Friday, September 30, 2016

DA sets P200-M credit line for poorest farmers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allocated an initial funding of P200 million for a credit system focusing on farmers and fisherfolks of the country’s top 10 poorest provinces.

The DA launched the Program for Unified Lending to Agriculture (PUNLA) that will provide non-collateralized loans for agri-fishery production and agri-micro finance.
“This is part of the government’s effort to provide trouble-free services to rural communities, as we want to make things easier for them,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

Piñol said the current credit system is not entirely convenient for farmers as it has too many requirements.

Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) executive director Alma Badiola said borrowers may avail of up to P150,000 loan at an interest rate of six percent with one-year maturity. 

The loan will be made available thru farmers’ organizations, cooperatives or non-government organizations.

Bandiola said an institutional capability building training would be provided to conduits prior to the approval and release of loans “to enable them to implement the credit system effectively.”

An insurance coverage under the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. will also be made available.

The program will be implemented in Apayao, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato, Saranggani, Maguindanao, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, and Northern Samar – the country’s top 10 poorest provinces based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The department’s focus on the country’s top 10 poorest provinces is in line with the Duterte’s administration thrust of increased food production and poverty alleviation.
Through a strategy called Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD), Piñol said the DA would look at the weaknesses of an area, its potentials in food production and provide livelihood programs.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Itik Pinas with Private Sector Cooperation to Revive Duck Industry

Three types of Itik Pinas (IP) (left to right) IP-Itim, IP-Kayumanggi, and IP-Khaki (Photo by the Livestock Research Division (LRD), DOST-PCAARRD)

It used to be that there was itik and pato. The difference lies in the color. Those from Pasig, Taguig and Pateros know how it is to raise ducks. In fact, that was the reason that they did not leave their homesteads even though it was perennially flooded. The main industry was boat-building and duck raising.

It has now arrived as a sunset industry in these areas because the natural habitat of the ducks have been encroached upon by residential, commercial and even industrial establishments. The areas of duck raising has decreased significantly and has resulted in lesser duck yields.

In cognizance of this, the Department of Science and Technology has come up with a solution not only arresting the decline but to boost the duck industry.

A new breed of duck is poised to improve the Philippine duck industry anchored on the support of the private sector.  

Launched during the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), Itik Pinas (IP), a genetically superior breeder duck, improves the egg-laying performance of the Philippine Mallard Duck from 55 to 70% per year with an egg weight of 65 grams, which is suited for balut processing. 
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) is optimistic that with IP, the Philippine duck industry can be improved, especially with strengthened linkages with the private sector.

A Duck commodity research and development (R&D) review and stakeholders consultation meeting was thus held recently at the office of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) for this purpose. 

Attended by technology developers, commercial raisers, farm owners, a faculty from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), and a private animal nutritionist expert, the review and consultation meeting aimed to assess present endeavors and identify future initiatives on Itik Pinas.

Through the meeting, DOST-PCAARRD has given the private sector an opportunity to comment on the project and provide suggestions on marketing and packaging of the product.

“The government will not only regulate the duck industry but also position itself to develop enabling technologies, strategies, and policies,” said Dr. Synan S. Baguio, officer-in-charge of the Livestock Research Division (LRD), DOST-PCAARRD.

“We will also seek the guidance of the private sector in establishing specialized laboratories like the Swine Genetic Analytical Service Laboratory,” Dr. Baguio added. 

Developed under the project, Development of Sustainable Breeder Philippine Mallard Duck Production System, IP, as an innovative technology in duck raising, aims to address the problem of the lack of quality breeders and continuous increase in production cost.

IP consists of three types: IP-Itim, IP-Khaki, and IP-Kayumanggi. 
IP-Itim lays larger eggs at more than 65 g each. It has black plumage and white feather markings in the neck and orange to brown shank.

IP-Khaki produces more eggs as it shows the highest number of eggs within a 40-week laying period. The male has a brown plumage and darker brown pattern in the head, while the female has plain brown plumage. 

Lastly, IP-Kayumanggi lays more, bigger eggs. It has plain plumage and small body at 1.2 kg.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Organic fertilizer from seaweed drippings boosts plants’ yield

KD fertilizer is derived from the drippings of Kappaphycus alvarezii, a species of red alga (Photo by Erwin Valencia, Applied Communication, DOST-PCAARRD)

True to its   status as an agri-business, marine and aquatic institution, a school in Southern Philippines has explored one of the many benefits of seaweed by converting it to an organic foliar fertilizer.  

