Category Archives: Agri News

DA pushes for development of cattle industry in Western Visayas

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Jaime San Buenaventura, Science Research Specialist of BAI discussed the importance of the establishment forage and pasture during the two-day training on Cattle Fattening at Regatta Hotel, Iloilo City.

Developing the region’s cattle industry is one of the priorities of the Department of Agriculture (DA), thus, the Livestock and Poultry Development Sector spearheaded the conduct of two-day training on cattle fattening. This training was aimed at imparting knowledge among the agricultural extension workers, cattle raisers and stakeholders about the latest technologies and techniques on cattle raising.

Western Visayas contributes about 9.77 percent of the country’s total cattle industry.  The region has produced 245,160 heads of cattle and it ranks fourth as top producing regions in backyard cattle farming as of the first semester of the year.

While hog raising predominates the livestock raising activities in Region 6, the promising growth of cattle industry and the increasing demand of beef also offers income opportunity to our farmers.

DA Regional Technical Director Peter S. Sobrevega said most of the farmer-raisers are used to conventional way of raising and feeding their animals through cut and carry or just feed them with any available grasses along the roads.

“Many farmers had lost interest in cattle raising therefore, we should maximize the potential of the cattle industry by keeping our farmers well informed of the new technologies and encourage them to establish forage and pasture to feed their animals for its sustainability,” added Sobrevega.

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 DA Regional Technical Director Peter S. Sobrevega urged the participants to adopt the latest technologies in cattle raising and encouraged the establishment of forage and pasture to boost the cattle industry in the region.

 During the training, Jaime San Buenaventura, Science Research Specialist II of Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) discussed the forage and pasture establishment and feeds and feeding. He explained that ruminants like cattle require food nutrients to maintain their growth and production.

On the other hand, Larry Lariosa, Agriculturist II of BAI, talked about the general guidelines in selection of stocks, proper care and management practices, and disease control and management.

The DA Regional Field Office 6 provides quality breed of semen through artificial insemination for genetic improvement and upgrading of stocks and distribution of planting materials of grasses and legumes among cattle raisers in Region 6.

Around 50 livestock technicians, interested cattle raisers and large ruminant coordinators from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental participated in the training held on August 24 to 25 at Regatta Hotel, Iloilo City. # (MSSubang)

Israeli envoy meets stakeholders in WV, cites human resource vital to agri dev’t

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His Excellency Effie Ben Matityau, Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines

The Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau has recently visited Iloilo to share the best practices of his country in attaining inclusive agricultural development and as one of the world-exporters of safe, fresh and quality produce.

During a dinner reception held on August 22, Matityau said that the government has to capacitate human resource as it is regarded as a key for development in many countries.

He said that the Israeli government is offering a special on-the-job-training program for 540 Filipinos every year to study agriculture.

“We aim that every Filipino graduate of our program becomes quality managers and leaders in agriculture combining also the skills they learned here in the Philippines,” Matityau remarked.

Furthermore, he mentioned that farmers, the research and development, and extension are to be given prime importance to make agriculture a more sustainable sector. He added that the government should work closely with the farmers, businessmen, and members of the academe to create a desirable ecosystem of agriculture.

As ambassador to the Philippines since 2014, Matityau said that farming here in the Philippines is advantageous with the topography and the presence of technology, methodology and management. “I believe in agro-business In Israel, we grow anything that you can imagine. If you want to become high-end producers, let the countries decide for you. In the case of Philippines, you have potential markets in countries of Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan which are all hungry for fresh produce,” he explained.

“If you want to grow better products, you go into intensive farming. That is the key to the market. If you want a lower price, venture into extensive farming,” he urged.

He also shared that in Israel, the government has a mandatory insurance system for farmers to provide them with compensation to their crop loss when natural calamities strike.

“Agriculture is a high risk sector, thus farmers should have access to finance because farming is a lucrative business. Most governments are actually generous in providing production subsidies to farmers,” he added.

The meeting was also attended by Department of Agriculture 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter, Regional Technical Directors Manuel O. Olanday and Dr. Peter S. Sobrevega, banner program coordinators of DA, National Economic Development Authority Regional Director Ro-ann Bacal, Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council chairman Ricardo Provido Jr., Central Philippine University president Dr. Teodoro Robles, officers and members of the Iloilo Business Club, Inc. and Panay Organic Producers Association.

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(L-R) Regional Technical Directors Dr. Peter Sobrevega and Manuel Olanday join Regional Executive Director Remely Recoter in giving a token of appreciation to Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau during the dinner reception held on August 22 at Hotel del Rio, Iloilo City.
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(L-R) NEDA 6 Regional Director Ro-ann Bacal, CPU President Dr. Teodoro Robles, Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau, DA 6 Regional Executive Director and RAFC 6 chairman Ricardo Provido Jr.

