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Vol. XXVIII No.

A monthly publication of the Department of Agriculture

March 2013

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (middle) poses with the governors and agriculture officers of the top 10 provinces chosen as the 2012 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers, March 15, 2013, at the Philippine International Convention Center, in Pasay City. Also shown are DA undersecretary Joel Rudinas, assistant secretary and national rice program coordinator Dante Delima, and governors Faustino Dy (Isabela), Amado Espino (Pangasinan), Luisa Cuaresma (Nueva Vizcaya), Jocel Baac (Kalinga), Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado (Bulacan), Aurelio Umali (Nueva Ecija), Manuel Ortega (La Union), Douglas Cagas (Davao del Sur), Arturo Uy (Compostela Valley), Antonio Ceriles (Zamboanga del Sur), and their respective provincial agriculture officers.

Sufficiency does not mean no imports


W hen the Philippines becomes sufficient in rice, it does not mean it would no longer import. Secretary Proceso Alcala said the country may still import because of its commitment under the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the volume would only serve as a buffer stock during lean months (July to September). The government is on-track in its goal of self-sufficiency in rice by end of 2013, the DA chief said. This year, all the DA effortsin partnership with local government units, farmers groups and the private sectorare geared towards increasing our 2012 palay production of 18 million metric tons (MT) by 2 million MT more, to achieve our goal under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program, he added. The FSSP defines self-sufficiency as the countrys ability to meet its national food requirements, while maintaining
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Rice achievers get P110M


Ten provinces, 48 cities and towns, 18 farmers groups, and more than 460 agricultural extension workers (AEWs) were declared the 2012 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers, and received P110million worth of project grants and cash incentives. They were chosen for producing more palay that surpassed their targets, attaining a higher average yield per hectare, encouraging more farmers to use quality seeds and employ modern technologies, and allotting more budget for rice-related projects. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala congratulated and handed over the awards to the respective provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, during the 2nd Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards, March 15, 2013, at the Philippine International Convention Center, in Pasay City. The top 10 provinces include Nueva Ecij a, Isabela, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Bulacan, Kalinga, La Union, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley and Zamboanga del Sur. The other awardees are: 48 towns and cities (pls see list on page 12); 18 irrigators associations (IAs), three small water impounding system farmers asso(Pls turn to p12)

Fishery sector faces bright prospects


Rebounding from a two-year slump, the countrys fisheries sector expects brighter prospects starting this year, as tuna catch is picking up, and domestic fish supply is increasing as a result of conservation efforts. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said with the lifting of a ban on tuna fishing at Pocket 1 of the Pacific Ocean, Filipino fishermen have resumed their operations in 2012 in said area, resulting in more catch. Pocket 1 of the Pacific Ocean is bounded by Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. As a result, commercial catch of tuna (bigeye and yellowfin) in 2012 totaled 7,912 metric tons (MT) and 77,730 MT, respectively, according to the DAs Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS). These were 31 and 13 per cent (%) more compared to the total catch in 2011 of bigeye tuna (6,021 MT) and yellowfin tuna (68,625 MT), respectively. Consequently, exports of fresh and processed tuna in 2012 rose by 41% to $411 million (M) versus $292 M in 2011, said Director Asis Perez, of the DAs Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Secretary Alcala said another bright spot is the increase of domestic supply, particularly of Indian sardines or tamban, mainly due to conservation efforts and
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DA allots P26M for Phl rice industry benchmark study


To address the impending effects of an agricultural free trade system in Southeast Asia by 2015, the Department of Agriculture has allotted P26 million to bankroll a benchmark study on the countrys rice economy in comparison with other rice-producing countries. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the study will serve as a management tool in crafting interventions to make the
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Editorial
Para sa mga Bosing ng Palayan
Kadalasang mahirap tahaking mga daan ang sinusugod ng mga agricultural extension workers (AEWs) ng Kagawaran para lamang mailapit sa mga magsasaka ang mga program at suporta ng pamahalaan. Sa tuwina, sinasalubong sila ng bagyo o dili kayay mainit na panahon. Ang lahat ng ito ay balewala sa kanila basta lamang marating ang kanilang paroroonan at tupdin ang tungkulin sa bayan. Oras, pagod, at minsan pa ngay personal resources ito ang malimit na kapalit ng marubdob na sakripisyo ng mga farm technician na walang-kapagurang dumadalaw sa malalayong komunidad, para maitaguyod ang maunlad at mas kompetitibong sektor ng agrikultura. Bilang pagpapahalaga sa kanilang sipag at tiyaga, 460 AEWs mula sa buong bansa ang ginawaran ng Department of Agriculture ng pagkilala sa idinaos na 2nd Rice Achievers Awards noong Marso 15, 2013 sa Philippine International Convetion Center. Sila ang magigiting na rice experts na nakikipagdiyalogo sa mga magsasaka ng palay upang lalo pang mapabuti ang kani-kanilang sistema ng pagtatanim at mapataas ang antas at dami ng kanilang ani. Sa kabila ng anumang balakid, regular silang bumibisita sa mga palayan upang turuan ng mga makabago at epektibong teknolohiya ng pagtatanim ang mga magsasaka. Mismong si Sec. Procy at Agri-Pinoy Rice Coordinator Assistant Secretary Dante Delima ang nagbigay ng mga tropeo sa mga awardees sambit ang matapat na pasasalamat sa kanilang kontribusyon sa target na rice sufficiency para sa lahat ng Pilipino. Bukod sa mga farm technician, binigyang parangal din ang 18 irrigators association at tatlong small water impounding projects. Tumanggap ang mga ito ng project grants na inaasahanag higit na magpapabuti ng kani-kanilang rice production. Tampok sa Rice Achievers Awards ang mga local government units (LGUs) kabilang na walang-sawang sumuporta sa sektor ng pagsasaka kaya naman matagumpay na napataas ang kanilang produksyon at ani. Sampung lalawigan din ang itinanghal na top producers ng bigas kabilang na ang Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Bulacan, Kalinga, La Union, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley at Zamboanga del Sur. Layunin ng Rice Achievers Awards na hikayatin ang mga LGUs, IAs, SWISAs at AEWs na patuloy na makibahagi tungo sa supisyente at sustenableng sektor ng palay. At tila naman epektibo ang incentive system na ito. Hindi maikakaila na mas mataas ang ani at mas malaki ang kita sa mga palayan. Ang lahat ng ito ay dahil sa patuloy na pagtutulong-tulong at pagpupunyagi ng lahat. Kaya naman, dagdag sa makikintab na tropeo at insentibo, maramat lamang ng patuloy nating kilalanin ang walang-kaparis na pagpupursige at patuloy na pasalamatan ang mga bossing ng palayan. Maraming salamat at saludo kami sa inyo.

Mango harvest in Dasoland. Sec. Alcala (left) holds a basket

of mangoes harvested from Dasoland adventure park, in Dasol, Pangasinan. Boasting of 7,500 mango trees, Dasoland was recently accredited by the DAs Bureau of Plant Industry as a mango nursery operator and source of quality mango seedlings. During his visit, on March 7, 2013, the DA chief said Dasoland owned by the family of Menardo Jimenez, former president and CEO of GMA media network will be included in the list agri-tourism sites that the DA will endorse to Filipino and foreign visitors. Joining him (from left) are Mrs. Carolina Jimenez of Dasoland, DA high value crops development program Director Jennifer Remoquillo, and DA Ilocos Regional Director Valentino Perdido.

