa sa naiiwasan ang panganib na kaakibat ng pagbisita sa project areas na kalimitang may mataas na antas ng security risk. Higit na tinutugunan ng geotagging ang korapsyon at panlilinlang. Dahil nga hindi madadaya ang coordinates ng mga proyekto—siguradong genuine ang lahat ng nakikita,
ibig sabihin kung sinasabing completed na ang estado ng isang FMR project madaling itsek kung totoo ito o hindi. Tapat ang serbisyo, mas episyente at epektibo. Kaya naman marahil kasunod ng paggawad ng Good Practice Award ng National Economic Development A sa MRDP noong nakaraang taon, tila ginagamit pang modelo ng WB ang geo-tagging tool nito upang tularan ng ibang bansa. Aba, hindi na lang tayo tagasunod ngayon, pioneer pa ngang maituturing ang Department of Agriculture dahil tayo ang kauna-unahang ahensya ng Philippine government na gumamit ng geo-tagging. Kung sakaling maging trend-setter man ang Kagawaran at marami ang makiuso tiyak na dadami ang mga proyektong matagumpay na matatapos at maipapatupad para sa kapakanan ng mga maralitang Pilipino.
Phl joins rice global market as exporter ...
organic rice are the United States, Dubai, and other countries in the Middle East. The Philippines is exporting fancy and colored rice, as it can ably compete with other countries, and in order to prevent an oversupply and drop in local prices, said Delima. When national sufficiency is attained by end of this year and beyond, he said the government through the DA’s National Food Authority (NFA) may still decide to import minimal volume of rice to serve as a buffer stock. Private traders can import rice as long as they pay the required taxes or tariff, as part of the country’s commitment under the
Top rice ...
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W orld Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. This year, the Philippines has committed to import 350,000 MT of rice under the minimum access volume (MAV) scheme with a tariff of 50%. The MAV is the amount of any agricultural product allowed to be imported at a tariff rate committed by a country under the WTO agreement. Of the total MAV for rice this year, interested parties may source up to 163,000 MT from Thailand, India, Pakistan, China and Australia, according to the NFA. The balance of 187,000 MT may be imported from other countries. (Marlo Asis and Oda
is published monthly by the Department of Agriculture Information Service, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City. Tel. nos. 9288762 loc 2148, 2150, 2155, 2156 or 2184; 9204080 or tel/fax 9280588. It is downloadable at DA website (www.da.gov.ph). For copies, please send request via email: da_afis @yahoo.com.
Editor-In-Chief : Noel O. Reyes Associate Editors: Cheryl C. Suarez & Adora D. Rodriguez Writers: Adora D. Rodriguez, Bethzaida N. Bustamante, Jo Ann P. Bruno, Catherine N. Nanta, Marlo Asis, Adam Borja Contributors: DA-RFU Info Officers, Public Info Officers of DA Bureaus, Attached Agencies & Corporations, MRDP & other ForeignAssisted Projects Photographers: Jose Lucas, Alan Jay Jacalan & Kathrino Resurreccion Lay-out Artist: Bethzaida N. Bustamante Printing & Circulation: Teresita Abejar & PCES Staf Advisers: Secretary Proceso J. Alcala & Undersecretary Emerson U. Palad
ing efforts and contribution to increasing national rice production. “We initiated the Rice Achievers’ Awards as part of the DA’s interventions and incentive system to encourage LGUs, IAs and AEWs to contribute their share in increasing farmers’ harvest and incomes, and subsequently attain national rice sufficiency,” said Secretary Alcala. “For the second straight year, we will recognize their vital contribution as the Philippines gears up for rice sufficiency this year,” the DA chief said. He has invited President Benigno S. Aquino III as main guest and speaker, and personally hand over the awards and prizes to the 2012 rice achievers, in ceremonies to be held at the Phl Int’l. Convention Center (PICC), in Pasay City. This year’s winners are composed of the top 10 provinces, 48 municipalities and cities, 10 IAs, three small water impounding systems associations or SWISAs, and 500 AEWs. They will receive the following respective prizes: provinces, a P4-M project grant; municipalities/cities, P1-M project; IAs, P1M project; SWISAs, P500,000project; and AEW s, P20,000 cash incentive. DA assistant secretary and national rice program coordina-
tor Dante Delima said the DA will continue to conduct the contest to recognize the hard work and support extended by farmers, local leaders and farm technicians in increasing national rice production. The top provinces, towns and cities, IAs and SWISAs were chosen based on the following criteria: incremental rice harvest and average yield per hectare over 2011 levels, increase if any over 2012 target, amount of budget devoted to rice projects and initiatives, number of farmers benefited, and degree of rice seed utilization, among other criteria. (Catherine Nanta and Adam
P-Noy, SPJA lead...(from p 1)
2,500 ha planted to sugarcane. It will sustain the region's rice self-sufficiency and contribute to the annual increase in the country's rice production target by 7.6% under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP). "Oras na matapos ang proyekto, apat-na-pu’t tatlong porsyento ng lupang agraryo dito sa Iloilo ang magkakaroon ng irigasyon. “Ibig-sabihin, inaasahan natin na do-doble ang maaaning bigas sa rehiyon, at aangat nang tatlumpung porsyento ang produksyon pati na ng tubo.
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Secretary Alcala (left) answers a query at the biannual Year-end Philippine Economic Briefing for the business community at the PICC, on Feb. 13, 2013. Also shown (from left) are DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, Aboitiz Equity President-CEO Erramon Aboitiz, and BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Gunigundo.
Phl to send initial banana export to US
The Philippines is set to export cavendish bananas to the United States, starting first quarter this year. Director Clarito Barron of the DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) said it will be undertaken by Dole Philippines in Mindanao, whose initial shipment of 3,000 metric tons was cleared by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Meanwhile, he also reported the USDA has recently certified mango plantations in Davao Oriental and Samal Island as free from mango pulp weevils. This means the Philippines could now export fresh mangoes to the US from said areas, in addition to Guimaras Island in Iloilo, Dir. Barron said. The DA-BPI and USDA are currently working on the protocols for mango exports from Davao Oriental and Samal, he added. are institutional growers such as San Miguel Foods and Bounty Fresh. The DA is also negotiating for the exportation of duck to Singapore and Japan, where there is a huge demand. Alcala said that to prepare poultry growers for these markets, the government is establishing triple dressing plants for ducks. “We are negotiating a large export volume for Japan and Singapore,” he said. “I think we can supply this if we have the proper technology.” The Philippines currently exports yakitori nuggets to Japan.
