Gourmix, a highly nutritious food developed by the Department of Agriculture-Cagayan Valley Research Center (DA-CVRC) and supported by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), is now being utilized as part of a feeding program of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc.’s (ALKFI) “Programa Genio”.
This initiative was highlighted by BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar in his message during the 2015 Adlay National Review and Planning Workshop held on 28-30 September 2015 in Quezon City. “In its fifth year of implementation, the Adlay R&D Program is now looking into the commercialization of the crop. The adlay-enriched Gourmix product of the DA-CVRC is very encouraging and it manifests that our research and development efforts are being put into good use to help our fellow Filipinos. Believing in its potentials, BAR together with the High Value Crops Development Program of the DA, will continue supporting adlay-related initiatives to further intensify dissemination and promotion on the economic and health benefits of this commodity,” the bureau chief said.
Resembling porridge, Gourmix is a combination of adlay, rice, white corn, malunggay, TVP soybean, ground mungbean, and turmeric ginger – all of which contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to the body’s health and wellness. “To date, there are already two batches of Gourmix products delivered to ALKFI’s Programa Genio totaling to 13,600 packs,” Ms. Rose Mary G. Aquino, lead proponent for the development of Gourmix, explained.
According to Mr. Erwin Felipe, education program officer of ALKFI’s Programa Genio, Gourmix is being used to support their feeding program in their adopted schools in Laguna and Western Samar. “We provide them 40 packs (400 kilograms) per school every two months,” Mr. Felipe added.
Apart from ALKFI’s Programa Genio, Gourmix is also being used in feeding activities of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Education, and local government units in Region 2 in support to various nutrition programs. Due to its market potential and impact to consumers, Gourmix was hailed as the Best Innovative Product during the 10th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition held at SM Megamall, Madaluyong City in August 2014. ### (Anne Camille B. Brion)
Raising native chickens is an income resource generator. Traditionally, raising native chicken is a backyard practice wherein the chickens can roam freely with minimal interventions in terms of feed supplementation, proper housing, health care, breeding, selection, and handling, among others. To institutionalize a science-based approach to raising native chicken that will lead to a better understanding on its proper management, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) conducted a lecture-seminar presentation on the “Advances in Commercial Production of Philippine Native Chicken”. This was presented and delivered by Dr. Jaime C. Cabarles Jr., acting dean of the College of Agriculture, Resources and Environmental Sciences of Central Philippine University (CPU), Iloilo City.
Dr. Cabarles mentioned that raising native chickens is a multi-billion peso industry and the active participation of various stakeholders along the production and food value chain is imperative for the development of the industry. Based on his lecture, Dr. Cabarles said that the unstructured market for native chicken and its products is still inadequate and still lack a formal channel or distribution scheme from the raisers to consumers. This is in great contrast to the commercial breeds wherein some commercial-scale operators follow a certain method. He added that the lack of production technologies and marketing protocols greatly affect the availability, price, standards, quality of the chickens and even the packaging of products, and thus must be addressed.
The required inputs including the sources of day old chicks (DOC), supplemental feeds, phytobiotics, package of technologies for commercial production, and advanced line of facilities, among others are limited, and therefore, a systematic approach is vital.
The resource speaker advised and shared some important tips to the participants should they decide to venture into backyard or full scale commercial operations.
Experience in raising native chickens topped his list of prerequisites. The ranging area requires a stocking density of one bird per five sq.m. ranging yard. However, the regular stocking density is 10 sq.m. per bird. This allowd the fowl to practice their natural behavior. Drainage, tree covers, presence of scavengeable feeds, surrounding households, and other flock of chickens must be considered in identifying the ranging area. The modification of the area can be done to fit the requirements of the raisers. In terms of labor, an individual can manage to rear 1,000 - 1,500 heads of chicken. This is to maximize the laborers time in feeding, cleaning, and in doing other activities.
Dr. Cabales also recommended to prepare a detailed feasibility study to avoid unwise spending and the utilization of locally-available resources can likewise help reduce capital requirement.
Studies showed that native chickens that are housed in better facilities could significantly improve their survival rate compared to those without. Proper housing provides protection against any form of draft and for easy monitoring as to the number of chickens in a flock. To some would be raisers, the design and materials required for housing construction may be expensive, and thus recommended the use of such materials like bamboo, wood, nipa shingles, and other alternatives as long as they are treated against termites. ### (Patrick Raymund A. Lesaca)
“Ako po’y talagang nagpapasalamat sa CPAR dahil marami kaming natutunan. Kung wala ito, mahihirapan kami sa production ng jackfruit [I am really thankful to CPAR because we have learned a lot. If not for CPAR, we will be having difficulty in jackfruit production],” said Job D. Abuyabor, Sr., one of the farmer-cooperators of a Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) project on jackfruit in Mahaplag, Leyte.
Job is a member of the Mahaplag Jackfruit Growers Association, one of the recipients of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Plant Now Pay Later distribution scheme of grafted jackfruit in Region 8. “Jackfruit is considered by the DA as one of the high-value crops and is one of the priority commodities of Eastern Visayas to be commercialized. And for that to happen, we should increase its production and improve its productivity. This is when we implemented the CPAR,” said Alicia Bulawan, CPAR co-project leader.