Developed by the Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST), the fertilizer is derived from the drippings of Kappaphycus alvarezii, a species of red alga.  

Kappaphycus Drippings or KD Foliar Fertilizer, which is 100% organic, has proven to increase the yield of rice, baby corn, soybean, mungbean, sweet pepper, cauliflower, mango, pechay, and orchid. The fertilizer has proven to promote enhanced growth in terms of height and diameter as well as enhance seed germination. When used for pechay, it increased the number of its leaves and leaf area index.    

A kilo of Kappaphycus seaweed can yield up to 650ml liquid fertilizer. It contains nutrients that contribute to soil fertility, including nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron and manganese. 

The recommended rate of application is 20ml of KD per liter of water, which can be sprayed directly and generously to the plant early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Drippings of the Kappaphycus seaweed contain nutrients that contribute to soil fertility, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, and manganese. Foliar fertilizers are directly applied on the plant’s leaves, which absorb nutrients through its stomata and epidermis.

“KD Foliar Fertilizer can provide fisherfolk with additional livelihood,” Graciella Caballero of SPAMAST said.

“With a kilo of seaweed, a large plastic bag, and direct sunlight, a fisherfolk can generate 650ml of liquid fertilizer, which can be sold for P75 a liter,” Caballero added.

SPAMAST is a member of the Southern Mindanao Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMAARRDEC), one of the consortia established by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).      

The KD Foliar Fertilizer technology is one of those on display at the Davao Agriculture Trade Expo (DATE).

Geared towards the development of the agriculture industry in Davao Region, the three-day event is held from September 22-24, 2016 at SMX, SM Lanang Premier.

DATE 2016 features Mindanao’s golden crops and is packaged to cover the basic aspects of  a successful agriculture extending beyond production to cover financing, processing, marketing, and even exporting.

DATE 2016 also highlights the first ever-agri marketing conference on Sept 23 to provide a venue for business matching and networking and to link agri-traders, businessmen, and consumers.


Friday, September 23, 2016

DOST-PCAARRD project beneficiaries from Brgy. Bagong Silang report better vegetable produce

Women farmers bag bitter gourd (left) and water eggplants (right) (Photo by Rose Anne K. Mananghaya, ACD)
Farmer-cooperator and President of Barangay Bagong Silang farmers association Louie Carollo reported that vegetables grown organically yield bigger produce compared with vegetables grown using commercial fertilizers and pesticides. Carollo is one of the beneficiaries of the project, Gender-Responsive Organic Vegetable Production Livelihood Enterprise for Low-Income Communities of Los Baños, Laguna, which started in July 2015.

The project is funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and implemented by the local government unit (LGU) of Los Baños in cooperation with the Bureau of Plant Industry – Los Baños National Crop Research, Development, and Production Support Center (LBNCRDC).

Carollo also shared his experience in the Friday organic market organized by the LGU, where they were able to sell all their produce as early as noontime.

“We were surprised with the customers’ interest during the Friday organic market which is different from before when we had to drastically lower our prices just to sell all our produce,” Carollo said in Filipino.

Farmers of Barangay Bagong Silang grow organic Filipino bokchoy or pechay, mustard greens, sponge gourd, squash, eggplant, bittergourd, tomato, pepper, garlic, lettuce, and cucumber. A concrete rainwater catchment was set up in the farm vicinity as part of the project.

Women played significant role in the Barangay Bagong Silang communal farm. They do the planting, watering, weeding, bagging of bittergourd with nets to prevent damage from pests, and harvesting. Men, on the other hand, prepare the land for planting and transport their harvest for selling. Women also sell their produce in the Friday organic market at the LGU-Los Baños office.

Aside from Barangay Bagong Silang, the project identified barangays Timugan, Putho-Tuntungin, Bambang, and Malinta as beneficiaries. LGU-Los Baños considers organic vegetable production as potential livelihood for low-income communities as it provides growers with regular and continuous source of food and cash for the residents’ basic needs.

This project focuses on empowering women to engage in sustainable production of organic vegetables using science-based technologies. This initiative involves capacity building for farmer-cooperators and project implementers, particularly the LGU; provision of structures for organic seed production; creating and implementing a municipal ordinance ensuring the continuity of the project with permanent fund allocation; and support to a trading post or permanent local market outlet or “bagsakan” of organic produce.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Manual offers higher milkfish fry production through better larvae feeding techniques

Poor larval feeding has been linked to the low production of milkfish fry in hatcheries in the Philippines. To be able to boost the production of milkfish fry, the University of the Philippines (UPV) has released a manual on Improved Milkfish Hatchery Management and Production Techniques. The manual offers improved protocols and techniques for high density larval rearing, which can increase milkfish fry production by 200 to 300%. The manual involves techniques such as increased feeding, use of flow-through system, probiotics, and nutritional enrichments for rotifiers (Brachionus sp), which is a staple food for milkfish larvae.