During the day, Matityau had visited organic farms here in Iloilo—the Palmares Farms in Passi City, Ephratha Farms in Badiangan, and Orchard Valley Farms in Pavia.#(Text by SMHToreno/ Photos by AJMSubade)

SCHOOL ON THE AIR ON GOAT PRODUCTION TO ENHANCE POPULATION IN ANTIQUE

Antique having a mountainous terrain and abundance of forage and grasses is ideal in raising livestock especially small ruminants. Bayate noted that most of the existing stocks were purely native wherein it has a great potential for upgrading through the introduction of purebred Anglo-Nubian, Boer and Saanen bulls and with the use of artificial insemination (AI).

He said that through the SOA on goat production, goat raisers in the province will be able to listen to topics from establishing forage and pasture area, housing, breed selection, cultural management, pests and diseases symptoms and control, silage making, feeds and feeding, milking and marketing strategies and linkage.

The resource persons will come from the DA-6 livestock and poultry sector, Bureau of Animal Industry, National Dairy Authority (NDA), provincial agriculture office OPA), provincial veterinary office (ProVet) and the officers of the Panay Small Ruminant Raisers Association (PSRRA) based in Iloilo.

Provincial Agriculturist Nicolasito S. Calawag was grateful that small ruminant industry in the province was highlighted saying that hundreds of goats were shipped to neighboring provinces every month.

He was optimistic that with the completion of the three-month long SOA, goat raisers will be organized and be able to strategized and come up with a roadmap for a sustainable and profitable industry.

The SOA will be anchored by Ms. Arlene Edna La Vega, farmcaster from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture, Mr. Francisco Galluego from the Provincial Veterinary Office, Ms. Juvy S. Gaton and this writer from DA-RAFIS 6. This will be aired over local radio station DYKA-AM, 801 khz from 5:30am to 6:00am every Thursday and Friday.

Interested goat raisers may coordinate to their respective municipal agricultural officers (MAOs) for enrollment forms for them to be enrolled in the SOA on goat production.# (JEEOgatis)

Recoter bares agri directives to municipal agriculturists in Western Visayas

 Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter talked on the policy directives for the agriculture sector during the monthly regular meetings of the Municipal Agriculturist (MAs) of the six provinces in the region.

 

 Director Recoter who has assumed office as DA 6 Head last July 18 started her meetings with the MAs last August 9 by attending Iloilo MAs monthly meeting at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, then on August 10 with Antique MAs at Tobias Fornier Municipal Hall and on August 11 with Guimaras MAs at Guimaras Provincial Capitol and on August 12 with Capiz MAs.

 

The policy directives aimed to lay down the foundation of the new administration’s program towards rice self-sufficiency by the end of the term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

 

She said that the Maunlad na Agrikultura sa Nayon (MANa) project is a six month initiative of the department to use science-based tools to facilitate gathering of accurate information by direct observation in the farms. “These accurate data will ultimately serve as a foundation for reliable programs and intervention for the agriculture sector,” Director Recoter added.

Through project MANa, the DA will enhance production of hybrid rice to all irrigated rice farmers by giving all seeds, fertilizers and insurance coverage to ensure 10 to 14% increase in production and income in a cycle of five cropping seasons which will start next year.

 

The department will also fast tract the rehabilitation of El Niño affected areas by providing rice and corn seeds intervention and prepare for the forecasted La Niña occurrence later this year.

 Recoter said that there will be expansion of one million hectares nationwide for irrigated areas which will come from existing rain fed areas and other unutilized lands through the provision of small scale irrigation projects (SSIPs) in coordination with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

She said that encouraged all MAs to help identify potential irrigable areas in their respective towns and extend logistics to DA-BSWM validating teams when they arrived for validation.

 

 BSWM was also mandated to produce color-coded agriculture guide map which will determine a particular commodity or agricultural activity best suited in an area based on geography, climate and soil conditions.

           

The National Food Consumption Quantification survey will be conducted to determine what food and the volume of food commodities a certain area consume to better determine the regions food requirement.

           

Director Recoter also shared that there will be intensified agri. technology dissemination, continuance of financing programs like Sikat Saka, ACPC programs, Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Programs (AFFP) and agrarian reform financing.

Postharvest provision to ensure decrease in production losses, marketing activities, collaboration for the protection of watershed areas and enforcement of agri-fishery laws will be undertaken.

