DA honors organic implementers

The exemplary catalysts for the organic agriculture sector have been honored by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through its search for the National Organic Agriculture Achievers’ Awards (NOAAA).


The awarding was led by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol before a crowd of nearly 2,000 organic farmer-practitioners, agricultural extension workers, exhibitors, enthusiasts and other industry stakeholders across the country during the 14th National Organic Agriculture Congress (NOAC), held in Cagayan de Oro city.


“Let’s work on feeding the Filipino people first…and, you organic farmers kayo ang may malaking papel dito,” underscored Sec. Piñol. He noted that while the agricultural sector is broadening its reach to the international markets, serving the country comes as top priority.


The NOAAA winners were named by category, such as the outstanding provincial and municipal local government units, OA focal persons, agricultural extension worker, small individual farmer, farmer’s group and organic farming family.


They were awarded based on their exemplary contributions to the implementation of Republic Act 10068 known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 and achievement of the envisioned goals of the NOA Program of DA that more Filipinos will engage in Organic Agriculture.


The winners at the provincial category are the Provincial Local Government Unit of Ifugao (PLGU-Ifugao) and focal person Catherine V. Buenaventura.


The Municipal Local Government Unit of Itogon, Benguet (MLGU-Itogon) won in the municipal category. While Dexter Mendoza, city OA focal person of Ligao, Albay and Rowena Gonnay, agricultural extension worker of Pasil, Kalinga are named winners in their respective capacity.


On the other hand, Elmer Salzar of Tigaon, Camarines Sur triumphed as the outstanding small farmer individual. La Top Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) of La Trinidad, Benguet, and the Marsan Family of La Trinidad, Benguet garnered the outstanding farmer’s group and organic farming family awards, respectively.


For earning the individual awards, Buenaventura, Mendoza, Gonnay and Salzar received each a plaque of recognition and P50,000, P40,000, Php30,000 and P20,000 cash prizes, respectively.


The group winners such as the PLGU-Ifugao, MLGU-Itogon and La Top MPC were granted each a plaque of recognition and an OA project (proposal-based) amounting to P3 million, Php1 million and P500,000, respectively.


For the Marsan Family, it received a cash prize of P300,000 and a plaque of recognition.


Moreover, the DA chief looks forward to giving more incentives on top of giving citations and awards to the national organic achievers. He encouraged the Congress delegates to join him in this aspiration.


“Let’s focus our advocacy on organic agriculture, tingnan natin kung ano pang incentives ang ating maibibigay for every farmer who embraces the organic farming system,” he urged.


Despite the different technologies espoused by DA, according to Piñol, it is always the market which dictates the kind of farming systems that we should embrace, and he pointed the bright potential of OA.


“The world is moving towards healthier food, organic food, and you are lucky because early on, andiyan na kayo, kayo ang unang makikinabang as the world goes craving for healthier and safer food for themselves and their families,” said Piñol.


“I assure you all of the full commitment of the DA to OA,” Piñol concluded.


The occasion was also graced by lawyer Rhaegee Tamanya representing Cynthia A. Villar, senate committee chair on agriculture and food; DA Undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing and Regional Engagement Bernadette Romulo-Puyat; Engr. Christopher V. Morales, coordinator, NOA Program; heads of DA attached bureaus and agencies; regional directors of various regional field offices; organic focal persons and representatives.


Hosting the 14th NOAC is DA-Regional Field Office 10 headed by OIC-Regional Director Carlene C. Collado, along with assistant regional directors Engr. Roxana H. Hojas,  and Carmelita T. Bajarla, and OA Focal Person Samuel C. Natindim, Jr. in partnership with the City LGU of Cagayan de Oro, Xavier University – College of Agriculture and the PLGU of Misamis Oriental. (DA10)


Northern Mindanao corn output recovers in 2Q, palay production up by 36%

Corn production in Northern Mindanao has recovered from the ill-effects of El Niño phenomenon during the second quarter of 2017, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in the region reported.


Corn output during the quarter was recorded at 66,163 metric tons (MT), up by 211.79 percent from the 21,220 MT production in the second quarter of 2016.


Engr. Cecilio Y. Clarete, chief economic development specialist of NEDA-X, said the growth was mainly due to sufficient rainfall, more usage of fertilizer, and availability of hybrid and modern open pollinated variety (OPV) seeds.


Bukidnon was the biggest corn producer contributing 44,791 MT or 67 percent of the total regional corn production followed by Lanao del Norte sharing 21 percent or 14,150 MT.


The value of white corn production for the quarter stood at P227.8 million, up by 34 percent, year-on-year. Despite the 14 percent reduction in the average farm gate, the 55 percent increase in volume was more than enough to raise the value of white corn production The value of yellow corn production, on the other hand, grew by 332 percent to P440.1 million due to the 477 percent growth in production volume.


White corn production during the quarter was recorded at 20,745 MT while yellow corn at 45,418 MT.