Battle plan vs AFTA: Tap Mindanao’s potentials
Mindanao is the next frontier for the country’s agriculture sector, as the government prepares agri-fishery industries ahead of the removal of trade barriers under the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said Mindanao, with its rich agricultural and natural resources, would play a major role in government’s effort to improve competitiveness in the farm sector ahead of liberized trade in ASEAN in 2015. W ith good climate and improved peace and order situation, Secretary Alcala said Mindanao is an ideal place to develop agri-fishery enterprises, with economies of scale, which are geared toward achieving food sufficiency and exports— two things that could give the country a competitive edge once AFTA is in ful implementation. “If we will look at its batting average, despite massive typhoons that recently hit the region, Mindanao is still the best agricultural area in the country,” Secretary Alcala told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine economic briefing. He said this year the DA has allotted 40 percent of its P74.9billion budget for Mindanao to ramp up the development of farm infrastructure to further increase the island’s output. He said the DA will pursue the goals of improved food security and increased rural income, increased resilience to climate change risks, and enhanced policy governance. “We want to establish more farm-to-market roads, and post harvest and value-adding facilities to make the farm sector more competitive,” he added. He said the AFTA can be viewed as an opportunity, particularly in the livestock and poultry sub-sectors, to increase market access to Southeast Asian neighbors. “There are only two countries in the world that are free from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and bird flu, and the Philippines is one. We want to take advantage of this status,” he said, noting that the region is geographically closer to the rest of Southeast Asia compared to traditional meat exporters like the United States, Canada and Brazil. Under the Asean integration plan, tariffs on most goods coming from member-countries will be brought down to zero or near zero. (Manila Times)
... and livestock, poultry sectors
The DA also eyes the livestock and poultry sub-sectors, which have consistently recorded positive growth annually, to remain productive and competitive against ASEAN countries. Secretary Alcala said the livestock sector is a bright spot for agricultural competitiveness amid tough competition, as most farm goods would be traded freely without tariffs within ASEAN in 2015. “We are preparing the livestock and poultry sector because these industries are free from FMD and bird flu. We have the capability to export,” said Secretary Alcala on the sidelines of the Philippine economic briefing. In 2012, the poultry subsector, which comprised 14.3 percent (%) of total farm output, grew by 4.5% with a gross value of P167.1 billion (B). Chicken and egg production posted gains of 4.6 and 4.4%, respectively. Production of duck meat and eggs rose by 2% and 5.5%, respectively. Livestock production, which comprised 16% of total farm output, rose by 1.1%, with a gross value of P214.3B. Hog production grew by 1.7%, valued at P174.5B. The Philippines is waiting for the go signal from Korea to begin the exportation of chicken. Korea imports 93 million kilos of chicken per year, mostly from Thailand. With the prevalence of bird flu there, the Philippines could corner a portion of the Korean market. Tapped for export contracts
DA eyes 8 M tons of corn in 2013
Given enough support, the country’s farmers will be able to produce at least eight million metric tons (MMT) of corn this year. Thus is the forecast of DA assistant secretary and national corn program coordinator Ed de Luna, during the agency’s corn program 2012 performance review and 2013 planning workshop in Samar, February 12-15, 2013, attended by about 100 participants, composed of the national corn program secretariat, regional coordinators, focal persons from DA family agencies, and corn industry leaders. He said the DA corn program, with a P1.5-billion budget, has set a higher target of 8.4 MMT, 13.5 percent (%) or one MMT more than last year’s harvest. He thus urged the workshop participants to sustain their efforts and work even harder to attain the 8.4-MMT target, including that for cassava, at 3.6 MMT. Last year’s output of 7.4 MMT of corn is comprised of yellow, at 71% (or 5.24 MMT), and the rest, white corn. It was 6.25% more than the output in 2011, at 6.97 MMT. Last year, with a P900-M budget, the DA corn program distributed to farmers’ groups and local government units, hundreds of farm machinery, equipment and postharvest facilities.
These included: 91 tractors, 408 sets of engines for shallow tubewells; 47 village-type corn dryers; 72 corn mills; 33 hammer mills; 83 hermetic cocoons; and 17 corn shellers; and for cassava, 109 granulators, 33 graters and 10 chippers.
... allots P10M for corn germplasm labs
The DA has alloted P10 million to put up two corn germplasm laboratories to serve as repository for genetic materials of various corn varieties collected nationwide, and ensure that the seeds are preserved and maintained for
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DA-PhilMech to distribute P2.45-B farm machines
The DA through the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) will distribute this year P2.45-billion worth of farm machinery and equipment to farmers’ groups, including Irrigators’ Associations (IAs), to sustain rice production and sufficiency efforts. PhilMech Director Rex L. Bingabing said with the budget, the DA, through its National Rice Program, will distribute more than 1,000 units of production and postharvest farm machines that will enable farmers to increase their production and reduce postharvest losses. He said mechanizing farm and postharvest operations will increase harvests and at the same time save losses, and subsequently provide an additional supply of 10 percent of palay yearly. Bingabing added that mechanizing operations--from land preparation, planting and harvesting--will increase harvest by around 5%. Further, employing postharvest technologies and equipment can reduce losses by at least 5%. The farm machinery and equipment to be distributed include 652 hand tractors, 99 fourwheel tractors, 483 palay threshers, 278 mechanical driers, 9 rice mills (all types), 418 rice drum seeders, 322 rice cutters/harvesters, 76 rice combine-harvesters, 22 medium multi-crop
DA, UP partner to boost coco industry. Secretary Alcala and UP President Alfredo E. Pascual
seal their partnership to modernize and further boost the global competitiveness of the country’s coconut industry. The DA through the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and UP have agreed to jointly develop more high-yielding, disease-resistant coconut varieties, coconut by-products, processing technologies, propagation protocols, value chain systems, and social science research in coconut-producing areas. It also entails an inventory of existing technologies, and Filipino coconut scientists and researchers, and crafting and implementation of a human resources development program for young Filipino scientists and researchers. Also shown during the agreement signing , February 5, 2012, at UP Diliman, QC, are DA-PCA Administrator Euclides Forbes and UP Vice-President Gisela P. Concepcion.
combine-harvesters, 42 mini combine-harvesters, 75 pedalpowered rice threshers, 215 power tillers with floating trailers, and 750 fertilizer spreaders. The farm machines will be provided to farmers’ groups and IAs through an 85:15 counterparting scheme, where the DA shoulders 85% of the cost, while the 15% is shouldered by the recipients. In 2012, PhilMech coordinated the distribution of 193 mechanical driers; 637 hand tractors; 58 four-wheel tractors; 423 palay threshers; 36 rice mills (all types); 23 rice drum seeders; 97 rice reapers; 156 rice cutters/ harvesters; and 80 rice combine harvesters. To date, Bingabing said the country’s level of rice farm mechanization is about 1.6 horsepower per hectare. This is way below the farm mechanization level of other countries like Japan (7hp/ha), South Korea and China (4hp/ha). He said the DA-PhilMech is currently undertaking a survey on farm mechanization. The agency will also continue its support to other crops like corn, vegetables, coconut, cocoa and coffee, among others.