The manual will help the Philippines’ annual requirement for milkfish fry, which currently is at a 54% deficit. Although the country has enough milkfish hatcheries and broodstock, the country is still importing milkfish fry from Indonesia.

The manual provides a protocol for larval rearing of milkfish at 50 larvae per liter from the newly hatched larvae to harvesting of fry. The system ensures higher fry production through continuous introduction of live algal concentrates as food for rotifiers, application of probiotics in the rearing water to prevent the occurrence of red bacterial infection, and use of commercially available products with phospholipids, which provide improved nutrition for the rotifers.

Using high density larval culture, a hatchery can produce 150,000 to 200,000 fry compared with the current production of 60,000 to 80,000 fry in 10-tonner larval tanks. At eight nursery cycles and 30-40% survival, the 12 million fry is attainable annually. An annual return on investment of 68% makes this business highly profitable with a payback period of 1.3 years.

The manual was prepared by the UPV research team headed by UPV professors Dr. Jerome Genodepa, Dr. Rex Ferdinand Traifalgar, Dr. Valeriano Corre, Jr., and Research Assistants Josette Emlen Genio  and Hannah Mae Pasaquian. It is an output of the DOST-funded project, Improvement of milkfish hatchery technology through food enrichment and bioencapsulation under the DOST-PCAARRD-coordinated Milkfish R&D Program.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"Sustainability: A Farmer's Perspective" by Enzo Pinga

In recent years the word sustainable has walked into the territory of watered-down buzzwords. It has risen to become a main topic of discussion in numerous conferences, multilateral talks, political agendas, etc. But what does it even mean? Am I being sustainable if I recycle? Sustainable has replaced boring, buttoned-up words such as profitable, green or ‘long-term’. It is the new sexy, in danger of losing its avant-garde status by being the apple of everyone’s eye.

So what has prompted the theme of sustainability to be so mainstream? I am inclined to say that on a global scale, growing recognition of continuing down this current path has brought about fears of leaving a future where our descendants are worse off. The need for an alternative to how the world advances has brought about hope and innovation. Business has been the single-biggest creator of value that mankind knows. And what other way is there for the human race to leverage and move forward with?

In the past, sustainability may have been described as ‘hippie-talk’ or unrealistic, unfit for the current state of the world. This is now gaining increasing influence on the global political and economic agenda as evidenced by high-powered meetings such as the COP21 meeting. One can point to rapid industrialization as the culprit to our woes. The earth is continuously being destroyed by the footprint that mankind leaves behind to serve our “needs”, rapidly depleting and polluting natural resources.

Agriculture is not an exception to the rule. Farming is big business as everyone needs food to survive. Agriculture has allowed our species to evolve from hunter-gatherers to establishing civilizations. The industrialization of agriculture has wreaked havoc on the environment, killing forests, soils and bodies of water.

With a rapidly growing population, food production must increase with it. The population is expected to increase to 9.5 billion people by 2050, with most of them living in cities. This growth necessitates a 60% increase in food production based on current demand. This is a staggering number because, as it stands, agriculture accounts for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and uses two-thirds of the world’s freshwater resources.

Industrial farming kicked-off post World War II where bomb-making factories switched to the manufacturing of fertilizers to serve a population devastated by war. These initiatives were further pushed by the Green Revolution of the 1970’s promoting industrial agriculture as the solution to global hunger with the use of chemical inputs. Has it been successful? In a way, certainly. These methods have helped produce more food than we can consume. However, this feat does not come without a cost.

Industrial farming relies heavily on chemical inputs, oil, GMOs, and unnecessary transport of food across the planet. Interestingly, it is the small-scale farmers that are responsible for 70% of the food we consume globally, and not the large-scale industrial farms.

Here are some more astounding numbers. Out of 7 billion people, 795 million go hungry everyday while we waste one-third of the food that is produced. The world produces enough food for everyone but it does not get to all of those in need.

Solving food security is not as easy promoting more small-scale farmers. Industrial agribusiness will not simply disappear. We need to find ways to make their practices more effective through partnership and prevent the colonization of food production and distribution. In order for small-scale farmers to be at the forefront of the transformation in agriculture, granting access to support is necessary to overcome the challenges they face.