Sufficiency does ...

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MT of rice into the country, as its minimum access volume or MAV. The 187,000 MT to be imported is within the MAV, and will be slapped with a 40% tariff. This early, we are already preparing to balance the situation by exporting fancy, colored and organic rice, which fetch higher prices in the international market than ordinary rice, the DA chief said. In fact, the country has been self-sufficient in rice for food as early as last year, said Assistant Secretary and National Rice Program Coordinator Dante S. Delima. Our 18-million MT palay production last year was equivalent to 11.75 million MT of milled rice. With a low consumption of about 113 kilograms of rice per person per year, we estimated that our rice production was able to meet the needs of 97.6 million Filipinos last year, Delima explained. This year, the targetted 20 million MT palay harvest would translate to 13 million MT of milled rice at 65% milling recovery. This would be more than enough to feed 99 million Filipinos, as total consumption would only amount to 11.2 million MT, at a per capita of 113 kg. We would still have surplus for buffer stock, seeds, processing, feeds, and waste, Delima said. (Adam Borja, DA National Rice
Program)

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. This issue is available in PDF file. For copies, please send requests via email: da_afis @yahoo.com.
Editor-In-Chief : Noel O. Reyes Associate Editors: Cheryl C. Suarez & Adora D. Rodriguez Writers: Adora D. Rodriguez, Arlhene S. Carro, Bethzaida N. Bustamante, Catherine N. Nanta 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 Bustamante and Almi Adeli Q. Erlano Printing & Circulation: Teresita Abejar & PCES Staff

a buffer stock to be used in times of need. We are working to meet our per capita consumption of about 115 kilograms per person per year, given our population of about 99 million, Secretary Alcala said. He said the government through the National Food Authority plans to import 187,000 MT this year as buffer stock. Said volume is barely eight percent of 2.4 million MT imported by the previous administration in 2010, Sec. Alcala said. Rice imports were reduced to 860,000 MT in 2011, and 500,000 MT last year. This means that our efforts towards self-sufficiency and reducing rice imports are gaining ground, he noted. Of course, our targets depend on weather conditions, especially since climate change is upon us. And it plays an indispensable role in rice farming. This is precisely the reason why we resort to buffer stocking, he said. Once we achieve rice self-sufficiency by the end of 2013, we may not be able to do away with our international commitments under the WTO and ASEAN, that require us to allow rice from other countries to enter our borders, he said. The Philippines is bound, under the WTO, to allow 350,000

Phl eyes onion exports, sends trial shipment to Japan


The Philippines is eyeing to export yellow onions to other countries, starting with Japan. The Department of Agriculture is partnering with the National Onion Growers Cooperative Marketing Association, Inc. (Nogrocoma) to make it a reality. Several DA and NOGROCOMA officials sent off a trial shipment of 20 metric tons of yellow granex onions to Japan, on March 16, 2013, at the Manila Harbor Center. The onions were harvested from Bongabon, Nueva Ecija considered as the countrys onion capital-and loaded in a 20foot container van bound for Osaka, Japan. Agriculture Secretary Chief Proceso J. Alcala said this simply means that Filipino farmers can produce quality farm products like onions for export to countries like Japan. If the initial shipment conforms to the quality standards and accepted by the Japanese market, it would pave the way to further boosting our onion industry, and providing our farmers assured market and income, not only in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, but also in other onion-growing areas in the country, the DA chief added. The trial shipment was a result of a research funded by the DA High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) through the Bureau of Agricultural Research, called Enhancing the productivity of yellow onion towards commercialization for the export market.

The DA in partnership with the National Onion Growers Cooperative Marketing Assn. (Nogrocoma) recently sent a trial shipment of 20 tons of yellow granex onions from Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, bound for Osaka, Japan. The send-off was led by DA assistant secretary Salvador S. Salacup (5th from left). Also shown (from left) are DA-AMAS director Leandro Gazmin, NAFC deputy director Florabelle UyYap, NAFC director Ariel Cayanan, Nogrocoma secretary-treasurer Fe Amor Ilagan, BPI director Clarito Barron, Nogrocoma CEO Dulce Gozon, Japanese expert Dr. Tehuko Tinaga, and Leah Cruz, chairperson of the national onion action team.
Under the project, Bongabon farmers were trained to produce cost-efficient, export-quality onions using quality seeds and modern production technologies. Agriculture Assistant Secretary Salvador S. Salacup, who represented Secretary Alcala during the send-off, said it has long been the vision of the DA to train and empower farmers so they can export, not only onions, but other vegetables and agricultural commodities as well. Nogrocoma CEO Ms. Dulce Gozon said if the trial shipment to Japan were successful, the country may start exporting yellow onions again after 13 years.
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DA assures LGUs of strong support


Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala assured local government chief executives (LCEs) that the Department of Agriculture will continue to assist them to develop the agri-fishery potentials and explore agribusiness opportunities of their respective areas. He made the assurance at the Mag-AGRI Tayo! Forum on sustaining and scaling up sustainable agriculture programs, March 14, 2013, at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, attended by LCEs whose towns or cities were previously declared as Galing Pook awardees. Galing Pook, an acronym for Gantimpalang Panglingkod Pook, is an annual search conducted by the Land Bank of the Philippines and Galing Pook Foundation that recognizes LGUs for their exemplary local governance, particularly in implementing innovative socio-economic development projects, and subsequently uplift the economic standards of farmers, fishers, other ruralfolk, and the community in general. The contest started in 1993. He told the LCEs that the DA will prioritize agri-fishery project proposals where their LGUs could counterpart or share an equity. He said the DA prefers counterparting as it indicates that the town or province is willing to stake and invest, and thus serious in effectively implementing projects and programs for the benefit of constituents. The LCEs who presented the respective projects are: South Cotabato for its organic agriculture program; San Jose, Nueva Ecija for its farmer-entrepreneurship program; San Mateo, Isabela for mungo production; and Midsayap, North Cotabato for its farm-to-market project. Also present in the forum are Landbank of the Philippines Vice President Catherine Villanueva, Galing Pook Executive Director Eddie Dorotan, ABA partylist representative and DA former chief Leonardo Montemayor, National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary and Lead Convenor Joel Rocamora, and Edicio dela Torre of DA.

VCO increases good cholesterol


Thus is the finding of a team of medical experts from the University of Santos Tomas (UST). Such favorable attribute should be indicated in the label of bottles of virgin coconut oil (VCO), replacing the phrase no therapeutic claim, said Administrator Euclides G. Forbes of the DAs Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). Hence, he has requested the
DAs Bureau of Agricultural and Fishery Products Standards (BAFPS) to allow producers to

remove the phrase no therapeutic claim on VCO labels, and replace it with increases good cholesterol or High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). He said the revision should be done once the necessary

change in the Philippine National Standards (PNS) of VCO has been facilitated and a subsequently approved by the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Such change will definitely boost the sale of VCO in both local and export markets, VCO, Forbes said. The study, conducted by the UST Research Center for Natural and Applied Sciences, showed that VCO is safe for human consumption, and increases HDL or good cholesterol. This makes the VCO drinkers less prone to heart attack and stroke. We only hear anecdotes of its benefits before, but now its the scientists and doctors who have confirmed it, Agriculture Secre-

tary Proceso J. Alcala said. Dr. Christina Binag, the team leader, said the study conducted for four months, and participated by 110 volunteers, who drank three tablespoons of VCO every day, while another 79 took placebo drug similar to VCO. The four-month study done in 2011 also showed that with or without VCO, only one risk factor of hypertension, but controlled and no other clinically significant abnormalities was present. The team reported four most common positive experiences, nemely: regular bowel movement; increased appetite and stamina; better sleep; and weight lose or gain.
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March 2013