All set for the PRDP logo contest
A major program or a commercial product needs a trademark or a logo. It should be simple and could be easily ‘recalled.’ The DA’s forthcoming Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) is no different. It needs a logo that would capture its essence, its objectives and goals. The DA is thus inviting everyone to join the PRDP logo design-making contest. The winner will take home P20,000 cash, and he or she will part of the DA’s legacy to the Filipino people. Four other finalists will be honored and will each receive P5,000 cash, and a certificate. The logo should reflect the PRDP’s goal to create a moderm, climate-smart or resilient, and value chain-oriented agriculture and fishery sector. The PRDP is considered one of the DA’s biggest foreign-assisted projects, worth $670 million or P27.5 billion, funded by the World Bank. It will run for six years, and targeted to start third quarter this year. All DA family employees and non-employees are invited to join the contest, as long as they are Filipinos, 18 years old and above. Contestants should submit original, digitally-created entries with resolution of at least 300 dpi and the width and the height of the logo must have a resolution of at least 700 pixels. Each entry must have color settings for both RGB and CMYK modes and should predominantly use the colors green and blue with white, golden yellow or black as trimmings, strokes or highlights. Contestants are required to include a description of the logodesign and colors, not more than 350 words. Entires should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org, on or before April 20, 2013, with the accomplished information sheet and rationale. For more information visit www.da.gov.ph or www. damrdp.net.
Secretary Alcala (3rd from right) joins hands with (from left) University of the Philippines-Diliman vice chancellor for community ffairs Melania Flores, UP-Beta Sigma alumnus and national scientist Dr. Teodolo Topacio, UP-Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. president Rolando Reyes, UP Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Asst. Secretary Atty. Jonas Leones, as they collectively agree to rehabilitate and conserve the 16-hectare arboretum forest at the UP Diliman campus. The arboretum is the last remaining rainforest in Metro Manila where exotic and endangered tree species are found.
Dairy body seeks more investments to strengthen PHL milk industry
The Philippines through the DA’s National Dairy Authority (NDA) needs to invest billions of pesos to enable local milk producers make a dent on a dairy market dominated by the United States, New Zealand, Australia and France. NDA Administrator Grace Cenas said the government and the private sector should support local milk producers to reduce imports of milk and other dairy products. According to her, the dairy-industry value chain’s production segment, which covers the breeding of dairy animals and the production of milk, is a priority investment area since it will spur growth in the milk processing and marketing. “With our need to increase milk output, the production segment needs investment inflows the most,” Cenas said. “The market is becoming more demanding and the price of imported milk is cheaper than those produced locally.” Raw milk production rose by 12 percent to 18.45 million liters in 2012 from 16.45 million liters the year before, exceeding the NDA’s target of 10 percent. Cenas said that though milk production has been growing at an average of 7 percent annually in the last five years, she wants that figure to breach 10 percent. Despite these figures, Filipino milk producers only account for about 1 percent of the country’s total dairy-product requirement of 1.8 billion kilograms, with New Zealand, the United States, Australia and France supplying the balance. Cenas said local milk production currently satisfies 40 percent of domestic demand for both processing and consumption. The NDA is trying to raise the country’s milk sufficiency level to 43 percent by 2016 and reach full sufficiency by 2021. With increased milk production, processors could raise its output of processed cheese, which enjoys huge demand. “This product requires a large amount of milk. With increased milk production, processors will automatically buy local. There is a big demand. With the growing number of pizza restaurants, for instance, there is a huge demand for mozzarella cheese,” Cenas said. To increase raw milk production, the NDA is importing more dairy animals for breeding purposes this year to improve the local stock. More multiplier farms will also be established to increase the breeding stock. The Philippines has only 40,696 dairy animals, only a little over 4 percent of the 1 million dairy animals needed. In 2011 the NDA imported 10 bulls and 2,100 cows for breeding, with their offspring distributed to capable dairy farms. Cenas said the number of animals to be imported this year would be determined once the animals procured in 2012 have been distributed. She added that dairy zones in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Cebu are being eyed for the new multiplier farms.
DA to increase fresh milk output through dairy herd buildup, breeding program. The DA through the National Dairy Au-
thority (NDA) will help increase the production of fresh milk, which last year grew by 12 percent (%), through dairy herd build-up and breeding program, said Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala in a message read for him by DA Assistant Secretary for livestock Davinio Catbagan (right), during the 16th National Dairy Congress and Exposition, February 7, 2012, in Bacolod City. Shown with him for a ‘milk toast’ (from left) are Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., Batangas Representative and committee on agriculture chairman Mark Llandro Mendoza, NDA administrator Grace Cenas, and US Department of Agriculture counselor Philip Shull.
Rice industry players forge covenant against smuggling
No to rice smuggling! This was the agreement reached between the government and multi-sectoral groups of the rice industry during a policy dialogue held on February 22, 2013 at the Philippine Coconut Authority – Executive Lounge in an effort to curb the rampant rice smuggling in the country. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and National Food Authority Administrator Orlan A. Calayag witnessed the signing of the “Covenant of the MultiSectoral Groups of the Rice Industry” led by Representative Joseph Gilbert F. Violago of the 2nd District of Nueva Ecija who is also part of the rice industry sector declaring their commitments to control rice smuggling. The rice industry multi-sectoral groups composed of farmers, rice traders, millers, processors and retailers from Luzon area have committed not to buy, process and sell smuggled rice.
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Secretary Alcala (middle, seated) signs a covenant, as agreed by the rice industry’s multi-sectoral group, to stop smuggling of agricultural produce especially rice, during a dialogue at the Philippine Coconut Authority, February 21, 2013. The group, led by Nueva Ecija 2nd District Rep. Joseph Gilbert Violago (left, seated), aired their issues and concerns on the influx of imported rice in the country. In support of the DA’s rice sufficiency program, they agreed to work hand in hand with the DA, National Food Authority (NFA), and the Bureau of Customs to protect the country’s farmers and other rice industry stakeholders by effectively monitoring and stopping the entry of smuggled rice and other farm products into the country. Looking on are NFA Administrator Orlan Calayag (right, seated), and members of the rice industry multi-sectoral group. February 2013
The World Bank (WB) has recognized an innovative tool used by the Department of Agriculture in its Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) to validate and monitor infrastructure projects. “It is heartwarming to know that MRDP’s geo-tagging tool is being recognized worldwide,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said. “The World Bank must have seen that the tool may be used in other countries, as well, to promote transparency and accountability,” Secretary Alcala noted. The WB recently featured in its web page (www.worldbank. org) a story entitled, ‘Philippines: Geo-tagging for efficient, cost-effective project management.’ The story, which comes with a 12-frame photo essay, was posted since February 19, 2013, and has been translated into five other languages. The WB said “geo-tagging is a web-based technology that promotes efficient management of community-driven projects in remote and conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.” Geo-tagging involves attaching location-specific information such as geographical coordinates to pictures, videos and
World Bank cites DA-MRDP’s geo-tagging tool
projects,” the DA chief added. For her part, DA-MRDP Director Lealyn Ramos said the DA has pioneered in using geoamong all government institutions and in the entire Mindanao region. “It allows us to accurately and easily locate, validate, monitor and manage projects in remote and conflict-affected areas. As
“As we implement projects in Mindanao we are constantly faced with the challenges of accessibility, manpower, resources and security concerns,” said MRDP deputy program director Arnel V. De Mesa. “With the use of geo-tagging our project team and even World Bank officials can validate, monitor and evaluate actual progress on the ground, without having to travel to hardto-access locations and areas with high security risk,” De Mesa said. “The learning curve of geo-
tagging is not that long, and the beauty of it is anyone can learn the ropes. Even the young ones who are exposed to smart phones nowadays can easily do it,” he added. “We take pride in this effort as this involve majority of the people of Mindanao, local chief executives of our LGU partners and even community folk who support the advocacy on transparent government and accountable stakeholders in the project implementation,” Ramos said. (Sherwin Manual/Adora
Try ‘binukaw’ for ‘pang-asim’
Top right photo shows a grab of the World Bank website that featured a story on the Philippines’ geo-tagging tool. At right, a DAPRDP staff ‘geo-tags’ a road using a computer tablet.