 

She stressed that DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has suspended land conversions and move for the introduction of basic agriculture in Elementary Curriculum.

Recoter who successfully led DA Region 11/Davao Region for three and a half years vows to elevate Western Visayas especially Iloilo to become once again the rice granary of the country with the completion of the Jalaur River Dam.#(JEEOgatis)

RCPC urges farmers to be vigilant against rice insect pests

The Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) 6 encouraged all rice farmers to keep watch of their standing crop this first cropping season against four rice pests which may infest their fields.

According to RCPC Chief Rene B. Famoso, these four rice pests comprised of armyworm/tagustus, rice black bug (RBB), brown planthopper (BPH) and stemborer.
He said that these pests usually proliferate after a long dry spell or El Niño and when there are intermittent rains and humid climate in the fields.
“The armyworm with dark color is the most dangerous compared to light brown or light yellow/green colored ones. This kind totally infested 31 hectares of corn in San carlos City, Negros Occidental wherein the DA, PLGU together with the local government unit immediately gave assistance to affected farmers for replanting, said Famoso.
 
Rice farmers should keep watch for the influx of rice black bug (RBB). As of July 2016, seven municipalities in the province of Capiz, four districts of Iloilo and whole of Negros Occidental reported presence of RBB which usually attack rice at vegetative stage until fruiting with damage usually called bugburn and whiteheads, respectively.
 
Famoso said that the brown planthopper (BPH) frequently hide underneath the canopy of the rice plant and stay on rice stalks where they suck the plant juice while the stemborer larvae go inside the plant in less than 24 hours after hatching.
Management of these pests include sanitation or cleaning of surroundings and dikes before crop establishment and water management i.e. irrigating the field to control armyworm, rice black bug and stemborers while draining the field for management of brown planthopper population.
 
Fertilizer management which include split application of nitrogen, and application of ½ bag of potassium to increase plant vigor during the first 30 days after planting. Potassium application is a general recommendation in the absence of soil analysis, minus one element technique and leaf color chart reading.
For armyworm, farmers could also use grated coconut (ugasip) or brown sugar broadcasted to the infected field in order to attract ants which will prey on the said pests. The RCPC at WESVIARC, Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City is mass producing Metarhizium anisopliae an effective biological control against RBB. The fungus is given free to farmers with letter requests noted by the municipal agricultural officer.
Famoso an Entomologist of DA 6 emphasized that the application of chemicals should be the last recourse of the farmers. He said that contact chemicals should be used to control armyworm and should be applied late in the afternoon.#(JEEOgatis)

 

Upland villagers in Alimodian get KOICA small scale projects

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The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 6 turned over on July 20 the small scale projects to the upland residents of Alimodian, Iloilo.

One hundred twenty-three households from the barangays of Dao, Umingan, Manasa, Lico and Cabacanan Rizal benefitted in the phase one implementation of the Panay Island Upland- Sustainable Rural Development Project (PIU-SRDP).

PIU-SRDP aims to improve living and community environment, and to increase household incomes, sustainability, strengthen value chain marketing, and promote ecological awareness of the upland farmers through sustainable rural development.

The initial phase, which was launched last December 23, had focused on the improvement of household conditions including the construction of toilets, concreting of floors, and repair of kitchen and walls, and development of barangay facilities like the construction of barangay and multi-purpose halls, and road riprapping with drainage.

According to DA 6 Regional Technical Director for Operations Manuel O. Olanday, this Korean government-assisted project emphasizes values reorientation and community empowerment adhering to Saemaul Undong’s values of diligence, self-help and cooperation.

Olanday thanked the KOICA group and the residents who worked together for a year to materialize the phase one implementation. He encouraged everyone to be ready for the next phase which will highlight community participation through the provision of income generating projects.

Jina Park, KOICA field manager assigned in barangays of Manasa and Umingan, shared that the second phase, which aims for income generation in selected barangays, will commence on September. She personally thanked the upland villagers for their hardwork and cooperation to complete the projects by themselves through the practice of Bayanihan system.

On the otherhand, municipal mayor Geefre A. Alonsabe said that the Korean government’s intervention will help in making Alimodian as an agri-tourism site soon. Alonsabe also expressed gratitude to KOICA, DA, and the Provincial Government of Iloilo for the successful implementation of small-scale projects in the ‘Seven Cities’.

Three phases of the project—the improvement of living environment, income generation, and promotion of self-confidence among the target beneficiaries are set to be completed by 2020. Other PIU-SRDP pilot sites are in Tapaz and Jamindan in Capiz; Patnongon in Antique; and Libacao, Aklan.#(SMHToreno)

DA 6 links Caluya farmers, fisherfolk to insurance program, agri services

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Sonie Guanco of DA-Regulatory Division explains the importance of Good Agricultural Practices among farmer-participants during the information caravan held on June 8 in Caluya, Antique.

