Author: Raffy Rico

DA to pilot test community level coco water processing in Camarines Sur

You walk into a local store for your usual energy fix. There, alongside popular brands, you find bottles of freshly-harvested “buko juice” being sold as a health drink. But the bigger pleasant surprise is that farmers in your area actually produced it. Officials of the Department of Agriculture said this possibility is not far-fetched as the agency recently teamed up with the provincial government of Camarines Sur and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture to pilot test the commercial viability of community-level coco water production using the technology developed by DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization. The extensive study – to be carried out for a period of one year under the soon-to-commence Philippine Rural Development Project with a budget of P7.3 million – aims to come up with product and machine protocols that will serve as basis for the technology’s commercialization nationwide. It also hopes to initiate supply chain linkages between coco water consolidators and possible small-scale processors. “Indeed, we are on-track to creating a sustainable and stable source of livelihood and income for thousands of Filipino coconut farmers,” said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala. “By finding an industrial application to a by-product used to be thrown away as waste, we create new rural-based enterprises and possibilities towards progress,” he added. The DA chief signed last week (3 October 2014) a memorandum of agreement with Governor Miguel Luis...

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BUY-BUSTS NET TWO BARANGAY KAGAWADS IN ONE DAY

Two elected barangay officials who peddle methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, were arrested by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during separate buy-bust operations in Leyte and Negros Occidental on October 4, 2014. PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. identified the suspects as Jason Camasin, 40 years old, an incumbent barangay kagawad and resident of Barangay Bagacay East, Lapaz, Leyte; and Arniel Campanel, 45, alias Boy, a barangay kagawad of Sunrise Village, Barangay Blumentritt, Murcia, Negros Occidental. At around 7:00 in the evening, elements of PDEA Regional Office 8 (PDEA RO8) under the supervision of Director Laurefel Gabales, in collaboration with teams from Provincial Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Task Group-Lapaz Police Provincial Office and Lapaz Police Station arrested Camasin after he sold one heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu, to an undercover PDEA agent who acted as poseur-buyer in Barangay Sta. Elena, Lapaz, Leyte. Camasin also yielded another sachet of the illegal drug, one XRM motorcycle and the P500 marked bill used as buy-bust money during the operation. Three hours later, operatives of PDEA Regional Office 6 (PDEA RO6) under Director Paul Ledesma conducted an entrapment operation that led to the arrest of Campanel in his own neighborhood in Barangay Blumentritt. Confiscated from his possession were eight pieces of plastic sachets containing suspected shabu. Cases for violation of...

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DA and IRRI fortifies bond with farmers

 LUNCH IS SERVED. Agriculture officials – led by Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Research Segrefredo Serrano  (1st from left) and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Edilberto De Luna (2nd from left) – join farmers and other participants in a boodle fight during the annual Farmers’ Day at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna on Wednesday, 1 October 2014. DA is IRRI’s number one partner in its National Research & Extension System.  For IRRI’s part, Dr. Bruce Tolentino, Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships, highlighted the importance of having a strong partnership between IRRI and...

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UPLB develops starter kit on Edible Landscaping

To help interested individuals who wish to have a healthy lifestyle through beautiful gardens equipped with nutritious food crops, the Edible Landscaping (EL) Team of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) launched a starter kit for EL during the opening of the 10th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition held on 8 August 2014 at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. Believing that no Filipino should be hungry, UPLB started the concept of having an artistic style in growing edible plants through edible landscaping. Hence, in 2009, the team headed by Dr. Leonido R. Naranja of UPLB, embarked on the project titled, “Technology Promotion and Commercialization of Edible Landscaping”, funded under the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP) of BAR. “Since then, BAR and the EL team have been going around the Philippines in promoting the edible landscaping concept,” Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr., project leader said. The EL technology is being brought to different regions in the country such as Bohol, Leyte, Cagayan de Oro, and Bicol through the conduct of seminars. EL combines science and creativity to form a revolutionary crop production technology. It uses vegetables, herbs, edible shrubs, or fruit bearing trees as major materials in place of ornamental plants. It follows the principle of landscape designs in creating an attractive environment and functional spaces while producing nutritious, organic, and safe foods for the family at...