even SMS messages, the WB said in its feature. Users would need a GPS-enabled phone and internet connection to upload multimedia to a webbased application such as Google, which provides the platform to geo-tag at no cost, the article said. “We are institutionalizing geotagging, as we have instructed the MRDP team to train other DA personnel, including local government staff and even contractors, so that we can jointly oversee and monitor the progress of infrastructure such, it has improved transparency and efficiency in procurement and project management,” said Ramos, who is concurrently the DA regional director in Northern Mindanao (Region 10). Geo-tagging enables the user to monitor the progress of the project without traveling to the outskirts of the countryside that are oftentimes, if not always, risky, she added. MRDP thus saves on human resources, time and effort, not to mention that the technology is a safer way of doing things. Often when one mentions of sinigang, a favorite Filipino dish, the usual souring agent used is sampalok (Tamarindus indicus). If tamarind is not available, the next best alternatives that come to mind are kalamansi (Citrofortunella microcarpa) , bayabas (Psidium guajava), or kamias (Averhhoa balimbi). Rarely does one think of binukaw or batuan. In fact, the name will not even ring a bell as most of us have not even seen or heard of it. Binukaw or batuan (Garcinia binucao) among the Tagalogs or balakut to the Ilocanos is a fruit that is indigenous to the Philippines and is well-craved for in the Visayan regions as the “best souring agent” for their sinigang. In fact, they claim that the fruit of binukaw is even better than the good ol’ sampalok that most of Filipinos have been traditionally using as souring agent. Binukaw is one of the 300 species of fruits with economic importance and potentials that was identified and included in the book,”Imported and Underutilized Edible Fruits of the Philippines, ” authored by Dr. Roberto E. Coronel, a noted Filipino agricultural scientist and professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). The publication was funded by the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) through its scientific publication grant (SPG). Binukaw originated in the Philippines and Indonesia. In the Philippines, it is commonly found from Luzon to Mindanao but mostly in Panay and Negros.The tree thrives well in primary forests at low and medium altitudes. This wonder souring agent is a close relative of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), both are
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Kiba-o BFT boosts farming in Davao Sur
Long before daybreak a solitary light is lit. Maryjoy Gabotero and Isagane Toloy are in a hurry to open the “tindahan.” Soon customers will be pouring in. Local residents and those of the neighboring barangays would customarily pass by the Barangay Food Terminal to buy their “baon” before heading towards their respective workplace. This is the typical morning scenario at the Kiba-o BFT. Brgy. Kiba-o is one of the upland barangays of Matana-o, a third class municipality belonging to the Province of Davao del Sur. It is located at the northernmost part of the municipality, five kilometers away from the national highway and is 15 kilometers away from Digos City , the closest commercial district. Due to the poor road condition, the only public means of transport is the “skylab,” a motorcycle bike with a wooden plank that extends equally at both sides, where additional four passengers could sit in addition to the two back riders. The roundtrip fare from Digos City to Barangay Kiba-o amounts to Php70. Created on August 9, 1948, Brgy. Kiba-o has a land area of 460 hectares divided into seven (7) sitios. At present, the
source of income in the locality, most of the residents prefer to work as laborers at the sugarcane plantation earning Php60 per day. According to Zita Clime, “Konti lang ang nagtatanim kasi kadalasan lugi kami. Talo kami sa gastos at hirap ng pagdadala ng paninda sa Digos.” Linda Lingatong added “Takot kaming magtanim kasi wala kaming siguradong pagdadalhan ng ani. Pag dinadala namin sa Digos binabarat naman kami.” The high cost of inputs, logistics and transportation costs and the low buying prices of agricultural produce discouraged the folks in Barangay
barangay has an estimated population of 750 from 168 households. Its main source of income is farming and the major crops are sugarcane, mango and coconut. Life is difficult for the people of the barangay but more so, before the establishment of the BFT. While farming is the main
Kiba-o to pursue farming. The uncertainties in farming, including that of weather condition and market prices, are so great that farmers often lose in their operation. Thus, despite the vastness of the agricultural lands in Barangay Kiba-o, much of it remains idle. With the establishment of a
food terminal in Barangay Kibao, residents were motivated to farm on their own because of a ready market willing to buy any produce, in whatever volume and with a higher buying price than the commercial traders. Backyard farming bloomed and became a source of additional income for many of its households. The BFT management conducted livelihood trainings and provided support for farming and other livelihood undertakings of the residents such as hog dispersal, seed distribution, and micro finance. Thus, it generated jobs by employing workers in its operation, it likewise generated jobs with its many agriculture related programs. Furthermore, it provided market access for farm commodities produced by local farmers including the Tagacaolos, the indigenous people living at the slopes of Mt. Apo. The BFT also indirectly contributes to women empowerment. According to a resident “Ang mga kababaihan na dating walang trabaho ay naenganyong magtanim dahil may siguradong buyer at nakakasiguro sa magandang presyo at tamang timbang.” With the establishment of the Kiba-o food terminal, fresh and nutritious varieties of vegetables such as squash, eggplant, okra, tomato, mongo, pechay, and beans, among others were made available to local residents. The same
commodities are made available in small quantity to fit the budget of a household. The management even opened a carinderia offering affordable food products to school children. Thus, incidents of malnutrition among children were reduced. With products coming from nearby communities, the BFT is able to sell at a much cheaper price, resulting to an increased net income of residents. These savings allow them to buy other basic necessities such as rice, meat, fish, oil, soap, etc. Perhaps the most important outcome of the BFT is the improved peace and order situation in the barangay. One resident remarked, “Sa pagkakaroon ng trabaho ng mga tao nawalan ng tambay. Naging mas malawak ang kaalaman ng mga tao at nagkaroon ng magandang pananaw at pagtutulungan. Ngayon wala ng nagnanakaw kasi nakakasiguradong merong makakain. Kung may alaga kang manok, dalhin mo ito sa BFT at meron ka ng kapalit na bigas at ulam.” Today, the Kiba-o BFT is considered a one-stop-shop store, selling not only fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, meat, eggs, and other agri produce but a variety of grocery items as well. Servicing a total of nine barangays, the store opens as early as 4am when residents would head towards their respective work places, and closes between 7 to 9pm when they would be returning back from work. It also has become a consolidator of commodities which they deliver to the Digos Public Market. Looking forward to the future, plans of putting up a milling station for corn is well on its way to address the problems of the corn farmers who still have to bring their produce to Digos City to be polished. At the same time, corn will be made available to the local consumers. The management is also looking into the establishment of the mini-slaughter house to ensure the cleanliness of their meat products. The success of the food terminal seems never-ending, thanks to the passion and hardwork of Barangay Captain Bimbo C. Bacamante who revealed “Sipag at tiyaga, determinasyon, at pagkakaisa, yan ang sikreto ng aming tagumpay. At higit sa lahat tiwala sa Diyos ang sikreto ng isang matatag na proyekto.”
