Recoter talks on Project ‘MANa’ among Guimaras agri leaders

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Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter detailed the Project “Maunlad na Agrikultura sa Nayon” (MANa) among municipal agriculturists and rice program coordinators of the province of Guimaras during a recently held Municipal Agriculture Officers (MAOs) meeting.

Project MANA, according to Director Recoter, aims to rehabilitate El Niño damaged areas and to prepare mitigation plans for La Niña comes the last quarter of the year. “Another component of this Project is the expansion of one million hectares of rice areas in the country,” she added.

As a special project of DA, MANa would espouse an enhanced provision of agricultural investments and services that would empower greater number of farmers and fisherfolk. It also encompasses the overall priority thrust of the Department towards attainment of food security and self-sufficiency.

Based on a report, 85 percent of Guimaras’ 11,000 hectares rice areas are rainfed.

“We are hoping that the municipal agriculturists together with the Provincial Office for Agricultural Services will be able to identify 100 hectares or more rainfed areas so that the DA could provide assistance through the small scale irrigation projects,” Director Recoter explained.DSC_1041.jpg

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has new policy directives that will complement the purpose of Project MANA. It includes the establishment of a color-coded map that is being worked out by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management and the Regional Soils Laboratory. This is to help the agency in determining suitable and vulnerable areas for crop production. On other hand, Sec. Piñol also pushes for the national food consumption quantification survey, redirects agency’s focus in facilitating farmers’ food production, and strengthens technology adoption among farmers.

“We gear towards food affordability and availability. To materialize that, the farmers should use modern farm technologies that will eventually reduce the production costs, thereby increasing their profitability,” Director Recoter pointed out.

She also added that the agriculture chief allots P1 million fund per region to be loaned to farmers through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council. This will help the DA in the expansion of one million hectare rice areas and in the attainment of food self-sufficiency by 2019. # (SMHToreno)

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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)

 

Regional consultation held to boost WV cacao industry

DA 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter
DA 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter

The Department of Agriculture (DA) considers cacao as one of the prime commodities of the country for its great potentials in both export and domestic markets. In a consultation held recently in Iloilo City, DA 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter urged the local farmers to go into cacao production because this particular commodity has various uses from confectioneries to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Western Visayas contributes only one percent of cacao production in the Philippines while Davao region shares 82 percent to the national output in terms of volume and land area planted.

“We are hoping that with the support of all key players, Western Visayas will be a region to reckon with the cacao industry and will increase its contribution to the national cacao output within the next five years,” Recoter urged.

DA aims that by 2020, Region 6 can produce 2,000 metric tons of fermented beans. Furthermore, the agency will strengthen the market linkages and promotion, increase access to quality planting materials, improve farm productivity, enhance value added products, continue research and development activities, and resource mobilization.

The use of quality planting materials will ensure high production of farmers, thus the Bureau of Plant Industry, as an agency under DA, is tasked to spearhead the accreditation of plant nurseries of cacao. The accreditation will also guarantee distribution of quality planting materials of recommended crop varieties of cacao that are true to type and free from pests and diseases.

“There are more than 100 cacao nurseries in Davao but only 20 are accredited by BPI,” said Dir. Recoter.

She also mentioned that the DA 2017 budget was re-casted and the new administration will put more funds for the development of provinces’ priority commodities including cacao.

Esterlita M. Baddong, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Iloilo division chief, shared that the high transportation cost, limited grains supply, limited value adding activities for cacao, low level of consciousness on product quality and standards, price fluctuations, inadequate fermentation facilities, farmers’ lack of knowledge on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), inadequate supply of quality seedling materials and high yielding scions, and few accredited nurseries are some of the constraints in the cacao industry.

Other agencies are supporting DA in materializing the 2020 cacao challenge. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) offers financial and credit services to farmers, cooperatives, associations, and agribusiness entities who intend to put up cacao nursery, plantation, cacao beans processing and manufacturing, trading and export, and other related projects. Farmers can also insure their plantation and nurseries with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

On the otherhand, Engr. Edwin O. Banquerigo, DTI 11 Assistant Regional Director, presented the National Industry Roadmap for Cacao. He shared that DA-High Value Crops Development Program will distribute 500,310 pieces of cacao seedlings, and targets1,001 hectares of cacao plantation in Region 6 by 2017.

Banquerigo said that although Davao has the capacity to provide planting materials to other provinces, each region should grow cacao as this industry will help the small farmers, create more jobs and alleviate poverty incidence. He also mentioned that two companies based in Davao—the CocoPhil Exporters and Plantacion de Sikwate can accommodate big volumes of cacao produce from Western Visayas.