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DAR provides women farmers with entrepreneurial project

A total of 116 women farmers of Arakan, North Cotabato are smiling from ear-to-ear after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) trained and provided them with a rag-weaving entrepreneurial project to help them augment their household income. Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Marion Abella  said the project is one of DAR’s skills training program under its Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) which seeks to enhance the capability of the women’s organizations of Barangays Allab and Kuran in Arakan. “We want to capacitate and help empower women farmers by grooming them into entrepreneurs. That is why we are providing them with the necessary skills to give them options in generating income for their family,” said Abella. In rag weaving entrepreneurial project, the women were taught how to weave the rags into doormats and potholders. A doormats fetches a price of P25.00 pesos per piece and a potholder P7.00. “Our market study shows that selling these items can earn them as much as 3,000 per month. This is a big addition to every farming family’s income. The women can sell these in hospitals, schools, hotels, business establishments, and households,” Abella said. In addition to the skills training, the DAR also provided the start-up materials for each of the women’s organization that included 60 kilos of rags, 10 doormat frames, and two potholder frames. Abella stressed that the DAR is also committed in...

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DA official on Farmers’ Day: Prepare for climate change

SSS eyes Gawad Kalinga partnership for coverage of agri workers SSS eyes Gawad Kalinga partnership for coverage of agri workers "One thing is clear about climate change—we need to be ready for it," said Undersecretary Fred Serrano of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA). Serrano was addressing about 400 farmers who attended the Araw ng Magsasaka sa IRRI(Farmers’ Day at IRRI) held in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. In his keynote message, he described the new challenges for agriculture in the face of a changing climate. The DA official also commended the work of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)...

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P15.5-M machineries for Samar and Leyte

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently turned-over Php15.5 million worth of farm machineries to five agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) in Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar to help them rebuild their lives after being battered by super typhoon Yolanda last year. Region 8 Director Sheila Enciso said the tractors were funded under the Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) project and were intended for the clearing and rehabilitation of farm lots in areas greatly affected by the typhoon. Enciso added that three tractors were distributed in Leyte and one tractor each for the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar, respectively. DAR entrusted to five ARBOs the operations and maintenance of the machines which cost P3,117,920 per unit. For Leyte, DAR turned over the machines to the St. Benedict’s Association for Sustainable Farming which is based in Tunga; the Boroc Agricultural Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Ormoc; and the Zaragosa Agrarian Cooperative in Matalom. Meanwhile for Eastern Samar and Samar, DAR turned over the machines to the Carapdapan Small Farmers and Fishermen Producers Cooperative based in Salcedo, Eastern Samar and the Legaspi Farmers and Fishermen Association in Marabut.(Raffy Rico/Jimmy Camba) Reform (DAR) recently turned-over Php15.5 million worth of farm machineries to five agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) in Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar to help them rebuild their lives after being battered by super...

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PSHS, Launching of Google Apps for K-12 schools

PHILIPPINE SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL hosted the Launching of Google Apps for K-12 schools last August 29 2014 with the theme “PISAY IGNITING CLOUD EDUCATION WITH GOOGLE”. Representatives of PSHS Foundation Mr. Hector Guballa and PSHS Alumni Batch 1989 Mr. Jojo Romarx Salas accepted the gifts from Google Philippines; Mr. Cheung, together with Google Philippines’ representatives, Mr. Jerome Locson, Program Manager of Google for Education and Ms. Gail Tan, Head of Communication and Public Affairs. (From left to right): Mr. Locson, Ms. Tan, Mr. Cheung, Mr. Salas, and Mr. Guballa.(Jimmy...

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