Mango farmers get P15M


The Department of Agriculture is providing this year an initial P10 million (M) to support the initiatives of a national mango farmers group, and has shared P5-million worth of farm equipment and inputs to farmers during a recent national mango congress. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the P10 M will fund the major projects of the Philippine Mango Industry Foundation, Inc. (PMIFI) that include planting of recommended mango seedlings, provision of postharvest equipment and facilities, marketing assistance, and capacitybuilding of PMIFI members, particularly provincial mango growers associations and cooperatives. The DA through its High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) provided the amount to PMIFI President Virginia de la Fuente, during the15th National Mango Congress, March 20, 2013, at the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, in Iba, Zambales. Formed in 2001, the PMIFI is composed of more than 1,000 farmer-members nationwide, belonging to 15 mango growers associations and federations. During the congress, Secretary Alcala also raffled off to participants P5-million worth of farm equipment and inputs that included 50 power sprayers, 10 knapsack sprayers, 200 bags of flower-inducers, 10,000 mango seedlings, and 10 draft carabao with implements. The DAHVCDP also provided Zambales farmers with 50,000 mango seedlings. Secretary Alcala urged mango farmers to consider integrating in their orchard other income-generating projects like apiculture or honey bee production, and raising poultry, goats and sheep. They may also consider transforming their mango farm into an agro-tourism site, particularly during harvest season, the DA chief added. For her part, HVCDP national program coordinator Jennifer Remoquillo said the DA aims to

Secretary Alcala (middle) and DA-High Value Crops Development Program national coordinator Jennifer Remoquillo (right) sign an agreement that will provide a P10-million support to the Philippine Mango Industry Foundation Inc. (PMIFI) thru its president Virginia de la Fuente (left), during the 15th National Mango Congress, March 20, 2013, at the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, in Iba, Zambales. Also shown (standing, 2nd 3rd from left) are Zambales 2nd district Rep. Jun Omar Ebdane and Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane.
help prop up the countrys mango industry by providing needed interventions to attain major targets under the mango commodity road map. These include increasing production and exports of fresh and processed mangoes by five percent (%) annually, and per capita consumption from 8.5 kilograms (kg) to 11.5 kg. Last year, the country produced 767,851 metric tons (MT) of mangoes. Of these, $58-million worth of fresh (17,908 MT valued at $14M) and dried (4,855 MT valued at $44M) mangoes were exported to various countries, from January to October 2012, according to NSO foreign trade statistics. The DA-HVCDP under its fouryear road map targets to increase mango production to 955,823 MT this year, and 5% more annually, up to 1.1 million MT by 2016, Remoquillo said. To further improve the quality of Philippine mangoes for both domestic and export markets, the DA-HVCDP is funding several researches through the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), which include cultivar development, improvement of peel thickness, color, sweetness, and resistance to pests and diseases like anthracnose and mango seed and pulp weevils. The three-day 15th national mango congress was attended by more than 500 mango growers and industry stakeholders, local government officials led by Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane, and mango experts and resource persons, who discussed updates on sustainable and profitable mango production, raising organic mangoes, and trends in post harvest technologies, processing and marketing.
(Catherine N. Nanta, DA-AFIS) .

DA supports farmer-entrepreneurship program


The Department of Agriculture will vigorously support initiatives to enable farmers sell their produce to institutional buyers. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala made the assurance during a farmers forum, March 14, 2013, spearheaded by the Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC). The three institutions have been implementing a Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP) since 2008. They train and finance farmers groups to produce and market quality farm products such as vegetables to agribusiness enterprises. The DA chief said while the countrys economy has been improving, small farmers, fishers and ruralfolk have not felt the economic improvement. He said the FEP is one initiative that should be expanded and highlighted to show that the programs of the Aquino administration is felt by small farmers and the Filipino people, especially those in the countryside. He said the DA has also established last year six Agri-Pinoy Trading Centers and will be constructing eight more this year. The DA is making sure that the trading centers are pro-farmers. We will assist them sell their produce directly to wholesale buyers, Secretary Alcala said. The DA chief was glad to hear that Jollibee advocates organic farming. He said the DA is finding ways of lowering the production cost, and it will help farmers up to postharvest and processing by providing them needed equipment and facilities. The FEP Forum was participated by LGUs and academe from Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Agusan del Sur, and Davao Oriental. The participants presented how the FEP has helped small farmers groups create a more systematic production and marketing approach that eventually led them to successfully selling their produce to institutional markets. (Marlo Asis, DA-AFIS)

Secretary Alcala (middle) receives a plaque of appreciation from Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) president Grace Tan Caktiong (3rd from right), during a Farmers Entrepreneurship Program forum, March 14, 2013, in Mandaluyong City. Joining them (from left) are Red Ribbon president Joseph Tan Buntiong, JFC finance officer Ysmael Baysa, CRS Philippines head Ryan Russel, NLDC president Gondelina Amata, and JFC vice president Belen Rillo.

DTI to allot P2B to boost coco coir industry


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will infuse P2 billion to augment the budget of the DAs Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), particularly for programs and projects to further develop coco coir products. DTI Undersecretary Merly M. Cruz made the commitment during the 2nd National Coco Coir Summit, themed May Pera sa Bunot, March 21-22, 2013, in Lucena City. By 2016, we intend to place the countrys coco coir industry as the top three exporter of coco coir in the world, she said during the two-day event that gathered 1,000 coconut industry stakeholders. Cruz said the industry targets to achieve export revenue of US$50 million, domestic sales of P1.7 billion, create 10,000 jobs, and increase the production of 200,000 coconut farmers and 450 small and medium enterprises (SMEs). To achieve the targets, she said the DA, DTI, and other industry players should develope and expand domestic supplybase for coco coir, strengthen access to domestic and export market information, and expand market linkage among industry players. She presented four business models, namely: communitybased integrated processing; big-brother integrator (with decorticating plant and outsources twining to communities); tufting facility as market consolidator of coco twines; and triple-armor application of coir in mining sites. She said other sunrise coconut by-products that have export potentials are coco peat (which serves as a soil conditioner), geo-textile, coco nets and coco fascines. She said the US, China, European Union and other Asian countries remain the big potential export markets for coir mattresses, rubberized coir, coir tufted mats and coir twines and yarns. At present, Cruz said our major export markets for coco coir, peat and other by-products such as raw or baled fiber are China, Japan, Taiwan, and USA; for coco peat and dust - China, Korea, Singapore, and Japan; for coco twines or cordage - China, EU, UAE, US, and Asian countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam; and Malaysia and US for other products such as carpets. Cruz said the government and the private sector should jointly invest in support industries such as transport, machinery and ancillaries, and strengthening of small coconut farmers cooperatives, associations and processors. She said there are now two new government programs supporting the industry, the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) of the DTI and Coco Tufting Facility of the DA-PCA. Data from the PCA show that the Philippines lags behind in coconut production and volume of coir exports in 2011 compared with other countries like Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and Indonesia. Last year, the country produced only 6,037 metric tons (MT) of coco coir products for export, from more than 15 billion nuts harvested from 3.5 million hectares. On the other hand, Sri Lanka produced and exported 20 times (120,600 MT) of coco coir products. From 2010 to 2012, the countrys coco coir exports included raw or baled fiber (62 percent), coco peat or dust (25 percent), coco twines or cordage (11 percent), and other products (2 percent), Cruz said. The attendance of participants from various government agencies, industry players and stakeholders clearly signifies the sustained interest in and enthusiastic support for the coco coir industry. Working harmoniously together and consolidating our resources and efforts, we can all look forward to a sustained future, said PHILCOIR, Inc. President Ariel F. Aguirre. Aguire said a draft executive order (EO) creating the Philippine Coco Coir Industry Development Council (PCCIDC) has been done and submitted to President Aquino for his consideration and approval. The EO creating the PCCIDC aims to promote the development of the coco coir industry and directing domestic utilization in organic agriculture, horticulture and soil erosion control projects of government, expanding value-adding and export promotion. Once the EO is signed, the industry can look forward to the creation of a big domestic market for coco coir products, specially, coco nets to be used by the DPWH for slope protection and erosion control for its road construction projects as well as DENR for rehabilitation mining sites; and coco peat to be used by the DA and the PCA for the fertilization of coconuts and other agricultural crops. We are hopeful that this EO will finally unlock the huge economic potential of the coco fiber and coco peat subsectors bringing about the unprecedented growth and helping alleviate poverty in the countryside, Aguirre said. (PNA)