Sustainable farming practices call for the increase in soil carbon content, the optimal use of organic and inorganic fertilizers, international trade reform, land management for crop and livestock production, the reduction of food waste, a change in dietary patterns, to name a few. Only then can agriculture be less resource-hungry in an increasingly scarce world, work to regenerate lands, natural resources and ensure proper health and nutrition for mankind.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration for East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on Sustainability at the Heart of Business: How to Innovate Responsibly. To know more and participate, go to

"Is Disruption All It's Cracked Up To Be?" by Lionel Belen

It was Clay Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business school, that coined the term disruptive innovation. Since then, it has become one of the most commonly used ideas in the tech startup community, to the point that it has entered the mainstream.

Disruption or disruptive innovation, Christensen proposed in his case studies, was what happened when small startup companies developed new innovative solutions or discovered unserved or underserved markets that allowed them to topple their bigger, more established rivals. (Check out: The Innovator’s Dilemma 1997, Seeing What’s Next 2004)

One great example of this would be between Amazon and Borders. Amazon, which started as an online bookstore in 1994, is today one of the world’s most valuable companies, selling all sorts of goods (not just books) to consumers. In 2015 it surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States based on market capitalization, and today its revenues surpass a hundred billion dollars. On the other hand, Borders, which was established in 1971, had at its peak almost 20,000 employees and more than 1,300 stores around the world, but in 2011 filed for bankruptcy.

You might wonder: How did Amazon beat a rival with a 20-year headstart?

Many would refer back to Christensen’s thesis and say that Borders was disrupted - that Amazon had learned how to develop and offer a better solution - e-commerce, a better business model; online payments and customer fulfillment; and even access to more customers and new markets.

Yet, as enticing as disruption is as an idea and management theory, it’s just one of many theories and frameworks out there.

In an article published in The New Yorker, entitled, “The Disruption Machine”, author Jill Yore offers a great rebuttal (and overview of such arguments) against Christensen’s thesis of disruption.

She makes three main points. The first point implicitly stated is that there are other theories and frameworks such as Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage. To add, I would also put forward his other theory of The 5 Forces.

Michael Porter’s 5 Forces
 Competitive advantage, put simply, is where a company succeeds and beats its competitors either by being the cheapest and having the lowest costs, or by being the most different/differentiated. The 5 Forces, meanwhile, attests to the role of external factors - like suppliers, new entrants, substitutes, buyers, and industry rivals - and the degree of influence or ability of a company to manage these factors in order to survive.

Arguably, both theories also fit the Amazon and Borders example. Amazon was an innovative business model - but at the end of the day, it might have boiled down to the competitive advantage of being cheaper and differentiated compared to borders. And who is to say Borders just couldn’t manage against external forces better than Amazon? After all, theories wouldn’t be theories if they weren’t widely applicable.

The second point Yore makes is that within the many examples or cases that Christensen identifies to prove his theory, there are many inconsistencies as well.

“...Seagate Technology was not felled by disruption. Between 1989 and 1990, its sales doubled, reaching $2.4 billion, “more than all of its U.S. competitors combined,” according to an industry report. In 1997, the year Christensen published “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Seagate was the largest company in the disk-drive industry, reporting revenues of nine billion dollars. Last year [2013], Seagate shipped its two-billionth disk drive. Most of the entrant firms celebrated by Christensen as triumphant disrupters, on the other hand, no longer exist, their success having been in some cases brief and in others illusory. [emphasis mine] (The fleeting nature of their success is, of course, perfectly consistent with his model.) “

The last point Yore makes in her article is simple yet poignant. While many wish to use as a means to predict the next big thing, Christensen’s framework stands better as an explanation of the ultimate success or failure of companies. At best, it is a pattern seen in retrospect and not a predictor of the future.

Instead of looking at disruption as the “end all and be all” for companies in this age of technology and information, I think what’s most important is to consider what is at the essence and heart of these concepts. That…
  • Today the world is changing faster than it has ever been before. With this rapid change comes change in the business conditions and the needs of customers;
  • That the challenges faced by companies is to adapt and keep pace with these changes while solving their customer's problems most effectively and efficiently.

With everything said, the aforementioned theories and cases lead to one fundamental point: He/she who makes the most customers happiest, fastest and in the most efficient way possible wins the day. And, ultimately, all businesses or business owners should already know this.