(Lea Deriquito/Oda Rodriguez)
Region 12 farmers, LGUs get P321-M agri infra, machineries
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has provided Region 12 farmers a total of P32-million (M) worth of agricultural infrastructure projects and machineries. The DA rice program component cornered the bulk of the proj ects and machineries at P187.7-M; corn, P61.24-M; farmto-market roads, 49.37-M, organic farming, P3.2-M; barangay food terminal, P991,755 and high-value crops development at P773,253. Secretary Alcala turned over to the beneficiaries the third batch of farm machineries and other inputs, February 11, 2013, in Tupi, Sout Cotabato. These included 39 hand tractors, 20 floating tillers, eight four-wheel drive mini tractors, one four-wheel drive tractor, 35 shallow tube well engines, two 90-horsepower farm tractors and three 1.5 ton capacity shredder. Datukan said the agri- projects and machineries manifest the agency’s commitment to improve the region’s farming sector and agricultural productivity. “These interventions would further enhance our efforts toward achieving total food self-sufficiency in the region,” she said. She cited that DA-12 saved P28.6 million from its budget for the implementation of farm infrastructure and purchase of machineries in 2012 through proper compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the “Government Procurement Reform Act. She said the agency’s awarded bid contracts in 2012 reached P321.188-M, which was much lower than the approved bid contracts of P349.813-M. Sec. Alcala lauded the administrative and operational reforms implemented by DA-12 in the last two years, citing that such achievement has led to the significant increase in the agency’s budget for the region this year, at P1.29 billion, 62% higher than the P795-M in 2012. He said the DA will continue to reform procurement process, to improve the quality of service to the farming sector. “We’re not only making sure that we accumulate savings but we’re doing our best efforts to ensure we deliver the infrastructure, machineries and inputs that are really needed by our farmers and that they are properly served to the proper beneficiaries,” he added. (DA 12 Info. Div.)
Soccsksargen farmers get P321-M farm equipment.
Secretary Alcala (inset, left) leads the turnover of P321-million worth of farm machinery and equipment to farmers’ groups and LGUs in Region 12 or Soccsksargen. He is shown with South Cotabato Governor Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr., and a farmer who won a carabao with farm implements, one of the many farm items raffled off during the ‘Ulat sa Bayan’ and ‘Farmers’ Heart Day,’ February 11, 2013, at DA research station, in Tupi, South Cotabato.
(Photo by DA12 Info Div)
DA grants Cavite P89-M agri projects
Cavite farmers and fisherfolk should take advantage of their proximity to Metro Manila, the country’s major consumption center, to further increase their productivity and incomes. Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the DA will help Cavite farmers, fisherfolk and local government units revive and develop farmlands and fishing grounds by continuously providing technical support, farm machinery, equipment and inputs, including postharvest facilities and marketing assistance. He made the commitment during an “Alay sa Mamamayan” program — with President Benigno S. Aquino III as main guest and speaker — on February 7, 2013, in Imus City, where the DA provided an initial P89million worth of agricultural equipment, inputs and infrastructure projects. He said under its ‘farm-to-table’ approach, the DA will revive and expand Cavite’s coffee and vegetable industries, as well as production of green mussels and oysters along coastal towns. “We will tap idle lands to expand the vegetable and coffee industry in the province. The DA through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will also assist fisherfolk revive mussel and oyster raising,” Secretary Alcala said. “Sayang ang Cavite. Sayang ang lupain nating hindi nabubungkal. Sayang ang sipag ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda ng lalawigan, kung hindi po natin ito mapapakinabangan,” he said. During the program, the DA distributed P14-million worth of farm machinery, equipment, inputs and projects to farmers, fishers and local government officials. These included 4-wheel tractors, hand tractors with trailers, multi-tillers, threshers, flatbed dryers, pump engines for shallow tube wells, knapsack sprayers, power sprayers, collapsible dryers, laminated tarpaulins as portable dryers, fish nets, multi-purpose drying pavement, spring development projects, palay storage sheds, barangay food terminals, and green-
houses. The DA also provided farmerbeneficiaries with quality seeds of hybrid yellow corn and white corn or lagkitan, assorted seeds of lowland and upland vegetables, seedlings of coffee, cacao and rambutan, Bio-N organic fertilizers, and flower inducers. In addition to the P14-M package, Secretary Alcala said the DA will also construct in Cavite P55million worth of farm-to-market roads and P 20-million worth of municipal fish ports. (Marlo Asis)
Inmates train on veggie prod’n
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala emphasized the importance of attaining food self-sufficiency to the graduates of the season-long training on vegetable production led by the Department of Agriculture through its Agri-Pinoy High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) during a simple commencement ceremony held this month at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. Under the Yaman sa Halamanan: “Gulayan sa Bilangguan, Gabay sa Pagbabagong Buhay,” Sec. Alcala enjoined the prison inmates and Bureau of Corrections staff who underwent training inside the prison compound to apply their learned skills and continue cultivating vegetables even after they have been released out of jail. “The Department of Agriculture (DA) will continue to assist you
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Secretary Alcala (inset) urges Cavite farmers, fisherfolk and local government officials to take advantage of their proximity to Metro Manila to further increase farm and fishery productivity and incomes, during an “Alay sa Mamamayan” forum — with President Benigno S. Aquino III as main guest and speaker — on February 7, 2013, in Imus City, where the DA provided an initial P89-million worth of agricultural equipment, inputs and infrastructure projects. He said the Department of Agriculture in particular will help revive and expand Cavite’s coffee and vegetable industries, as well as production of green mussels and oysters along coastal towns.