PCA continues campaign against scale insects in Batangas, Quezon


The DAs Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is sustaining its campaign to eradicate scale insects infesting coconut trees in nine towns in Batangas. PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes said the campaign is conducted by a team composed of the PCA Scale Insect Control Action Team (SICAT), DA technical men, and representatives from the Local Government Units (LGUs). The team has been implementing mitigating measures which include pruning, spraying and fertilization in the affected municipalities. During our field tests, we found out that mineral and/or vegetable oils and dishwashing liquid soap can be used as alternatives to pesticides, Forbes said. PCA experts recommend the use of mineral and/or vegetable oils with 4% concentration for spraying on scale insect-infested coconut trees, young and old palms. A dishwashing liquid soap with 4% concentration may also be used as a spray solution. Spraying should be done every 10 to15 days. Said alternatives are cheaper and safer than pesticides, said Forbes. The use of mineral and/or vegetable oils and dishwashing liquid soap as spray solution to control scale insects was also supported by former UPLB Chancellor Dr. Luis Rey Velasco, who is an entomologist. As part of the campaign, PCA scientist Ambrosio Raul Alfiler said they also released thousands of predators of scale insects in affected towns in Batangas, Quezon and Laguna: in Talisay (2,500), and Sto. Tomas (3,000), in Batangas; Dolores (1,690), and Sampaloc (2,000), in Quezon; and 1,000 in Cavinti and Liliw, Laguna (1,000). With the help of LGUs, farmers, landowners and other concerned agencies, the campaign against scale insect will succeed. A united, community effort is essential in getting rid of this infestation, Forbes said.
(Coconut Media Service)

Abaca exports dip in 2012


The countrys abaca exports dipped to $108 million (M) last year, 23 percent less than $140M in 2011. Administrator Cecile Soriano of the DAs Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) said this was due to weak demand in key markets like the US and Europe. Last years exports comprised of abaca pulp (69% of total), worth $74.7M; cordage, $16.2M; fiber crafts, $10.7M; and abaca fabric, $1M. Soriaso said demand is expected to pick up this year, and several investors are keen on producing more abaca by-products like tea bags, casing of meat sausages, surgical masks and cigarette paper. Other new high-value abaca products include monobloc chairs, biocomposite and yarn for making denim. She said FIDA is facilitating the opening of new markets for abaca fiber and other abaca products to offset the weak demand from traditional markets. FIDA has entered into negotiations with buyers from France, Spain, Qatar and Russia for the supply of fiber twine, rope, mat and pulp. She said FIDA is helping abaca farmers certify their farms and conform with international standards, so they could sell their products to the world market. For this initiative, FIDA is coordinating with an international certifying company (Rainforest Alliance). Soriano said Rainforest Alliance-certified abaca farms and processing firms could gain access to more foreign markets and sell their products at a higher price.
(FIDA)

March 2013

Barangay Bongtud is an urban barangay that lies in the northwestern part of Tandag City in Surigao del Sur. It has a total land area of a little over 34 hectares and is generally mountainous and rugged in topography. Although it lies facing the Pacific Ocean , it is sheltered from strong typhoons as it is enclosed the two islands of Linungao. With a total fishing ground strengthening up to 200 hectares, the community is famous for its tuna and tunalike fish products. It has 400 registered fisherfolk, with an estimated volume of catch ranging from five (5) to ten (10) metric tons per trip depending on the season. The Tandag Boholano Fishermen Association or TANBOFISA, created in 2004, aims to strengthen the ties among its members and to increase their income through various livelihood projects. With twenty initial members, it was registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and accredited by the Local Government of Tandag pursuant to SB Resolution No. 035, Series of 2005. To augment their income and ensure a ready market for their daily catch, the fishermen who formed TANBOFISA applied for a Barangay Food Terminal Project of the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service. After an extensive evaluation of the proposal, the groups application was subsequently approved and TANBOFISA

A food terminal for and by fishermen


By Lea C. Deriquito and Oda D. Rodriguez)

Food Terminal was launched on the 27th of November 2008. Apart from the P30,000-grant as initial working capital, the DA also provided TANBOFISA weighing scale, plastic crates, cash register, and other equipment for their operation and basic management and skills training conducted by the CARAGA field office and the City Agricultures Office. In addition, the City Government gave Php130,000 while the fishers association shelled another Php30,000.00 as counterpart, used for building renovation and other expenses. Strategically located at the crossroad of the barangay hall and Tandag Port , the TANBOFISA BFT has a stable market, servicing seven (7) puroks with a total population of 5,822 and catering to customers from the nearby elementary

school, the Philippine Ports Authority and the Coast Guard offices as well as the warehouse of San Miguel Corporation. The BFT operates seven days a week and sells a variety of agri-fishery products. It has become a one-stop-shop for its customers selling basic grocery items which include cooking ingredients and other home supplies. According to regular client Roselyn Nuevas, Lahat ng pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan namin nasa BFT na. Hindi na ako kailangang pumunta sa bayan, adding that the P16transporation fare she saves she is able to use for other expenses. The BFT also contributed to the increase in income of some of its consumer. Lerma Rebucca testified, Mula ng magkaroon ng BFT lumaki ang kita ko mula sa Php200 naging Php400 sa pagtitinda ng banana cue, kasi mas mura ang ingredients na nabibili ko sa BFT tapos nakakatipid pa ako sa pamasahe. She added that because of the BFT she is able to send her children to school and earn during days when her husband would return from the seas fishless. Other members have started growing vegetables and raising hogs which they sell to the BFT. Teodesia Landero said, Nagkaroon kami ng additional

income kasi binibili ng BFT ang mga produkto namin na nangagaling sa bakuran. To expand the business, the BFT management, thru a soft loan from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, bought a unit of delivery vehicle which they now use to transport their products to nearby barangays. On its return trip, the vehicle is loaded with newly harvested products and basic commodities. The establishment of the BFT brought many changes in the lives of the TANBOFISA members as well as other residents living in Barangay Bongtud and its neighboring communities. Fisherman Edgar Evangelio recalls how his family have struggled to make ends meet. Noon maliit lang ang mga bangka namin, ngayon malaki na. Mahirap ang kalagayan namin noon dahil kontrolado ng fish traders ang presyo ng isda pero ngayon kaya na naming mag-dikta ng presyo, he narrates. Rolando Salubre confirmed this and added, Ngayon mas malaki ang kita namin kasi wala ng ng middleman, kami na mismo ang nagbebenta ng huling isda, at higit sa lahat ngayon may siguradong kaming pagdadalhan ng huli. (Editors note: The TANBOFISA BFT was adjudged as an Outstanding BFT under the NGO-managed category in the 2012 DA Regional Gawad Saka contest.)