This post is part of a blog series promoting Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) Summit 2016 in Bohol on November 24-26, 2016, with the theme: The Future of Industry and Impact. There will be a session on The Disruption of Industries: The next decade in digital transformation.. To know more and participate, go to

TOP TECH EXPERTS AND CHANGEMAKERS TO CONVENE IN BOHOL FOR OCEAN 2016 SUMMIT: Summit readies region for next industrial revolution

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Young Global Leaders and Shapers recognized by the World Economic Forum are getting together and gearing up for the Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions (OCEAN) 2016 Summit from November 24 to 26 at the Be Grand Hotel in Bohol.

Chief Organizer Winston Damarillo, a WEF Young Global Leader said, “This year in Davos, we talked about the 4th Industrial Revolution – how high technology will promote rapid industrialization and how digital can impact lives for the better. We want to make sure that all emerging countries don’t miss out. We don’t want to miss out.”

“Our goal for OCEAN 16 is to take the whole concept of the 4th Industrial Revolution beyond the think tanks and the people talking theories in Davos. We want to bring it to emerging countries like the Philippines at the grassroots level,” he added.

Started in 2014 by Damarillo with fellow WEF Young Global Leaders, Karen Davila and Senator Bam Aquino, OCEAN aims to encourage local and global leaders to work together and strengthen the ecosystem for innovation, technology and creativity in the Philippines.

OCEAN 14 brought together over 200 changemakers from all over the world to Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island in Cebu. Panel discussions covered Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Social Initiatives, Environment in the Next Decade, the Creative Economy, and Igniting Private & Public Partnerships. Attendees included Tony Meloto, Maria Ressa, Manny Osmeña, Geena Rocero, Jeffrey Tarayao, Cherrie Atilano, Carlo Delantar, Lynn Pinugu and Anna Oposa.

Notable outcomes from OCEAN 14 include the Start-Up Business Bill, a proposed legislation to provide tax exemptions to young companies; the Hope Now Foundation, which activates mobile hospitals in response to natural disasters; and a bamboo school that facilitates active learning for the youth in Bohol.

What’s going to Bohol?

For this year’s OCEAN Summit, the WEF communities, led by Young Global Leaders and Shapers, are bringing discussions from Davos to Bohol. They will confer on the applications of technology in driving inclusive and sustainable growth in the region.

OCEAN 16 will focus on the question, “How can the Philippines – and other emerging countries – harness new technologies to accelerate economic development and social progress?”

The three-day summit will feature keynote addresses from government, business, and civil society leaders; plenary sessions on entrepreneurship, innovation, the Philippines, and the global community; interactive brainstorming sessions centered on how to scale emerging, youth-led social solutions; demos of cutting-edge new technologies including drones, 3D applications; and a maker market of goods from local artisans and entrepreneurs.

The Summit will also introduce and feed into a roadmap for “Digital Bohol” – a plan for holistic digital inclusion in Bohol that aims to set the standard for how local leaders can collaborate to harness technology to empower business, government and civil society.

Bohol was selected to pilot the smart city movement because of its strong public and private partnerships, and its vast work building its ICT infrastructure towards becoming a tech hub. It is also set to become a global destination with the opening of the Panglao International Airport in 2018.

OCEAN 16 signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Provincial Government of Bohol and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry last August 15, as part of a joint initiative for the development of smart cities in the Philippines, starting with Tagbilaran City in Bohol as the pilot and model city.

“Technology plays an important role in society and we’re very excited to be one of the first LGUs to start utilizing it to develop smart cities, enable disaster preparedness, promote inclusive economic development, boost tourism and ensure the safety of our citizens,” says Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto.

Top Filipino experts from Silicon Valley talk about social impact of tech

Top Filipino executives from Silicon Valley will be coming to share the best practices in world technology at OCEAN 16 – Mark Damarillo, Apple Lead Engineer for iDevices, will be talking about wearable technology and its potential to enhance lives; and Pepe Torres, AirBnB Regional Brand Marketing Manager, will talk about the impact of Sharing Economy in the Philippines.

“Bohol will be a whole new experience. It’s a microcosm of what we want to achieve for the theme of this year’s OCEAN,” says Damarillo. “We want to share the lessons from the World Economic Forum to local leaders and benefit communities in the Philippines.”

“For improving the state of the world, we want to talk to the people whose conditions we can improve using technology. Bohol is a good place to see the social impact of this new digital revolution,” he added.