DA-PCIC, Davao Norte team up to insure farmers
The DA’s Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (DA-PCIC) has partnered with the provincial government of Davao del Norte (DDN) to provide crop insurance protection to farmers and other agricultural workers. In a report to DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, PCIC President Jovy C. Bernabe said the agency recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with DDN Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario, which initially benefits about 1,000 farmers, tilling 2,000 hectares planted to rice. The MOA signing was done as part of the 3rd Annual General Assembly and Congress of the DDN District 1 and District 2 Federation of Irrigators’ Associations (IAs), on February 19, 2013, in Tagum City. For his part, Governor del Rosario said the provincial government has allocated an initial P1.34 million as its premium contribution for some 2,000 hectares of riceland currently planted this 2013 dry season. Under the MOA between the DA-PCIC and DDN, additional rice and non-rice areas devoted to other PCIC-insurable crops will be insured under the same agreement in the future. The province has a total of 15,200 hectares planted to rice during the wet and dry seasons. Davao del Norte far-families are also engaged in livestock raising and aquaculture production. As part of the agreement, the PCIC will also train DDN’s agricultural officers and technicians on agricultural insurance underwriting and claims adjustments, and assist them to conduct an information campaign on the PCIC-DDN crop insurance program. It also provides that DDN shall allocate funds for the cost of insurance premium and provide technical assistance and training to city and municipal agricultural officers and technicians. For their part, the city and municipal LGUs shall provide training and technical assistance to farmer cooperators and farmers. During the event, the PCIC issued crop insurance claims worth P4.37 million to 771 farmers, tilling some 1,800 hectares, and belonging to six IAs and farmers’ cooperatives in the province. The farmers’ groups and their respective claims were: San Vicente Multi-Purpose Cooperative (P1,856,776.00); DUFFAMCO (P1,068.556.); SIFIA (P658,521.00); DITCIA 1 IA (P369,818.00); Durian Dacudao IA (P229,900.00); and MABADIA (P184,486.00). The MOA signing ceremony was witnessed by Rep. Anthony G. del Rosario (District 1), PCIC Board Members Alex de Guzman, Epifanio A. Maniebo and Dioscoro A. Granada, and PCIC Region 11 Officer-inCharge Bonifacio V. Pales. Other witnesses were DDN Asst. Prov’l Agriculturist Anastacia Notarte and National Irrigation Administration Regional Manager Modesto Membreve.
Bull semen center opens in Nueva Ecija
The DA’s Philippine Carabao Center’s (PCC) recently opened a state-of-the-art, $3-million national bull farm and semen processing center, in Munoz, Nueva Ecija. In a report to DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, PCC director Libertado Cruz said the facility will result to a more aggressive propagation of superior animals in the country and an enlivened buffalo-based industry. Through a grant-aid project provided by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to PCC, he said the facilities were put in place and ready to cater to half a million farmers every year. The grant was made possible under the project, “Enhancing Livestock Sector Performance in the Philippines through an Institutionalized and Sustained Genetic Improvement Program,” forged in 2010. The project is aimed at improving the institutionalized data capture system, genetic data analysis and evaluation system, and unified web-based genetic information system; intensification on the organized use of reproduc-
DA Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat (middle) and PCC Executive Director Libertado Cruz (right) join Korean Ambassador Hyuk Lee (left) during the inauguration of the DA-PCC national bull farm and semen processing facility, in Barangay Joson, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija on February 8, 2013.
tive biotechniques such as artificial insemination (AI), and embryo technologies in concert with DNA-based technologies towards enhanced propagation of superior animals; improvement of the current animal genetic resources cryobanking to ensure sustained support for long-term GIP program; and capacitation of technical personnel in animal breeding genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology, and other related fields. The facility, known as the national bull farm and semen processing center, is located in barangay Joson, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. Present during the inauguration were DA Undersecretary for special concerns Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Hyuk, KOICA representative Kim Jinoh, PCC officials and staff led by Director Cruz, and hundreds of farmers in Nueva Ecija. The facility will enable PCC to sustain the production of quality frozen buffalo semen for the national upgrading program. It features cryobank repositories, which consist of six huge cryotanks and liquid nitrogen depot. These are utilized as storage for frozen animal genetic materials. “After barely two years of construction and involvement of the local communities, I join the PCC in thanking the KOICA for these wonderful, high-tech facilities for genetic improvement and conservation of livestock animals,” USec Romulo-Puyat said. “The PCC will be able to double production of bull semen for its artificial insemination ser(Pls turn to p11)
DA to help Laguna farmers make ‘Luisiana choco.’ The DA is allotting an initial P1million to establish a cacao nursery in Luisiana, Laguna, and train farmers on modern cacao technologies, including production and processing of cacao products, particularly “Luisiana chocolate.” Secretary Alcala (middle) urged the officers and members of San Buenaventura Barangay Agriculture and Fishery Council (BAFC) and Federation of Farmers’ Associations of Luisiana, Laguna (FFALL) to support the cacao project and transform the town into an agri-tourism destination, during their 17th founding anniversary, on February 23, 2013.
Inmates train ...
in farming even after your prison terms,” Alcala said adding that he has high hopes that the training they received will equip them with a means of sustainable livelihood. “We are here with you all the way,” the Agri chief added. To ensure that released prisoners will be supported all throughout, Alcala asked for a list of the liberated captives for follow up extensions. The Department, thru the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) and DATECHGEN, has partnered with the Department of Justice (DoJ), thru the BuCor’s New NBP Agro Production Division in the implementation of the vegetable production project. DA provided agricultural inputs (seeds, plastic mulch, fertilizers, seedling trays, and water pump), training and technical assistance, marketing assistance and monitoring of the project. It also rehabilitated the existing greenhouse for seedling production. The Vegetable Importers, Exporters & Vendors Association (VIEVA) has also extended marketing support. The vegetable production project commenced when President Benigno S. Aquino III visited the NBP on January 27, 2012 during the presentation of the Bureau of Corrections Roadmap. The DA-HVCDP conducted the season-long training for the inmates in the Minimum Security Camp and for the Bureau of Corrections employees which started last October 2012. The program is divided into two phases. The project’s first phase started in February 2012 when a total area of 3,900 square meters was planted with hot pepper with a harvested volume of 1,200 kilograms. The second phase began in November 2012 when different types of lowland and highland vegetables such as upo, ampalaya, stringbeans, okra, cucumber, eggplant, squash, tomato, bush sitao, kangkong, and saluyot were planted in a total of 3,000 square meters. The project’s next steps include expansion of four hectares for commercial production of vegetables; provision of seeds, cultivator, farm tools, and water plastic drums; establishment of wood vinegar chamber and vermicomposting facility; and continuous monitoring and technical assistance.( DA-AFIS )
DA family honors Dir. Joe V. Dayao
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Rice industry ...
(from p 5)
Raising veggies, while serving time. Secretary Alcala (in-
set, 2nd from right) hands over packs of vegetable seeds to Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Rafael Marcos to sustain a DABuCor project — called ‘Yaman sa halamanan: Gulayan sa bilangguan, gabay sa pagbabagong buhay’ — during a simple graduation ceremony, on February 13, 2013, of 22 inmates and 13 BuCor staff who trained on vegetable production under the DA’s high value crops development program (HVCDP), at the New Bilibid Prison, in Muntinlupa City. Also shown at inset are DA-HVCDP national coordinator Dir. Jennifer Remoquillo (left) and DA-RFU 4-A Dir. Vilma Dimaculangan. Since July 2010, the DA has partnered with BuCor to transform idle prison and penal lands into productive rice farms such as in Iwahig, Palawan and Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
Try binukaw ...