Herbal medicine production provides women in Surallah additional income of up to P5,000 a month.

Haydee Ledres, chairperson of Centralla Alternative Medicine Producers Cooperative (CAMPC), in Surallah, South Cotabato, shows off their herbal products. (Photos by Sherwin
Manual)

Herbal processing offers cheap organic medicines to South Cotabato ruralfolk


Surallah, South Cotabato Long queues of indigent ruralfolk seeking medical assistance used to be a common scenario in the Mayors office here, until a local executive turned to herbal medicine as his alternative solution. Mayor Romulo Solivio, Sr. believes that prevention is better than cure, and with his penchant for organic products, he came-up with an idea for the LGU to produce herbal medicine, said municipal midwife Haydee Ledres. Dogged by their noble intention to provide alternative medicine for their poor and sick constituents, Surallah officials created the Himsug (healthy) Surallah Herbal Laboratory in 2006. The laboratory which later expanded into Centralla Alternative Medicine Producers Cooperative (CAMPC) has been producing food supplements and herbal medicines derived from the leaves and fruits of malunggay, mangosteen, sambong, banaba, turmeric, which processed in either capsule or powder form. CAMPC herbal products are a lot cheaper than commercial or generic brands, at least half the price, making them affordable. The CAMPC also provides free medicine to local indigents, upon orders from the Mayors office. The production of food supplements and herbal medicine did not come easy at the start. We have to go through the rigors of BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs) certification just to ensure that our products are safe for human consumption, said Ledres who is also the CAMPC chairperson. Stringent requirements include the need to have an enclosed and well-sanitized processing center to avoid contamination. Another critical requirement is the bacteriology tests wherein they pay P10, 000 for each product. We failed twice on this test not because of poor hygiene but because of high moisture content which makes our product vulnerable to contamination, Ledres said adding: High moisture content was due to our conventional way of drying our raw materials. Sun drying cannot assure us of the exact moisture and worst during rainy seasons our ingredients usually end up contaminated resulting to a lot of wastage, she said. To address this concern, they intend to purchase a mechanical dehydrator but unable to do so due to financial constraints. They sought assistance from various agencies until they were endorsed to the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP). MRDP is an anti-poverty program jointly funded by the World Bank, national government and local government units (LGUs). Implemented under the Department of Agriculture (DA), the program provides assistance to LGUs and peoples organization in form of infrastructure and livelihood projects. Noting not only their noble objectives but also their capability to handle development projects, CAMPC was able to access P500, 000 from the Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD), MRDPs livelihood component.

by Noel T. Provido
The bulk of the funds we have availed ourselves of was used to buy the dehydrator machine worth P336, 000 while the remaining amount was used to buy glass cabinet making products on display more presentable, Ledres said. Whereas the conventional facility can only yield for them 2 kilos of ingredients a day, the dehydrator machine enables them to produce as much as 110 kilos of ingredients a day. It has also improved the quality of their product and reduced if not eliminated wastage. With the dehydrator machine, you can set the exact temperature gauge and get the desired moisture content and avoid contamination. So when we subjected our products to several testing we were eventually granted the seal of approval from BFAD, Ledres said. The technological advances resulted in corresponding increase in daily income for CAMPC from only P1, 500 to as high as P15, 000 giving their association enough profit to sustain and expand its operations. Providing alternative incomes The production of herbal medicine has also provided alternative income to local farmers being tapped as suppliers of raw materials. We only source them (raw materials) within the town to ensure that they are organically-produced and at the same time provide additional income
(Pls turn to p11)

Ms Ledres shows a dehydrator, which only takes less than a day Ledres to dry organic leaves and other ingredients, which are then processed into capsules and powder form.

March 2013

P42-M corn processing center rises up in Cam Sur


The Department of Agriculture recently inaugurated a P42-million (M) corn post harvest processing and trading center in Caraycayon,Tigaon, Camarines Sur, that will benefit up to 2,000 farmers, in six corn cluster municipalities in the province. DA Assistant Secretary and national corn program coordinator Edilberto M. de Luna, representing Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, led the inauguration ceremonies, on March 18, 2013. The project is a joint undertaking of the Muncipality of Tigaon, which bankrolled the cost of the warehouse, office building, and a 3-phase electric power set-up, totaling P21M, while the DA through the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) shouldered the postharvest machinery and equipment, worth P21.6M. The facility features the following components and equipment: a 1,200-square meter warehouse; corn cob dryer with 4 bins, at 50-metric ton (MT) capacity per bin, drying time of 22 hours to 30 hours with moisture content (MC) of 30% to 20%; 1 unit sheller with 16 to 20-MT capacity per unit, and drying time of 4 hrs. and cooling time of 2 hrs.; 3 units cob furnace with boiler heat exchanger; 1 unit holding bin, with 30-MT capacity; and a conveyor system. DA Bicol regional director Abelardo R. Bragas said the facility could reduce post-harvest losses by 5% equivalent to about 800 kilograms per hectare per year. It will also ensure availability of corn grains with 14% MC, even during wet season harvest; provide additional income for farmers of about P4,000 per hectare per year; generate employment or direct labor for 13 persons and indirect labor for some 250 persons. With the facility, farmers will be assured of high quality corn grains, with less aflatoxin (less than 20 parts per billion), thus good for human and livestock consumption. Moreover, processing efforts like shelling and drying commonly practiced by corn farmers will be reduced. The DA Bicol regional corn program coordinator and chief of the Operations Division Eduardo L. Lomerio said the raw materials to be used are matured corn on cob (at least 105 days for yellow corn), with 27% to 30% MC, a minimum of 10 hectares supply areas daily (if yield is 10 tons of corn on cobs per hectare); dryers are biomass-fuelled using the corn cobs and its input requirement of corn on cob at full capacity is 100 MT per day. Ef-

DA-NFA ensures rice, food supply in Tawi-tawi, Sulu


The Department of Agriculture will provide additional supply of rice and basic food items in Tawi-tawi, Sulu and Basilan to satisfy the increased demand due to the influx of returning Filipinos and refugees from Sabah. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has instructed concerned DA officials to ensure a steady supply of rice and other basic food items in the three provinces to prevent a shortage and undue increase in prices. He instructed Administrator Orlan Calayag of the DAs National Food Authority to sustain the delivery of rice, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and respective local governments units (LGUs). Sec. Alcala also instructed the DA regional directors in Mindanao to send additional supply of cassava, which also serves as a major staple, to Tawi-tawi and Sulu. In a report to Sec. Alcala, Calayag said the NFA as of March 9, has delivered an initial 2,200 bags (of 50 kilos each) to Tawi-tawi and Sulu (at 1,000 bags each), and 200 bags in Zamboanga City. The DSWD has exclusively allotted the NFA rice for Filipino returnees from Sabah. The NFA is shipping 180 to 250 bags of rice, two to three times a week, to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the NFA regional office in Davao is ready to ship 50,000 bags to both provinces, Calayag said. Other NFA regional offices, particularly in Metro Manila (NCR) and Region 6 (Western Visayas), are also set to send additional rice stocks to Zamboanga for delivery to the countrys three southernmost provinces, and cater to the needs of Filipinos returning from Sabah.

