DA allots P15M for mango farmers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted an initial P10 million (M) this year to support the initiatives of a national mango farmers’ group, and provided P5-million worth of farm equipment and inputs during a recent mango congress.

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Hybrid Rice Producers unite for rice self-sufficiency

The Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and private rice companies will hold the first ever National Hybrid Rice Congress on April 3-5, 2013 at PhilRice, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.

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DA wages campaign vs rice smuggling

The Department of Agriculture enjoins local chief executives, agriculturists, farm technicians and farmers to join the government’s campaign against smuggled rice, as it distorts fair trade, depresses prices of palay, and discourages farmers to plant rice.

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10 provinces, 48 cities, towns lead Agri-Pinoy rice achievers

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, 10 provinces and 48 cities and towns were honored as the country’s top rice achievers for 2012, and received prizes totalling P110 million in project grants and cash incentives.

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Increasing demand for rice remains a challenge to food staple sufficiency but mechanizing farms and minimizing wastage , may well address the challenge.

Increasing demand for rice remains a challenge to food staple sufficiency but mechanizing farms and minimizing wastage , may well address the challenge.

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Regional Unveiling of the NYR logo

As the lead agency in the celebration of the National Year of Rice (NYR), the DA under Proclamation No. 494, held a simultaneous unveiling of the NYR logo in all regional offices, stressing a unified effort to attain food staple sufficiency in the region.

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Ubi- Still Saving Lives

Ubi saved thousands of Boholanos during the second world war and continues to do so today.

It was said that during those times, the major food staple which is rice and corn were ravaged and so the people   fed themselves on what abounded and survived in the field.

The sacredness of the crop must have been attributed to the thousands of lives it had saved during the war and no wonder, the ancient folk kiss the crop when it falls to the ground. For them the crop was instrumental of their existence as a people . Planting ubi is an age-long tradition and not just a mere symbol. Rufino Salas of San Isidro, Duero, Bohol,   believes that the tradition must never die. He said he plants ubi not because of its profitability but because he believes the crop has become an identity to the Boholanos.

Today , ubi remains a treasured crop not only to the Boholanos but to the Filipinos as well. Its demand has reached the discriminating taste of  Europeans, which caused the need to surge both nationally and internationally. According to Director Angel Enriquez of the Department of Agriculture (DA RFU 7), a chef from Europe specifically ordered for ubi kinampay from Bohol which is an excellent ingredient for pastries.

Nothing beats the taste of the ubi in Bohol, crop  specialists attributes its aroma and taste to the agro-climatic condition of Bohol, citing that if you plant the same ubi in another part in the Philippines, it wont give you the same taste and aroma as the home-grown ubi in Bohol .

Indeed , ubi has become an important crop due to its many usage- it is a major ingredient for confectionary products, ice creams and as a natural food coloring. It can also be processed into flour, powder, flakes or dehydrated yam. With the demand soaring every year , the  estimated current  demand reaches 49,000 tons annually.

The search of the biggest and heaviest ubi  in this year’s festival is the Provincial Government’s initiative to lure more growers to meet the growing demand . Ubi’s come in different shapes, sizes and hues were displayed in booths for the public to appreciate it. Varieties such as kinampay, baligonhon, kot , bot, lima-lima, apale, binanag, kabus-ok and iniling varieties were displayed for ubi enthusiasts.  Products made from ubi were also a delight to the drooling sightseers, such as the world –famous ‘calamay.’

 
DA OIC-Regional Executive Director and Governor Edgar Chatto leads the Rice Pledge during the launching of the NYR during the ubi festival.
 
A ‘pinaka contest’ highlighted the ubi festival in Bohol, showcasing various varieties.

The crop’s contribution for centuries has been overwhelming, a reason for the institutionalization of the “Ubi Festival” in Bohol.  During this year’s festival,  Governor Edgardo Chatto took pride in introducing Bohol as the epicenter of the ubi industry in the country. To this,  DA Director, Angel Enriquez, pledged a  P4M support for  research aimed to preserve the characterisitics of ubi .