Aiming to keep the farmers and fisherfolk aware of government support to the sector, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office (RFO) 6 conducted an Agricultural Information Caravan and Technology Forum in the island-municipality of Caluya which is located in the northernmost tip of Antique, June 8.

 
“This is the first time that we conduct an agricultural information caravan in Caluya. DA seeks to help farmers and fisherfolk in increasing their production and income,” Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer for Antique Dominador Marquez also noted that the department is preparing farmers and fisherfolk become competitive for the free trade liberalization.

James Earl E. Ogatis, public relations officer of DA RFO 6, said that the department has been conducting agricultural information caravan since the early 1990s and it aims to bring information on agri technologies closer to the stakeholders to improve farm production, marketing, utilization of postharvest facilities and mechanization. He also cited that agri projects and services are given to registered and active farmers and fisherfolk associations.
 
Around 150 farmers and fisherfolk from the 18 barangays of Caluya were briefed about the various agri-fishery projects of DA and its attached agencies that they can access through the support of their local government unit.
 
Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) Regional Manager CharlitoBrilleta said that farmers of Caluya can avail of different insurance services covering palay, corn, high value commercial crops, livestock and farm implements, and accident insurance under the Agricultural Producer Protection Plan.
 
Since 2013, the DA gives free insurance to farmers and fisherfolk listed in the Registry System of Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA). With no premium to pay, every RSBA-listed farmer can get an insurance covering a maximum three hectares (ha) area of palay, corn or high value crops. Meanwhile, each livestock raiser can also insure up to three heads of swine, carabao, cattle or goat and can obtain an indemnity claim of P15,000 to P20,000 for every mortality. Also, fisherfolk can receive P6,000 payments for their damaged pump boat without engine and P50,000 for pumpboats with marine engine.

Given that the island is the second largest seaweed producing town in the country, Municipal mayor Genevive L. Reyes said that fisherfolk must be given assistance to keep their production sustainable and producers protected in times of natural disasters. The island has produced1,889.12 metric tons (MT) in 2014 and 2,583 MT in 2015. “We have also tallied 576 MT seaweeds production in the first quarter of this year,” she added.
 
She also promised to subsidize the premium fees for PCIC’s insurance program of farmers and fisherfolk who are not included in the RSBSA.
 
Brilleta responded that PCIC will craft a proposal for the insurance program of seaweeds planters in Caluya. To protect the seaweed producers during typhoons, each planter can insure up to 500 square meters seaweed farm.

“PCIC, as a government controlled corporation under DA, is tasked to give protection to farmers and fisherfolk in times of natural disasters. As of now, we have already given P70 million indemnity claims to farmers of Iloilo who were affected by El Niño,” Brilleta urged Caluya farmers and fisherfolk to coordinate with their Municipal Agriculturist Shirley T. Jiancillan in their application for insurance.

Furthermore, AileenNecor of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) VI enumerated several projects which can be accessed by the fisherfolk and fish vendors of the island. These include the establishment of community fish landing centers, BoatR and FishR programs, joint mobile registration and licensing, and protection of marine areas against illegal fishing as mandated in the Republic Act 10654.
 
Necor also added that BFAR will turnover patrol boat units this June to the local government unit of Caluya to strengthen the town’s drive versus illegal fishing activities.

Banner program representatives from DA RFO VI and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist- Antique also equipped the farmer and fisherfolk-participants about the agricultural projects and services from DA such as technology trainings, production input subsidies, establishment of irrigation facilities, marketing, and use of farm machineries and postharvest facilities which they can avail.
 
Farmers were also urged to adopt Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) which aims to support food safety, production of quality products, environmental sustainability and workers’ health safety and welfare.
 
To ascertain the needs of the locality, farmers and fisherfolk were asked to raise questions and their concerns. Majority of them signified their need to access DA’s insurance services, conduct of production trainings, and establishment of small irrigation facilities—for the lack of adequate water supply is their main problem in crop production.

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James Earl E. Ogatis (right) of DA 6 Information 6 gives various copies of crop and animal production guides to Caluya municipal agriculturist Shirley T. Jiancillan.
DA RFO VI distributed assorted vegetable seeds, OPV corn seeds, cashew and guyabano planting materials, certified palay seeds, and production guides and manuals of various agricultural crops, livestock and poultry to the farmer-participants. #(SMHToreno)