Summit interactions will tackle the following topics:

  • The Future of Talent: Cultivating a new generation of leadership
  • The Disruption of Industries: The next decade in digital transformation
  • Powering Small Business: MSMEs in the digital economy
  • The New Oil: Harnessing the power of data
  • Sustainability at the Heart of Business: How to innovate responsibly
  • Collaborative Governance: Solving problems beyond private and public
  • Innovation for All: Democratizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • The Next Economic Power: Navigating the ASEAN collaboration
  • Preparing for the Digital Future: Where we are and what’s next

OCEAN 16 is co-organized by the WEF communities in the Philippines; Amihan Global Strategies, a digital transformation consultancy; and Kaya Collaborative, an international nonprofit that connects the global Filipino community to entrepreneurship, impact, and innovation in the Philippines.

For more information, visit, email or call 0947-813-6401. You may also participate in online discussions by following OCEAN 16 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @WEFPHOCEAN.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Carissa Villacorta / Pauline Mangosing
Mobile: +63917-595-5480 / +63998-867-2088
E-mail: /

Monday, September 19, 2016

S&T program to boost milk production from goats

A goat undergoes artificial insemination, a breeding tool that will be used by the program for dairy goat herd build-up in the countryside.

The country is being envisioned to become a land of milk in a couple of years, goat milk that is.

Through the PCAARRD-funded National Dairy Goat Science and Technology (S&T) Program, milk production from goats is expected to increase in the country by 150% by 2017.

The program will work on initially increasing milk production in backyard farms from 45 liters in 90 days to 135 liters for each 180-day lactation and 180 liters to 360 liters for each 180-day lactation in commercial farms. 
The strategy of scientists from the implementing agencies, namely Isabela State University, Central Luzon State University, Bohol Island State University, Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office-8, and University of the Philippines Mindanao, is to increase milk yield per doe by selecting the best performing dairy breeds and breeder animals suited to the country and by providing appropriate nutrition suited to the characteristics of these chosen genotypes.

For starters, project implementers will conduct an inventory of stocks and evaluate the performance of dairy goats across the country.

Results of the evaluation would lead to the selection and infusion of good breeds across the country through artificial insemination and buck loan programs. A herd build-up of at least 58% is expected with this intervention.

With regards to nutrition, the performance of Indigofera as dairy goat feed will be validated. Although some progressive farmers have claimed that this species is responsible for the sustained high milk production of their herd, research data has to be generated and analyzed.

To abate the increasing incidence of subclinical mastitis, a program on its control will be implemented. Mastitis was identified by goat raisers as one of the greatest problems faced by the industry. The condition can reduce milk volume and alter its composition; lower its hygienic value; and impair the processing of quality milk. 

At present, there are no local standards to screen and evaluate goats with intra-mammary infections, particularly at the farm level. Thus, management risk factors that influence the development of the infection will be identified and a control protocol will be developed and disseminated to the goat farmers. The application of the protocol is expected to reduce the incidence of mastitis by 37%.

According to PCAARRD Executive Director Patricio S. Faylon, the program “will boost the development of local goat dairying and may eventually help reduce milk imports.”


Friday, September 16, 2016

Bamboo propagation via branch cuttings to assist farmers in production

Bamboo Nursery prior to replanting. Agriculture Department, Rodriguez, Rizal
Bamboo is considered as an alternative to timber. This is one reason why science and technology is applied to further enhance its growth performance and ensure its sustainability. This is being done by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), particularly its Forestry and Environment Research Division (FERD), which has identified bamboo as one of its priority commodities.

DOST-PCAARRD partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and state universities and colleges to develop technologies that could enhance the propagation and plantation management of bamboos.

Among these technologies is the propagation via branch cutting from three to four-year-old bamboo culms and one-node culm cuttings. Another technology is the clump management and suitable cultural treatments for the species of giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper Schultes f.) and kawayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana J.A & A.H. Schultes f.).

It was also found that branch cuttings from three to four-year-old culms are the best planting materials for giant bamboo propagation. At least 10 branches can be collected from one giant bamboo culm and each branch should have two to three live nodes and live buds. These branch cuttings will develop sprouts seven to 10 days after potting. With proper care and maintenance, the potted branch cuttings will be ready for outplanting after at least three to four months.

As for the kawayan tinik species, one-node culm cuttings is the propagation method suggested for its propagation. The mother culm selected is segmented into one-node culm cuttings. One-node cuttings are cut out from the mother culms containing an equal portion of the lower and upper internodes of about four to six centimeters. After a month, the rooted cuttings that developed sprouts are exposed to sunlight to improve growth. Then, in six to 12 months, the potted cuttings are ready for outplanting.