The consultation was attended by more than 300 farmers and entrepreneurs from the different provinces in Western Visayas. # (SMHToreno/JCVelario)

Twin tools to ensure efficient use of Fertilizer

The issue on fertilizer effectiveness and plant absorption of macro and micro nutrient relies mainly on the right amount, kind and timing of application of this stimulant in the soil. This concern mainly on the determination of the soil nutrients through soil analysis wherein the use of Minus One Element Technique (MOET) and Leaf Color Chart (LCC) for Nitrogen application is must for rice farmers in this era of scientific farming.

Clark N. Melendres, DA-RFO 6 Agriculturist II and Coordinating Officer for Special Foreign Funded Projects said that farmers should incorporate scientific tools to efficiently use resources and increase rice production.

“The MOET is a simple and practical decision-aid technique that assess nutrient requirement of the rice crop in actual field conditions. This also helps identify what nutrient is/are adequate or lacking in the soil,” Melendres said.

He said that this technique addresses problems on high cost of soil chemical analysis, inaccessibility to test centers in remote areas and high cost of inorganic fertilizers.

The MOET kit consist of seven nutrient formulations labeled as Complete which contains essential elements and six other formulations same as complete but lack or minus the specific nutrient specifically, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), Zinc (Zn), Sulfur (S) and Copper (Cu). These fertilizer formulations were then mixed to pots preferably without holes containing soil samples from the rice field.

Melendres stressed that farmers should always remember to decontaminate or wash their hands and tools after mixing each fertilizer formulations with the soil to avoid contamination. Then the pots will be planted with four to five seedlings or pre-germinated seeds and retaining only the two best growing plant per pot seven days after transplanting or sowing. The growth, tillering and biomass of the rice plant in minus one treatment will be observed and compared with that of the Complete treatment 30 to 45 days after planting to come up with results on what macro or micro nutrient is/are lacking in the soil. Fertilizer recommendations are also provided with the kit based on the planting season and desired target yield per hectare.

While the LCC is a cheap, fast and handy field instrument to measure green color intensity of leaf which is related to the plant’s nitrogen content. It is reflected on the chart that the yellowish green (No. 2) represents the lowest nitrogen concentration and the dark green (No. 5) as the highest.

Here, Melendres said that the first LCC reading will be done at 14 days after transplanting using the topmost, fully expanded and healthy leaf at least ten sample plants within the area. Farmer should do the LCC reading between 8:00am and 10:00am and not exposing the instrument to direct sunlight. Reading should be done by placing the middle part of the leaf on top of the LCC’s color strips for comparison.

If more than five out of ten leaves have readings below 4 in transplanted rice and below 3 in direct wet-seeded rice, it is recommended the apply 1 bag Urea/ha during Wet Season (WS) and 1.5 bag/ha during Dry Season (DS). If sulfur is deficient in the soil, farmer may use 2 bags of 21-0-0/ha during WS and 3.5 bags of 21-0-0/ha during DS instead of Urea

Melendres stressed that the same person should take the LCC readings from the first sample plant to the tenth plant every reading. LCC readings should be repeated every seven days until the first flowering stage.

The DA has distributed LCCs to all Municipal Agriculture Offices and encouraged farmers to make use of this tool to assess nitrogen content in their fields. These twin tools were of great help to rice farmers to confirm efficient use of fertilizer in their farms.(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)

Recoter is new DA 6 regional director

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Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has recently appointed Engr. Remelyn R. Recoter as the new Regional Executive Director (RED) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas effective July 1.
Recoter had worked for the DA-Agricultural Training Institute 6 for 18 years then she became the Regional Technical Director for Operations since 2007 until 2012. In 2013, Recoter was designated to lead the DA in Davao Region after the onslaught of typhoon Pablo.
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Outgoing Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales
During a simple rite held at DA 6 Admin Compound on July 18, outgoing RED Larry P. Nacionales turned over the responsibility to RED Recoter.
Nacionales assured all members of the organization that the new director is a ‘good shepherd’ who knows how to deal people and a new environment. He lauded Recoter for proving her capability when she successfully managed an agency during her stint as the DA Davao Region head for the past three and a half years.
“It’s high time to work as a team, let’s focus and produce more results, be positive and avoid human element,” Nacionales urged.
On the other hand, Recoter assured Nacionales that she will continue the good things implemented by the office.
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New DA 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter
“To where I am now, I owe it a lot to Director Larry for shaping me as a leader.I would like to thank the person for giving me the opportunity to soar high,” Recoter said.
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She further explained, “Kung may pagkukulang, pupunuannatin. This will not be ‘business as usual’.With the new administration we have to work fast, we have to act fast.
The marching order of President Duterte is to produce more affordable and available food, and to stop corruptions in the department. We will have a participatory approach in all our decision-makings toward the attainment of our goals.”
Recoter advised DA 6 employees to follow Sec. Piñol’s facebook page to keep updated with the new policy directions on agriculture and fisheries. #( SMHToreno)

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