Meanwhile, the volume of palay produced during the same quarter reached 136,331 MT, higher by 36.8 percent from the 99,644 MT recorded in the same quarter last year.


All the provinces in the region, except for Camiguin, posted increases in production.


Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte were still the top producers contributing 69,546 MT (51%) and 41,893 MT (31%), respectively.


Clarete said the increase in Bukidnon’s production was attributable to sufficient irrigation water and rainfall, complemented by the government’s hybrid seeds subsidy.


For Lanao del Norte, the growth was mainly due to more plantings in rainfed and upland areas. Seed assistance and usage of fertilizer through the “plant now, pay later” scheme availed by farmers in Lala also contributed to the province’s production growth. (APB/PIA-10)

Legal resource institute cites issues on women in agriculture

To empower the marginalized sectors including the women in agriculture, and with them, work for a policy and legal environment oriented towards the realization of their rights and participation in governance, the IDEALS, Inc. held the “Towards a Win-Win Solution” in Cagayan de Oro City, September 20.


The event is comprised of a consensus building and round table discussion on women in agriculture highlighting gender inclusive practices and challenges in business and human rights.


Among the challenges that women farmers or producers currently face, as cited by Oxfam, include lack of representation and/or voice in decision-making bodies, landlessness and land ownership issues, limited public investments in agriculture, limited access to productive assets and finance, social and economic norms, violence against women and food insecurity.


To address such issues, Jocelyn Villanueva of Oxfam said that the country could make use of Graisea’s gender transformative approach that entails gender equality in participation and decision-power making, changing attitudes and mindsets on social and cultural norms about gender, equal access to resources and economic opportunities, and gender responsive policies and investments.


Villanueva further said that fortunately, some of the businesses in the country have integrated the gender transformative approach in order to put a premium on value chains and value chain development practices that enhance women’s participation and empowerment yet there is a great need to strengthen such initiative to fully realize gender and development in all agriculture-based businesses.


For an instance, the Alter Trade and Tri-People Concern for Peace Progress and Development of Mindanao / Kulaman Manobo Dulangan Organization/Sultan Kudarat Coffee Ventures Incorporated interventions has positively manifested the critical importance of implementing a conscious gender-transformative program from the start in agricultural value chain interventions where the target participants are mixed groups of women and men, for women’s economic empowerment to be realized.


The Rural Improvement Club of Maramag also aided in enhancing the power of conscious gender-transformative program to fully realize women’s economic empowerment by choosing the women as the sole participants of their program.


IDEALS said that these and more gender-transformative programs are attainable if the businesses in the country, backed by strong enforcement of the law for women, will be able to consider tradition and culture, capacity building for women, leadership development, handle ownership issues and secure economic empowerment of women.


Thus, they are encouraging more agriculture-based businesses to take part in their advocacy in upholding the rights of women in agriculture since they believe that people can grow a better future with women as the key.


IDEALS serves as the legal resource institute and member of trade advocacy groups in the Philippines. They envision an empowered and resilient citizenry sustained by participatory and accountable governance, equitable enjoyment of resources and opportunities, and accessible justice.(RTP/PIA10)

MisOr quarantines security against Bird Flu virus intensified

Due to the possible threat of a spillover of Avian Influenza or commonly known as Bird’s Flu virus that reportedly hit the Province of Pampanga, the Misamis Oriental Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) has tightened its defense against the entry of live and frozen poultry products from Luzon areas.


But Governor Bambi Emano said he has ordered PAO chief Dr. Benjamin Resma to double their security in the quarantines in Lugait and Magsaysay towns even before the reported virus attack in Pampanga to ensure that locally produced poultry products will reach the market safe.

Poultry products, live or frozen, from Luzon areas accordingly are already banned from reaching the local markets in Visayas and Mindanao islands.

Dr. Resma, meanwhile, is urging the public particularly those poultry raisers to be cautious and report any incident such as sick chickens for them to immediately act upon.

Resma though clarified that there is no Bird’s Flu virus infections reported yet in Misamis Oriental, “and hopefully, there will never be.”

Governor Emano, on the other hand, said the reported virus infection in Pampanga would mean a bit advantage to the local poultry producers in Misamis Oriental.

“Wala pay nadungog nga virus infection sa atong mga poultry products. Apan akong pahasubo didto sa Pampanga kay lagi naigo sila sa Bird’s Flu virus, diin nag-produce sila sa 13,000 ka itlog sa Itik matag adlaw, apan dili makagawas tungod sa infection. Mas naay sales atong local producers kung magkulang ang ilang supply (in Luzon),” Governor Emano said.

(There is no known virus infection in our poultry products yet. But my apology for Pampanga as accordingly they’ve been hit by the Bird’s Flu virus, where they produce 13,000 duck eggs daily, but couldn’t be released due to the infection. Our local producers are more likely to sell if they (Luzon) run out of supplies).