Going beyond tradition, is ubi’s present role in food staple sufficiency. Identified as one of the major crops that will help the region in its goal towards food staple sufficiency in 2013, the region believes it is  high time to advocate for the propagation of ubi in Central Visayas as substitute for rice and corn- the main staple of the region.

Included in the  national ‘Food  Staple Self-Sufficiency Roadmap (FSSR),’ ubi is one of the  crop that is  aimed to increase its production  by 3.5% annually.

Being a net importer of rice , with a rice sufficiency level tagged at 28.85 this year, it necessitates the DA to tap ubi as an alternative source of staple food so as to abate the regional demand for rice.

True to its commitment , the DA through the Bohol Experiment Station , plans to distribute some 3,000 pieces of planting materials to Cebu  and Siquijor this year, hopefully to augment and answer  the growing need of the crop.

The role of ubi in the food staple sufficiency program of  the DA and its demand in the industries has  made it a crop of much importance- so important that it continues to  save lives today.

 
Booths during the ubi festival in Bohol last January 23-25, 2013 , were one of the attractions at Bohol Plaza.

DA-7 Appeals for Proper Rice Preparation and Consumption to Avert Wastage

The government appeals to the public against wasting rice, a major staple for most Filipinos.

             Regional Executive Director Angel C. Enriquez of the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA RFU 7) made the call during the launching of the National Year of Rice (NYR) for Bohol Province   held recently at the Cultural Center in Tagbilaran City .

 

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OIC Regional Technical Director

Si kalihim Proceso Alcala sa Department of Agriculture (DA) nitudlo ning bag-ohay lang og OIC Regional Technical Director (RTD) alang sa DA dinhi sa tunga-tungang Kabisay-an.

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Meeting the Demands of the Cassava Industry in the Region


Region 7 has something to be proud, and that is its flourishing cassava industry.

The region’s largely industrial and commercial profile made the demand of the cassava ubiquitous. Its wide usage include for food, feeds, fuel and other industrial uses.

Ranking fourth, nationwide,  Region 7 accounts  6 % of the total national production (based on the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics record), making it one of the busiest hub for cassava processing in the country today. Strategically positioned, are big starch millers,  feedmillers and huge flour milling companies- all demanding more than 184,000 metric tons of cassava annually in Central Visayas.  

Meeting head on with the demand is the problems plaguing the industry such as  low productivity with a national average reaching only 10.25 tons per hectare (BAS 2012 report) versus  its potential yield of 20-60 tons per hectare, limited post-harvest equipments , lack of quality and high-yielding planting materials of recommended varieties , lack of credit access and low quality of cassava products.  

The situation called for the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit  7 to create a program to help farmers with similar problems. Records with the Regional Cassava Focal Person, Engr Edna  Yu, reveals that the region grants  a total of P1.4M worth of  granulators with shredders aimed at addressing the postharvest dilemma of cassava farmers in the region. One of the program beneficiaries is the  cassava farmers’ organization in Pinamungahan who are granted with the said equipment. Members   are now able to sell their produce to a big private company at a higher price.

 
Cassava farmers in Pinamugnahan , Cebu,  avail of the granulator.
   
Underway  is the  production of   cassava seed pieces or planting materials  for the 15-hectare area of separate demo farms in DA-stations located in Bohol Expriment Station (BES), Soil-Water Research & Development Station (SWRDS), Ubay Stock Farm (USF) and in Siquijor Province.   A  P1.15 M allocation for training programs, almost half a million fund for the establishment of cassava techno-demo areas in the four (4) provinces of Central Visayas  and P75T for research and development.

Expected output include an increased cassava production from 128,156 metric tons (with 2011 as the base year), to at least 397,895 metric tons by year 2017, an increased average yield from 8.06 metric tons to at least 17 metric tons per hectare by year 2017, and improved quality of cassava primary products.

Promising performance of  showcased varieties were observed  in the on-going demonstration areas in the region namely, the Lakan and Rayong5 for table varieties and the Sultan and CMR varieties for industrial uses.

Afterall the cassava industry is still  one of the most challenging yet profitable industries in the region.

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