DA Asst. Secretary and national corn program coordinator Edilberto de Luna switches on the Caraycayon corn processing facility, in Tigaon, Camarines Sur. Looking on is DA-Bicol regional director Abelardo Bragas.

Pangasinan okays 2011-2016 corn road map


The provincial government of Pangasinan recently approved for implementation its Corn Road Map for 2011-2016. The approval of the road map, authored by board member Raul Sison, chairman on agriculture, coincided with the celebration of a corn festival in Sto. Tomas, a maj or corn producer in Pangasinan. The corn roadmap, jointly prepared by the DA Ilocos Regional Office and the provincial government, serves as a guide and framework in carrying out various programs to increase the profective system recovery is 55% to 60%. The facility is strategically located at the center of the corn areas of the Partido district, covering the towns of Tigaon, Sangay, Goa, San Jose, Lagonoy and Ocampo, with a total corn area of about 4,000 hectares. It will serve as the major hub or center for buying (corn on cobs); trading and processing activities like cob drying, shelling and grains drying, sales tax will also accrue to the municipality of Tigaon. The inauguration ceremonies also coincided with the holding of the regional corn congress at the same venue Joining Asst Sec de Luna and Dir. Bragas were Representative Arnulfo P. Fuentebella (Cam Sur, 4th District), Tigaon Mayor Arnulf Bryan B. Fuentebella; former Bicol DA regional director and now special assistant to the secretary Dr. Jose V. Dayao; DAR regional director, Atty.
(Pls turn to p10)

duction of quality yellow and white corn varieties in Pangasinan. Others involved in the preparation of the corn road map were resepctive municipal and city Agriculture offices, corn farmers, and other stakeholders of the corn industry. The road map includes targets, plans, programs, projects, and activities that are geared towards increasing and sustaining the agricultural productivity of the province. It also tackles necessary interventions in the corn industry such as production support, post-harvest facility needs, and extension support services. The roadmap also discusses efforts aimed at enhancing farmers capability like using latest cost-reducing technologies thus increasing their profit. Among others, the road map calls for cooperation among stakeholders by sharing human and agricultural resources for an effective and efficient implementation of productivity programs and proj ects to sustain the provinces capacity as one of the leading corn producers in the region. To implement the corn roadmap, the provincial government is committing the services of its109 technical staff and agricultural extension workers (AEW), 13 of whom are from the PAO and 96 from various municipal and city agriculture offices. Pangasinan is vying for the top five corn producing provinces under the DAs 2013 Corn Quality Award. It recently won as one of the top 10 provinces in the recent 2012 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award. (PNA)

DA wages campaign vs rice smuggling


The Department of Agriculture enjoins local chief executives, agriculturists, farm technicians and farmers to j oin the governments campaign against smuggled rice, as it distorts fair trade, depresses prices of palay, and discourages farmers to plant rice. Malaking pinsala ang smuggling sa ating industriya ng bigas. Pinapatay nito ang patas na kalakaran na nagbubunga din ng pagbaba ng presyo ng ating mga palay. Nahihirapan at nawawalan ng gana tuloy ang ating mga magsasaka, said Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, during the 2nd Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards, March 15, 2013, at the Philippine International Convention Center, in Pasay City. This is the reason why the Aquino government is exerting efforts to clamp down on rice smuggling, which is a form of economic sabotage, the DA chief noted. He thus called on all rice industry players and the general public to take part in a renewed campaign against rice smuggling, particularly so that the country is set to attain rice sufficiency this year. Makibahagi sana tayo na labanan ang ganitong mga gawain, lalo pa at nasa kamay na natin ang ating minimithing kasapatan sa bigas ngayong taon, Secretary Alcala added. Last month (February 22, 2013), a covenant against smuggling was forged by rice industry players in Luzon composed of farmer-leaders, rice millers, traders, and retailers, witnessed by Secretary Alcala and National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Orlan Calayag. This year, the country will still import rice to serve as buffer stock, at 187,000 metric tons, said Secretary Alcala. It is part of the 350,000 MT, which is the minimum volume of rice imports allowed by the Philippines under an agreement with other member-countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Philippines has greatly reduced its rice imports from a high of 2.45 million MT in 2010, 860,000 MT in 2011, and 500,000 MT last year as the Aquino government has successfully increased production of palay (unmilled rice) as a result of increasing infrastructure investments and annual DA budget. National palay harvest has steadily grew from 15.77 million MT in 2010, to 16.68 million MT in 2011, and 18.03 million MT last year. The DA targets to produce more than 20 million tons this year, equivalent to 100 percent sufficiency In his speech during the 2nd Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards, the DA chief also urged farmers, local officials and rice industry players to sustain and strengthen efforts to export premium, aromatic rice. Further, he asked farmers to further reduce the cost of producing palay with the use of quality seeds, modern yet sustainable inputs and technologies, and postharvest facilities. This will enable them to compete with their counterparts in Thailand, Vietnam and other south east Asian countries, once the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) commences in 2015. Finally, he asked the participants and the general public to be responsible rice consumers, and consider eating other staples like white corn, cassava, sweet potato and saba which is part of the National Year of Rice advocacy campaign. (Marlo Asis)

DA-Bicol observes womens month


The Department of Agriculture Bicol Region observed Womens Month, in recognition of the important role and contribution of Bicolanas not only in rearing their families but also in nationbuilding. The event, co-sponsored by the DA Lady Employees Assn., focused on the theme: Kababaihan gabay sa pagtahak sa tuwid na daan. It was held at the DA regional office in PIli, Camarines Sur, March 18, 2013. DA-RFU5 technical director for operations Ellen de los Santos said the activity gives importance to women not only as mothers or housewives, but also as role models in society. She said women are now empowered, and given the chance to be leaders. They are now aware and fight for their rights and privileges, contirbuting their share in making our society a peaceful and worth living for. Atty. Leni Robredo, wife of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, was the events guest speaker. She discussed the Kasambahay Law or RA 10361. She said a person or a family is judged on how well they treat other people, specially the kasambahay or househelp. If a family treats the kasambahay justly, he or she works well and stays longer with the family, and he or she becomes part of the family.

The provincial government of Leyte launched the National Year of Rice or NYR with an info caravan, at Ormoc City Hall, on March 20, 2013, highlighted by the unveiling of the the NYR logo. The launch was led by Ormoc City Mayor Eric C. Codilla (middle), DA8 regional rice program coordinatorRufino B. Ayaso III , other DA8 and Ormoc officials, and resource persons from various partner agencies.
(DA-RAFID8)

Atty. Leni Robredo, wife of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, served as guest of honor at DA-Bicol Womens Day celebration, where she talked on womens rights and the Kasambahay Law. March 2013

Robredo said it is also important to be familiar with the Kasambahay Law to know the rights and privileges of a kasambahay, like being allowed to have a day-off, given a 13th month pay, and an SSS insurance. Other topics discussed during the celebration are: Womens role in fighting corruption and living a life of integrity by Emily Bordado, chief of RAFID and the resident Ombudsman of DA; Personality development for career women by Mr. Anjo Santos, owner of Megapolis Events Company. (Mabelle Ilan, DA-RAFID5)

VCO increases ...