(from p 6)
DA eyes ...
(from p 3)
sub-globose fruits and each has a multi-sectioned pod of sour seeds. The tree of binukaw is medium-sized with ovate oblong leaves that are about 15 cm long and rounded at both ends. The tree flowers in clusters in greenish white. The fruit are subglobuse and grows up to three centimeters long and yellowish in color. The fruit is juicy and five-seeded. According to the book of Dr. Coronel, this unutulized species is useful as a home garden fruit tree and its fruits may be eaten raw.
breeding purposes, De Luna said. They will be established at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and at the Central Mindanao University in Bukidnon, and expected to be operational by 2015. He said the construction of the facilities and training of corn experts are set in 2014. De Luna said the project aims to collect corn varieties from other countries as well, which could also be used for breeding.
(DA-AFIS, Business World)
In the article, “Garcinia binucao,” Visayan Daily Star columnist, Eli F.J. Tajanlangit said binukaw is the secret agent in the Negrense cook’s souring arsenal that makes his kansi or sinigang so fruity sour, and it never fails to impress visitors. He described binukaw’s sourness as something that is “difficult to pin down, which makes it stand out on a dining table, simply because it is not used in most parts of the country. If properly promoted, binukaw
may well be one of our tickets to international gastronomical fame.” Tajanlangit said currently there are already avalaible technologies that enable consumers to enjoy this sour fruit even if it’s not in season. The bottled binukaw puree and candied binukaw in sugar syrup are sold commercially in Negros Occidental, where “there is a robust eating tradition for this fruit that is difficult to propagate.” Binukaw plants and fruits were exhibited at the booth of the DARFU 6 booth during the 8th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition, August 9-11, 2012, organized by DA-BAR at the SM Megatrade, Mandaluyong City. BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar and staff, participants and guests were able to taste binukaw. (Rita T.
dela Cruz, DA-BAR)
They also call on President Benigno S. Aquino III to issue a public declaration in support of the Anti-Smuggling Drive and grant the Department of Agriculture access to the Customs area where reported alleged smuggled rice are discharged or stored. As a support to the DA Task Force on Anti-Rice Smuggling, the rice industry major stakeholders will also ask the President to issue directives to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Coast Guard. To control the inflow of imported rice, the government through the NFA shall now be the sole importer. It was also agreed that only ordinary rice shall be imported by NFA to cater to the needs of the marginalized consumers and not to compete with the private sector The farmer groups were previously allowed to import rice as part of the private sector allocation but, with this agreement, they will instead be allowed to distribute imported rice under the Institutionalized Farmers as NFA’s Distributors (IFAD). The covenant also entails that smuggled rice shall be seized by the Bureau of Customs at NFA warehouses, and stored where a fee shall be charged. When the smuggled rice shall be offered for bidding, the NFA shall have the right of first refusal and match the offer of the highest bidder. Rice millers and processors agreed to have their brand names also registered with NFA to differenciate them. Meanwhile, Representative Violago commended the DA and Secretary Alcala for its efforts to attain rice self-sufficiency. He said that for the last two years, irrigation facilities and other infrastructure, and high yielding seeds have improve and contributed to increased production. NFA Administrator Calayag assured the farmers that the agency has enough funds to procure locally produced palay. He said that NFA is now reviewing its policies on grains standardization, accreditation, transport permit, etc. to help the rice sector facilitate its transactions with the government. (NFA)
P-Noy, SPJA lead...(from p 2)
“Ilan lamang po ito sa positibong ambag ng Jalaur River Project sa ating sektor ng agrikultura," the President said. The project also involves the construction of a 6.6-megawatt hydro-electric facility, augmenting the power supply in the province. It will also provide a potable water system for domestic and industrial use in Iloilo City and nearby municipalities. In all, the JRMP2 will benefit 25 cities and towns, namely: Iloilo City, Passi City, Calinog, Lambunao, Badiangan, Janiuay, Cabatuan, Sta. Barbara, Pavia, Alimodian, Leon, San Miguel, Oton, Tigbauan, Dueñas, San Enrique, Anilao, Dingle, Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Mina, New Lucena, Pototan, Zarraga, and Leganes. During its construction, the project will benefit 17,000 workers and their families, who would earn an estimated P1.3 billion in basic wages annually. It will also create ancillary enterprises and create livelihood and employment opportunities in several project sites. The project is funded by South Korea’s Export-Import Bank. President Aquino cited the government's partnership with South Korea, and thanked South Korean President Lee Myungbak for all the support they ex-
DA and NAFC officials, led by Sec. Proceso Alcala, formally seal their partnership with PNB representatives led by PNB President Omar Byron Mier during the MOA signing on February 25.
DA-NAFC, PNB ...
(from p 1)
tend to qualified borrowers a motorcycle loan of up to P55,000, payable in seven years with 7.25% interest per annum. SVLF, which ran successfully for 40 years, is a loan facility that provides agricultural technicians and other farm extension workers involved in agri-fishery development to avail of vehicles so they can easily reach their clienteles living in far-flung areas. “These transport systems, usually motorcycles, help them reach their clients living in far barrios and provide for them technical advice and support hands-on. They will also be able to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. Thus, we are renewing our partnership with PNB,” Alcala said. The program is implemented by NAFC through a guarantee fund provided by the 2KR Facility of the Japanese Government, the National Economic Development Authority, and other government agencies. As of December 2012, SVLFP has provided 20,000 motorcycle units to thousands of extension workers. “Today, the clamor continues with close to 2,000 pending applications await approval,” Alcala said. The agri chief added that he sympathizes with the plight of the extension workers who go out of their way to serve the farmers, fishers, and other stakeholders of the agriculture sector. The signing of the agreement formalizes the collaboration of the DA-NAFC and the PNB and is directed towards enhancing the capabilities of AEWs and employees involved in the country’s agricultural and development activities. It also seals another partnership to strengthen service at the grassroots level. Present during the MOA signing were NAFC Executive Director Ariel Cayanan, Undersecretary for field operations Joel Rudinas, Undersec-retary and Chief of Staff Emerson Palad, DA Legal Service Chief Atty. Vero Librojo, PNB top officials Elfren Antonio Sarte, Joven Hernandez and Modette Cariño. (Adora D.
(SVLF) program will enable agricultural extension workers (AEW s) to conveniently travel and serve the needs of farmers and fisherfolk, particularly in farflung farming and fishing communities. “This will ensure timely and speedy delivery of support services and transfer of agricultural technologies to the countryside,” said the DA chief, who forged a memorandum of agreement with PNB President Omar Byron Mier, February 25, 2013, at the DA central office in Quezon City. Under the partnership, the DANAFC has allotted P215 million as a guarantee fund for the SVLF program, while the PNB will ex-
DA to construct ...
DA urges Batangas farmers to be more competitive.