The governor encourages about 143 local poultry growers in Misamis Oriental to produce more by availing the technology he got from a friend in Pampanga that is already applied by the PAO, for them to be able to supply the demand while the Luzon province is besieged by the said virus. (PIO)

***photo from tiranatimes.com***

CDO farmers benefit from season-long training on selected vegetable agribusiness

Around 30 farmers from Cagayan de Oro city graduated from the season-long training on selected vegetables agribusiness held on 7 July 2017.


The season-long training ran from March to July 2017 and was spearheaded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Landcare Foundation Philippines, in partnership with Normin Veggies Marketing Cooperative, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Cagayan de Oro City, and private stakeholders and supported by the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10).

With the theme, “Ang panguma isip usa ka negosyo, makauswag sa kinabuhi (farming as a business could improve life condition),” the training was participated by the members of the Canitoan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (CAFAMCO) and the Pagatpat Cagayan de Oro Farmers Association Incorporated (PACAFAI), in which they were taught on land preparation, soil sampling, and strategies on planting vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, string beans and ampalaya.


Retailers from Bulua and Cogon market are invited to visit the CAFAMCO learning site on July 12, 2017 to encourage them to buy vegetables from the farmers.

Regional Technical Director Carmelita T. Bajarla, representing DA-RFO 10 chief Carlene C. Collado, thanked the LGU, headed by city councilor and committee on agriculture chair Annie YDaba and city agriculturist Dr. Hector R. San Juan, as well as the private sector that they were able to unite for agriculture as well as agribusiness. (AMBManto, DA-RFO 10)

NFA strengthens technical team to ensure accessibility of rice during disasters

The National Food Authority (NFA) in Bukidnon has strengthened its provincial technical team to ensure readiness and accessibility of rice for distribution in relief operations during disasters.

Provincial Manager Gil G. Tabor said the technical team’s role is vital in assessing the volume of rice needed in calamity-stricken areas.

“This is part of NFA’s crisis and disaster plan because we need to ensure the readiness and accessibility of the agency’s rice stocks in order to immediately respond to the local governments’ ‘distress call’ for food during disasters,” he said.

At present, NFA is processing the documents for signing of additional Local Government Unit (LGU) applicants and renewal of the memorandum of agreement by 10 LGUs, including the provincial government, for rice loan under the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP). This allows them to acquire rice on credit for relief operations in case of disasters.

Chaired by NFA provincial manager, the technical team includes the enforcement and investigation services officer, the designated information officer, and warehouse supervisors involved in the release of rice for distribution to disaster-stricken areas.

Tabor said the technical team has been tasked to review, identify, and consolidate reports in order to increase number of LGUs that could avail of the program.

“As a government entity, NFA continues to be at the forefront in food distribution during disaster relief operations, which is in full support to the government’s food security programming and disaster risk management,” Tabor said. (Maria Socorro S. Mellomida-PIO, NFA/RLRB-PIA10, Bukidnon)

Northern Mindanao agri production declines in Q2 due to El Niño

The dry spell brought about by the recently ended El Niño phenomenon caused the agricultural production in Northern Mindanao to decline in the second quarter of the year, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported.


For palay production alone, output fell by 19.7 percent to only 99,644 metric tons (MT) from 124,068 MT in the same quarter in 2015. Decreases in production were noted in four out of the five provinces in the region due to inadequate irrigation water and rainfall.


Engr. Cecilio Clarete, chief economic development specialist of NEDA-X, said some rainfed areas were also damaged during the vegetative stage and no plantings were made in upland areas due to dry spell.


Corn production, which is highly dependent on rainfall, also declined by 50 percent from 42,746 MT to only 21,220 MT. Except for Misamis Occidental, the rest of the provinces posted reductions in outputs for both white and yellow corn varieties. The decrease in output in Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte was due to lesser area planted and lesser usage of fertilizer while insufficient rainfall in some parts of Misamis Oriental as well as shifting of corn areas into pineapple and cassava further contributed to the decline production in the province.


Clarete said lesser production could also be attributed to more white corn from other areas of Mindanao which came into the region.


Similar trend was also posted in coconut production as both outputs for matured coconut and green nut slid by six percent and nine percent, respectively.


Production of major crops recorded a negative growth of 17 percent. All crops subsector, except fruit crops, reported declines during the second quarter of the year. The reduction was mostly noticed in industrial crops which posted an average decrease of 58 percent. Production of sugarcane which accounts for about 91 percent of the total industrial crops went down by 60 percent.


Vegetables production was likewise down by nine percent while rootcrops fell by about five percent.


The modest growths in banana and pineapple production at 1.27 percent and 3.97 percent, respectively, also failed to offset the production downturn during the quarter. Both banana and pineapple are considered as the major contributors of fruit crops in the region. (APB/PIA-10)

***photo from gmanews.tv****