(from p3)
Further, the UST team noted that 13% of the VCO takers said they became sexually active during the four-month study. On the other hand, negative side effects experienced by the participants in VCO group included soft bowel, stomach ache, sweating and nausea. The clinical study, commissioned by PCA, is the largest made on VCO, as it involved 189 participants. It gave scientific bases to the testimonies and claims on the effect of VCO in the level of total cholesterol, in human beings. (Coconut Media Service)

Phil eyes onion ...


p 3)

(from

Ciao agricoltura. Secretary Alcala and Italian Ambassador

DA allots ...

(from p1)

Philippines competitive in rice production, processing and marketing, and in preparation for the regional economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. The study will also consider effects of climate change on the countrys rice industry, and how to surmount said challenge. Makikiisa tayo sa paggawa ng baseline study sa industriya ng bigas, kabilang ng ating mga karatig bansa sa ASEAN. Layunin nating magkaroon ng mas malalim na kaalaman lalo pa at inaasahan nating mabubuksan ang merkado ng Asya sa ibat ibang uri ng pagkain sa darating na 2015 sa ilalim ng ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the DA chief told over 1,000 participants at the 2nd Agri Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards, March 15, 2013, at the

Massimo Roscigno share a light moment during the latters visit, March 18, 2013, at the DA national office in Quezon City. They discussed possible partnerships to uplift the economic standards of small farmers, fishers and ruralfolk, particularly in Mindanao.
Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. The AEC adopted during the 13 th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, in November 2007, in Singapore envisions a single market and production base, a competitive region with equitable economic development, and integrated into the global economy, according to the ASEAN website. The AEC aims to transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital. Secretary Alcala said free trade among ASEAN countries in 2015 would definitely impact on local production, marketing, and distribution, and affect farmers income. Hence, it is imperative to conduct the study, and it is prudent to be prepared, he noted. Patuloy ang mga pag-aaral sa epekto nito sa ating ekonomiya, ngunit mabuti na ang maging maagap, he said. For his part, DA Assistant Secretary and National Rice Program Coordinator Dante S. Delima said the benchmark study will be conducted jointly by the DAs Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Funded by the DA national rice program, the study covers the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and China. It will also determine various government policies that affect competitiveness in rice production and marketing of commercial and hybrid rice varieties. Delima said the study is important especially in light of President Benigno S. Aquinos recent pronouncement that agriculture, along with tourism and infrastructure, is among the top priority sectors to attract foreign investments. (Adam Borja, DA National Rice
Program)

She said the countrys onion industry suffered a slump in the 1990s due to entry of cheaper smuggled onions, easing out local onions in the market. With the revival of onion exports, more farmers in Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro and other provinces would be encouraged to plant yellow granex and earn more income, Gozon said. Last year, the country produced 124,830 metric tons (MT) of onions, worth P3.9 billion in current prices. Of this volume, yellow onions comprised 15%, red onions (55%) and shallots (30%), Gozon said. Leah Cruz, chairperson of the National Onion Action Team, said Filipino farmers should produce the right quality and size of onions to penetrate and create a niche, not only in the Japanese market, but also in other possible export destinations. HVCDP director Jennifer E. Remoquillo said the DA will continue to provide needed support to further prop up and make the countrys onion industry globally competitive, in partnership with Nogrocoma, other onion farmers groups, and other concerned DA agencies. These include providing farmers with quality planting materials and other farm inputs and equipment, onion hanger storage facilities, marketing assistance, conduct of appropriate and location-specific researches, and establishment techno-demonstration farms to showcase different onion varieties, among other interventions. (DA-AFIS & HVCDP)

Fishery sector faces ...


(from p 1) imposition of a no fishing season in waters off Mindanao and Visayas. The DA-BFARin partnership with commercial and municipal fishermen, local government units, and other concerned agencieshas initially imposed a closed fishing season in Zamboanga Peninsula from December 1, 2011 to February 28, 2012, coinciding with the sardines spawning season. The area covered East Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait and Sibuguey Bay. As a result, Dir. Perez said catch of sardines has initially increased by 6% to 156,150 MT in 2012 versus 146,835 MT in 2011, according to the DA-BAS.
(Pls turn to p11)

P42-M corn processing center ... (from p8)


Maria Celestina Manlangit-Tam; NFA regional director Alan Borja; Rochelle Ballesteros, NABCOR plant manager for Luzon; municipal agriculturists and technicians from other corn clusters; other DA regional officials and representatives from various agrochemical corporations which also had their product presentations. (Emily B. Bordado, DA 5
Info Div. Chief)

RP-Iraq sugar trade in the works. Secretary Alcala and Iraqi

Ambassador Wadee Batti Hanna Al-Batti discuss possible trade partnership on sugar, long grain aromatic organic rice and other agricultural products, during a courtesy visit at the DA national office in Quezon City. Ambassador Al-Batti has expressed interest in buying Philippine sugar. Secretary Alcala, on the other hand, said the country welcomes Iraqi investors interested in farm mechanization and food processing facilities.

10

Fishery sector faces ...


(from p10)
With this favorable result, the DA-BFAR was once again imposed a three-month no fishing season in water off Zamboanga Peninsula. We have also imposed a similar closed fishing season in the Visayan Seas, said Secretary Alcala. The ban started in November 15, 2012 and ended March 15, 2013. BFAR assistant director Drucila Esther Bayate said a no fishing season on said months in the Visayan Sea has been in existence since 1989, but it was only this year that the policy was vigorously implemented with the full cooperation of all commercial fishing operators, LGUs, Philippine Coast Guard and other stakeholders. She said the Visayan Seas is a major source of sardines, herrings and mackerels.. This early, the DA-BFAR said tamban is now caught abundantly caught in Ragay Gulf, in Camarines Sur. W ith the initial success in Zamboanga and Visayan Seas, Secretary Alcala said the DABFAR is considering other major fishing grounds like Palawan, where a no fishing season could be imposed to induce spawning of fish species like round scad or galunggong. (DA Information
Service)

Herbal processing ...


(from p7)
to our farmers, Ledres said. She said for malunggay alone, a group farmer supplier earns P500 a week while for luyang dilaw or turmeric; they earn P1, 000 a week with a delivery of 2 sacks or 100 kilos at P10 per kilo. CAMPC operations also provided livelihood to rural women particularly the volunteered barangay health workers (BHWs) in the area. Ledres said eight BHWs are currently employed in packaging of herbal capsules. The packaging of capsules was intended to be done manually to give our BHWs additional income as they only receive P1, 000 per month as volunteers incentives, she said. I am thankful to CAMPC for giving us the opportunity to have an alternative income. As one of the skilled packers I earn at least P3, 000 P5, 000. This helps me a lot in meeting our daily household needs, said Armela Tuason, one of the co-op employees We have undergone training on capsule preparation as it requires proper packaging skills otherwise the output will not meet its desired form. With the