Secretary Alcala (top, 3rd from left) urges Batangas sugarcane farmers to be more cost-efficient and competitive through farm mechanization and adoption of organic farming technologies, during the 60th general assembly of the Batangas Sugar Planters’ Cooperative Marketing Associations, Inc. (BSPCMA), in Balayan, Batangas. He said the DA will support the establishment of an organic fertilizer manufacturing facility in partnership with the BSPMCA and local government units. During the affair, he raffled off to lucky attendees various farm equipment, inputs and livestock animals. Joining him at top photo (from left) are Balayan Mayor Emmanuel Fronda, Batangas 1st District Representative Tomas Apacible, DA Region 4-A Director Vilma Dimaculangan, DA-Sugar Regulatory Administration Director Lito Sandoval, and BSPCMA chairman Danilo Zuñiga. February 2013
(from p 12) crops. He said the DA will provide needed assistance and training to further strengthen them. During the farmers’ forum, he instructed Philippine Rice Research Institute director Eufemio Rasco, Jr. to field-test salt-tolerant varieties which could be planted in several coastal towns in the province. On the issue of cutting old coconut trees, Philippine Coconut Authority administrator Euclides Forbes said it could be allowed, provided local government units approve and adopt a municipal resolution to that effect. During the farmers’ forum in every site, Secretary Alcala handed over and raffled off to farmers P2.7-million worth of hand tractors, knapsack sprayers, water pump engine sets, rice harvester-cutters, threshers, draft animals with implements, and Anglo-Nubian breeder bucks.
(from p 9) vices all over the country,” she added. For his part, Ambassador Lee said the partnership between KOICA and PCC will further strengthen and sustain the DA’s livestock genetic improvement program in the Philippines. Dr. Cruz said with the new facilities, PCC will be able to serve half a million more farmers every year, and increase their productivity and incomes.
DA-NIA to serve add’l 150,000 hectares in 2013
The Department of Agriculture through the National Irrigation Administration (DA-NIA) targets to irrigate 150,000 hectares (ha) more this year, bringing the country’s total irrigated area to 1.88 million ha. Of the target, some 40,000 ha will be added by June 2013, and the bulk of 110,000 ha by the end of the year. The bulk of the 150,000 ha is in Mindanao, said NIA administrator Antonio Nangel. He is confident NIA can attain the additional irrigated area of 150,000 ha, which are enough to attain rice sufficiency by the end of this year, and also boost production of fancy rice for export, he noted. The DA targets to produce 20.4 million metric tons (MMT) of palay this year, from last year’s 18.03 MMT. The country’s total irrigated area, Nangel said, has steadily risen from 1.48 million ha in December 2010, to 1.57 million ha in 2011 and 1.73 million ha last year. But there is much to be done, as the country’s total irrgiable area is 3.126 million ha. DBM releases P600M Meanwhile, Nangel said appreciates the recent release of P600M by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The amount was sourced from the previous year’s national budget. He said it will be used to construct and complete several small irrigation projects, in addition to rehabilitating and restoring existing ones, and expand the coverage of communal irrigation systems, as well as repair and establish groundwater pump irrigation systems. Meanwhile, the DBM will act on the request of NIA for an additional P1.2 billion to repair irrigation facilities damaged by typhoon Pablo, mostly in Davao region, upon receipt of recommendation from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said the Aquino administration is determined to boost the productivity of agricultural land in the country, especially since agriindustries are now at the forefront of our growth agenda. Part of this is the work of rehabilitating irrigation structures damaged by recent calamities, as well as ensuring that farming communities are adequately prepared for destructive weather patterns. Pending the DBM approval, Nangel said the NIA Board chaired by Secretary Alcala has appr oved to front load P500 million from its quick response fund to cover the initial rehabilitation expenses. The amount can cover the repair of damaged irrigation facilities in 4,000 to 5,000 ha of service area. P13.6-B Nueva Ecija irrgn proj The DA-NIA is also set to construct a P13.6-billion Balintingon reservoir multi-purpose irrigation project in Nueva Ecija.
President Aquino and Secretary Alcala hand over certificates of livelihood assistance to Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants at the launch of Sajahathra Program, in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, February 11, 2013. They are assisted by Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman and MILF Chair Murad Ebrahim al-Haj.
Nangel said a Singaporean company, Kaltimex Energy Ltd., has been given the go-signal by the NIA to undertake the project. It will irrigate 63,000 ha in the towns of Cabiao, General Tinio, Peñaranda, San Isidro and Sta. Rosa and the cities of Cabanatuan and Gapan, all in Nueva Ecija; San Ildefonso and San Rafael in Bulacan; and Arayat in Pampanga. (Phl News
Agency, DBM, Phl Star)
Quezon farmers get P65-M FMR, SWIP and RPC
The Department of Agriculture will construct several agricultural infrastructure projects in Quezon province, initially amounting to P65 million (M), to further prop up the productivity and incomes of farmers, ruralfolk and entrepreneurs. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the projects include a P45-million farm-to-market road (FMR), a P15-M rice processing complex (RPC), and a P5-million small water impounding proj ect (SW IP) in Bgy. Ibabang Talim, Lucena City. The FMR forms part of a planned agro-industrial estate in Quezon. While in his home province, on February 27, 2013, the DA chief also led the provincial launch of the ‘National Year of Rice’ or NYR advocacy campaign, starting with a 6-a.m. holy mass at St. Ferdinand Cathedral officiated by Bishop Emilio Marquez. He also dialogued with thousands of farmers, ruralfolk, students and local government officials during a series of farmers’ forum in Lucena, Atimonan and Lopez, where he urged farmers to adopt modern value-chain technologies, from production, processing and marketing. He cited the success of the Sentrong Pamilihan in Sariaya, Quezon, a wholesale farm center, where farmers are enjoying increased productivity, incomes and standard of living, as several vegetable farm-families have afforded themselves of amenities like new or renovated houses, school tuition fees for their children, and new transport and 4x4 vehicles. He also urged farmers to open up and develop new areas in partnership with the DA and DSWD through the cash-forwork program. The DA chief also dialogued with the officers and members of the newly-formed Quezon provincial federation of Small Water Impounding Systems Associations (SWISAs), in Lucena City. He acknowledged their continuing efforts and contribution in transforming the province into a major producer of rice, vegetables and other high-value
(Pls turn to p11)
The DA is allotting an initial P65 million (M) to construct several infrastructure projects to further boost the productivity and incomes of farmers in Quezon. Secretary Alcala said the projects include a P45-M farm-to-market road (FMR), from Barangay (Bgy.) Ibabang Talim with Bgy. Ilayang Iyam, in Lucena City, a P15-M rice processing center, and a P5-M small water impounding project (SWIP) in Bgy. Ibabang Talim. He is shown instructing Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Region 4-A engineer Ernesto Brampio to fast-track the SWIP, during a capsule-laying ceremony, February 27, 2013. Joining them are BSWM director Silvino Tejada (2nd from left), Barangay Ibabang Talim captain Rolando Ebreo (right), and DA Region 4-A director Vilma Dimaculangan (partly hidden).