In order to sustain shoot or culm yield, clump management for both species should be done through regular tending operations such as cleaning, thinning, mounding, mulching, and fertilization.

Rehabilitation of existing old bamboo clumps can be achieved through the application of suitable cultural treatments which includes sanitation cutting, cleaning, or fertilizer application. This method offers a quick and cheap means of increasing the supply of bamboo.

These methods are now widely adopted by farmers and nursery owners growing and selling bamboos for livelihood in regions 3, 4-A, 6, and 10 and beginning to be replicated by other individuals throughout the country.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

PCAARRD articulates science and technology agenda for sweetpotato

From an average production of 5.1 metric tons of sweetpotato per hectare in 2012, the Philippines is to increase production to 20 metric tons per hectare in 2016, about four times of the country’s usual produce.

This is how the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) articulates its science and technology agenda for the country’s sweetpotato industry.

DOST-PCAARRD Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development Dr. Edwin C. Villar described the country’s research and development targets on sweetpotato during the Sweetpotato FIESTA held at the Tarlac College of Agriculture (TCA) in Camiling, Tarlac. 

The event with the theme “Sweetpotato for health, wealth, and wellness,” showcased sweetpotato as a nutritious alternative staple food and source of income, especially in the countryside and the various technologies to improve the said rootcrop.         
Villar delivered the message on behalf of Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, PCAARRD Acting Executive Director. 

Considered as one of the important food crops in the Philippines, sweetpotato emerged as an important food resource especially for impoverished areas in the countryside. It is a good source of minerals as it contains high levels of provitamin A and vitamin C, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients.   

Aside from being used as food, sweetpotato is also used in the manufacture of industrial products like flour and starch. In 2006, sweetpotato contributed P4.4B in domestic earnings. 

In recognition of the vital contribution of sweetpotato and other root crops to the economy, DOST-PCAARRD, in cooperation with its partners, pursues its Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Sweetpotato.     

Villar talked on sweetpotato’s versatility, adaptability, low input requirements, and nutrition, making it a good substitute for rice and corn, especially during the aftermath of calamities.  

Taking off from TCA’s initiative in adopting Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) to promote sweetpotato as an agricultural commodity, Villar described FIESTA as a strategy towards hastening the delivery of technology to farmers and other clientele. 

“FIESTA aims to achieve higher agricultural productivity, improve product quality, lower production and distribution cost, and strengthen the economy  through the micro, small, and medium enterprises,” Villar explained.   

“Faced by the aggressive challenge posed by food security and global competitiveness, we need to maximize the potential of the sweetpotato industry,” Villar said. 

“People’s desire to achieve health and wellness, offers a growing market for sweetpotato and its industry can well participate in the competitive market of organic and natural products,” Villar added. 

Villar was optimistic that Sweetpotato FIESTA would open doors towards recognizing sweetpotato’s health benefits and in equipping farmers with knowledge and know-how to be able to commercialize and develop their crops. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Searca, ADB install $32,525 climate smart gardens

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has put up a $32,525 “climate smart” garden project that aims to improve food sufficiency and nutrition in the Philippines.

The project is being piloted in six schools in Laguna: Cabuyao Central School, Pedro Guevarra Memorial National High School, Labuin Elementary School, Crisanto Guysayko Memorial Elementary School, Majayjay Elementary School and San Andres Elementary School.

SEARCA director Gil Saguiguit Jr. said school gardens protect the environment, provide food needs of communities and instill skills on agriculture in the youth.

“School gardens serve as an alternative source of food and income for rural families to address the looming problems of rural poverty and hunger, which prevent access of many school children to quality education,” Saguiguit said.

The farming sites are equipped with climate smart facilities such as mini greenhouses.

In greenhouses, seedlings are protected from excessive heat of the sun or from strong winds. The greenhouse has its own rainwater collection system. Water is conserved and supplies irrigation needs for growth of plants.

SEARCA has pushed for inclusion of lessons in the program into the basic education curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd) to institutionalize knowledge in the school system.

Preparation of lesson plans for Grades 4 and 7 is now in its finalization stage, it said.

To be integrated into the DepEd’s Science, Math, English, Home Economics, and Technology and Livelihood Entrepreneurship curriculum are nutrition, organic agriculture, and climate change concepts.

A teacher’s manual will be piloted under the project up to December 2016.

The malnourished children in six pilot sites are to be helped through increase in supply of nutrients-filled food and improvement of dietary habits. The garden produce will be used in the feeding program of DepEd, Saguiguit said.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Department of Agriculture (DA) to distribute 1 million fishing boats

One million fishing boats will be distributed by the DA within the next five years in a program to boost the sufficiency of marine resources. Each boat, made of fiberglass will cost Php75,000 each and 200,000 will be distribuated annually until the year 2020 according to the DA Secretary.