NIA allots P1.9B for irrign projects in Cagayan Valley


The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has allotted this year P1.9 billion for 151 irrigation projects in Cagayan Valley (Region 2). NIA Region 2 director Vicente Galvez said it will be spent for the construction of new irrigation systems, and restoration and rehabilitation of existing ones. Once completed, the new systems will irrigate new areas, toadequate facility [dehydrator] our group can now pack at least 10,000 capsules a day, she said. Right now there are only eight regularly employees in the laboratory but Ledres said once they expand their operations the co-op mulls on accommodating more BHWs through a rotation basis. Ledres has enough reason to be optimistic as more and more customers are patronizing their products. What used to be an alternative and preventive cure to local indigents is now gaining prominence from various parts of Mindanao. They now have distributors in Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur while one tertiary hospital in Davao City regularly places taling 5,449 hectares, restored facilities will irrigate 3,654 hectares, and rehabilitated canals will irrigate 19,639 hectares -- for a total of more than 28,700 hectares. In all, the irrigation projects in Cagayan Valley will help the Aquino governments goal of attaining rice sufficiency by end of 2013, Galvez said. (PNA) order to supply its traditional medicine department. Although promotions of their products are just plainly on word-of-mouth, Ledres said customers riding on luxury cars from adjacent provinces keep on coming. This only shows that quality of our products is now gaining prominence and consumers trust. Were it not for the support of DA-MRDP we could not have gone this far, she said. When asked whether the queue of people asking for medical assistance is still a usual sight in the Mayors office, Ledres is quipped to reply that it has dramatically reduced, as CAMPC is now providing them healthy and affordable options.

March 2013

11

Kaisa ng sambayanang Pilipino, binabati ko ng buong galak ang mga gagawaran sa Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards, na pinangungunahan ng Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka. Ang seguridad sa pagkain ay sandigan ng kalayaan sa gutom; isa ito sa mga pangunahing karapatang pantao. Nagsasama-sama tayo upang makamit itong minimithing kasapatan ng pagkain, mapigilan ang pag-aksaya, at maparami pa ang pagpipiliang bilihin ng ating mamayan. Ngayong Pambansang Taon ng Bigas, hinihirang ko kayong mga gagantimpalaan sa pagtitipong ito: Ipagpatuloy ninyo ang pagiging masugid na tagapagtanggol ng ating taumbayan, nang higit pa nating mapalapit ang Pilipinas sa katuparan ng ating mga pangarap. Pagkatapos ng mahigit dawalat kalahating taon ng pagpupunla ng reporma sa ating mga institusyon, umuusbong na ang mga unang bunga ng ating pagsisikap. Sa pamamagitan ng lakas ng ating mga bisig at tibay ng ating mga puso, at habang tinatahak ang tuwid na landas, tiyak na ang ating mga adhikain ay makakamtan, at maipapamana sa mga susunod na salinlahi ng Pilipinas.

Benigno S. Aquino III Pangulo, Republika ng Pilipinas

Malugod kong binabati ang mga magsasaka, extension worker, Irrigators Association at pamahalaang lokal na nahirang na Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers ng 2012. Nang inilunsad natin ang Agri-Pinoy at ang Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) dalawang taon na ang nakaraan, nanindigan tayo na ang minimithi nating kasapatan at seguridad sa pagkain ay makakamit lamang kung ang pangkalahatang programa natin sa agrikultura ay tunay na holistiko. Ibig sabihin nitoy ang FSSP ay: (1) sumasaklaw sa buong value chain, o mula bukid hanggang hapagkainan; (2) batay sa sustenableng sistema ng pagsasaka; (3) magbibigay kaalaman at kapangyarihan sa mga magsasaka laban sa mga problemang kinakaharap nila, mula kapitalisasyon hanggang kalakalan at climate change; at (4) lalahukan at magbibigay pakinabang sa lahat ng stakeholders sa agrikultura mga samahan ng malaki at maliit na magsasaka, teknisyan, lokal na pamahalaan, NGO, at ibang pang mga katuwang ng Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka. Kaya kamiy lubos na nagpapasalamat sa inyong pakikilahok dahil, ngayong naging napakaganda ng ating ani nang 2012 at abot-tanaw na ang ating pangarap na kasapatan sa bigas, napatunayan nating sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaisa ay kaya nating gawing posible ang akala nating imposible. Bilang Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers ng 2012, kayo ang nagbibigay mukha sa lahat ng ating pagpupunyagi na mapalaki ang produksyon at maiwasan ang aksaya tungo sa kasapatan ng bigas at iba pang batayang pagkain. Ngayong 2013 bilang National Year of Rice lalong lumalaki ang papel na inyong ginagampanan bilang unang hanay ng ating hukbo sa pakikidigma laban sa kahirapan sa kanayunan at makamit ang pambansang kasapatan sa bigas at pangunahing pagkain. Sa pamamagitan ng inyong sipag at pakikipagtulungan sa ating pamahalaan, naway magkamit pa kayo ng maraming tagumpay at patuloy na magsilbing inspirasyon ng ating mga magsasaka at kababayan sa kanilang pakikilahok at pagunlad.

Proceso J. Alcala Kalihim, Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka

2012 Rice Achievers Awards


(Parangal sa mga Bosing ng Palayan)
Outstanding Small Water Impounding System Farmers Association (SWISA)
Rang-ay Pussian Farmers Cooperative - Alcala, Cagayan (Reg2) Gen Malvar Irrigators MPC - Pontevedra, Negros Occidental (Reg6) Libasan Primary MPC - Nabunturan, Compostela Valley (Reg11)

Top 10 Provinces Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Vizcaya, Kalinga, La Union, Zamboanga del Sur, Davao del Sur, and Compostela Valley

Top 48 Cities/Municipalities
Nueva Ecija: Talavera, Guimba, Gen. Tinio, Llanera, Sta. Rosa, Sto. Domingo, Cuyapo and Lupao; Isabela: Alicia, Cauayan, San Mateo and Roxas; Pangasinan: Manaoag and Sta Maria; San Rafael, Bulacan; Nueva Vizcaya Aritao and Solano; Tabuk City, Kalinga; La Union: Bacnotan, San Juan and Sudipen; Pila, Laguna; Mindoro Occidental: Rizal, Sablayan and Calapan City; Albay: Polangui and Oas; Irosin, Sorsogon; Sibalom, Antique; Kalibo, Aklan; Dumalag, Capiz; Iloilo: Pototan and San Miguel; Kabangkalan, Negros Occidental; Pilar, Bohol; Biliran: Almeria, Culaba and Naval; Opol, Misamis Oriental; Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat; Kapatagan, Lanao Norte; Matanao, Davao del Sur; North Cotabato: Kabacan, Midsayap and Tulunan; Trento, Agusan Sur; Zamboanga del Sur: Bayog and Mahayag.

Top Irrigators Associations


National Irrigation Systems (NIS): Balisong, San Vicente IA (Reg11) Upper Sinayawan Farmers IA (Reg11) Paselomak IA (Reg6) Paitan IA (Reg10) Ubbog Ti Biag IA, UPRIIS (Reg3) Gloria sa Bagong Milenyo IA, UPRIIS (Reg3) Communal Irrigation Systems (CIS): San Agustin Ruparan BDIA (Reg11) Katipunan Semong IA (Reg11) Timbaboy Poblacion B IA (Reg9) Tumbaga 1 Bucal IA (Reg4A) Alubijid-Loguilo ISA (Reg10 Awao CIA (Reg11) Special Awardees: NIS: Lidanama IA and Amyon IA (both from Reg12); and Webamsi IA (Reg13) CIS: Lower Naboc IA (Reg9); Bulacanon IA and Buluan-Pigcawayan IA (both from Reg12)