The local government units (LGUs) will identify the family beneficiaries and pruiority will be given to those who have no fishing boats. This is expected to increase the fishing yield of the fishing communities. 

“We will provide two families one fiberglass boat to share so they will also share the responsibility of taking care of it,” he said.

This is in line with the new policy directions of the agricultural sector wherein food production will be the main focus to alleviate poverty. Livelihood and training programs will target the farming and fishing sectors.

Based on the latest government data, the fisheries sector reported a  six percent drop in output for the second quarter as lower production was noted across major fish species.

At current prices, the sector grossed P60.2 billion, down seven percent year on year.

The fisheries sector accounted for 18 percent of the total agricultural output for the period.
The distribution of boats is an existing project initiated by the previous administration in 2014 in response to Typhoon Yolanda.

So far, the DA has distributed boats in the provinces of Zambales and Davao while Bataan and Pangasinan are next in line.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources continued the enforcement of the three-month fishing closed season in municipal fishing grounds in all parts of the country.

During the closed season, BFAR will also implement livelihood programs for the affected fishermen including the clean up of the waters and the planting and rehabilitation of mangroves.

Source: Reading from

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Better Livelihood Opportunities for Farmers provided by Goat Enterprise Management modality

Goat raising, a practical business venture requiring low initial capital, is not popular among farmers as a livelihood option due to their lack of proper skills and motivation to improve goat management.

To change farmers’ perception towards goat raising, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), together with its partners spearheaded the Farmer Livestock School on Goat Enterprise Management (FLS-GEM).

Designed by DOST-PCAARRD, the FLS-GEM is a six-month modality that teaches farmers how to integrate the science behind proper goat management and incorporate the concept of entrepreneurship into production.

The modality is currently being adopted by local government units (LGUs) in eight regions around the country specifically Regions 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). It has also been adopted by the Federation of Goat and Sheep Producers and Associations of the Philippines, Inc. (FGASPAPI) as its national training modality effective 2014.

Goat raising only requires a low initial capital and can provide high return on investment in just two years. In addition, goat is a healthy food alternative as it is high in iron and protein but low in calories, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

More than 3,000 families have benefited from the modality. Other than providing livelihood opportunities to these families, the FLS-GEM has improved individual and social competencies of participating farmers. The farmers who participated in the training were recognized as sources of quality goat stocks and were tapped as speakers by LGUs, the Department of Agriculture (DA), and were even interviewed on TV about goat raising.

The FLS-GEM involves a series of half-day trainings held for six months. The training module includes two volumes: Volume 1 for the session guides and 2 for the technical handouts.
A discovery-based scientific approach to agricultural extension adapting the farmer field school (FFS) methodology, the FLS-GEM is envisioned to encourage community participation on self-learning in the promotion of mature technologies in the countryside.

With the success of the modality, the Philippine Carabao Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is now developing its own FLS on dairy buffalo production using DOST-PCAARRD’s FLS-GEM as framework.

Goat enterprise management, among other programs, is one of the Council’s initiatives to improve the state of R&D in the agriculture, aquatic and natural resources sectors. This is in keeping with its commitment under DOST’s Outcome One: to provide science-based know-how and tools that will enable the agricultural sector to raise productivity to world-class standards.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Modern Agriculture Techniques

Many have been said and published regarding agriculture techniques and the advances since the late 1960s in agriculture has so far prevented the outcome of the Malthusian Theory wherein population has outstripped food production.

But the advances came at a cost. In order to boost food production and crop yields, widespread use of inorganic fertilizers were required. These in turn tended to increase production costs for the farmers and is acknowledged to have been responsible for the pollution of the oceans and waterways. These resulted in the death of planktons and reduced the conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen. These factors led to the rise of greenhouse gases that is contributory to climate change.

 Modern agriculture should create a balance so much that it should make use of hybrid seeds of a selected variety of a single crop, technologically advanced equipment and lots of energy subsidies in the form of irrigation water, fertilizers and pesticides.

Below are examples of these techniques.

The above examples were devised to maximize crop yields with as little as inorganic fertilizers and pesticides you. Only will sustainability and full potential for production can be balanced with ecological concerns.


Copyright © 2015 Agriculture Philippines ™ is a registered trademark.

Designed by Templateism . Hosted on Blogger Platform.