Upon the conduct of a Participatory Rural Appraisal among the farmers of the association, the lack of technical knowledge on proper cultural management and processing, and occurrence of pests and diseases have been identified as major problems in jackfruit production. Hence, the DA-Regional Field Office 8 through the Eastern Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center, in collaboration with the Visayas State University, developed technologies on jackfruit. These were taught to the farmers through the conduct of trainings and workshops. “We provided them with appropriate technologies on integrated nutrient management, pest management, and pruning strategies,” Bulawan said.
Learnings from the farmers themselves
According to Job, fruit borer and fruit fly incidence cost them almost 40-50 percent decrease in their income due to damages. “Because of the CPAR trainings, we were equipped with knowledge on how to control fruit borer through the use of Metarrhizium. We really saw its effectiveness, fruit borer occurrence were almost completely eradicated and damages were minimized,” Job recounted.
Applying what he learned on integrated nutrient management, he was able to produce good fruit quality and was able to ship some of them in Metro Manila. “May customer ako na concessionaire ng Robinsons sa Manila, dito siya kumukuha ng fruits sa akin. Malaki ang demand pero hindi ko naman ma-meet ang supply kasi maliit pa lang ang farm ko. Makikita natin na good quality talaga ang jackfruit namin, [I have a customer, a concessionaire in Robinsons Manila who gets fruits from me. There is a big demand, but I cannot meet the supply yet because my farm is still smallscale. But we can see that our jackfruits really are of good quality” he added.
Another farmer who was helped by CPAR was Mr. Harvey Abenujao. Harvey narrated on how CPAR imparted to them the importance of wrapping and bagging the fruits in controlling fruitfly incidence and in determining proper harvesting time. “Noon, ‘pag umamoy na ang prutas, may mga kumukuha na mula sa puno namin. Hindi kasi namin alam kung kailan ito dapat pitasin. Minsan, nahuhulog na lang at nabubulok sa lupa. Pero ngayon, alam na namin kung kailan ito dapat pitasin. Salamat sa CPAR, ito ang nagturo sa amin ng maganda at tamang pamamaraan sa pagtatanim ng jackfruit para lalong umasenso ang buhay naming mga farmers, [Back then, when the fruits start to smell, people are already getting them from our trees. We do not know when to harvest them. Sometimes, they just fall off and get rotten. But now, we already know when to harvest them. Thanks to CPAR, it taught us good and appropriate methods on planting jackfruit so as to uplift more the lives of farmers like us” Harvey shared.
Aside from production management, the CPAR project also provided trainings for home-based processing of jackfruit products. “We have also introduced processing jackfruit into pastillas, tart, jam, and jelly to women from the same association. Most of them are the farmers’ wives,” Bulawan said.
As one of the banner programs of the Bureau of Agricultural Research, CPAR has been making significant impact in the lives of the farmers and fisherfolk. In the case of the Mahaplag jackfruit farmers, their production was enhanced and the commodity’s productivity was improved. After two years of implementation, jackfruit yield increased from 8 metric tons to 15 metric tons per hectare; production areas expanded by 11 hectares; number of farmer-cooperators rose from 22 to 52; and average income boosted from P96,250 to P317,500. ### (Anne Camille B. Brion)
Significant findings of a 20-year research on mineral nutrition of goat was compiled into a 148-page book and was at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU).
The book titled, “Mineral Profile of Forages and its Influence on Goat Nutrition” was authored by CLSU professors: Dr. Edgar A. Orden, Dr. Emilio M. Cruz, and Dr. Maria Excelsis M. Orden; and Dr. Tsutomu Fujihara, a retired professor from Shimane University and a volunteer consultant at Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).
The publication of the book was funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research’s (BAR) through its Special Publication Grant (SPG), a service provided to the members of the National Research and Development System of Agriculture and Fisheries (NaRDSAF), including the state universities and colleges, to cover the cost of publishing scientific journals, manuals, and books among others.
The event was attended by the key officials and staff of CLSU headed by its president, Dr. Ruben C. Sevilleja and, Ms. Julia A. Lapitan, head of BAR-Applied Communication Division, who attended on behalf of BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar.
The publication of the book is timely as there is an increasing interest on goat raising in the country. However, the country’s production is still considered unstable due to several factors one of which is due to poor nutrition. “This book is useful for researchers and development workers whose primary objective is to improve the nutritional status of goat, thus increasing its productivity. It will be helpful for goat raisers as it provides alternative strategies to improve the mineral levels of animals and more importantly for students who are taking up animal science or any related course as it serves as a good reference material in increasing their knowledge and be abreast of what are the latest technology in raising goats,” explained Dr. Edgar Orden, one of the authors.
The book contains information on the status of goat production in the country, common forages and its mineral contents, analytical methods for nutrients and biological availability determination, distribution and solubility of minerals in forages, and feeding option to improve mineral status on goats.### (Diana Rose A. de Leon)
Initiatives on market research for adlay are now being undertaken.
Following a series of national reviews and planning workshops conducted in view of the Adlay R&D Program that pushes for the commodity’s market development, the program is now focusing on the marketing aspect.
While a lot of research and development efforts on adlay have already been accomplished and produced promising results in terms of production and processing, information on regional market has not yet been established. With this, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) commissioned the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) to lead the market research on adlay. A private research university in the country, the UA&P is known for having the technical expertise in conducting market research endeavors.
The study aims to come up with a marketing plan for adlay products based on the market research of households and retailers/distributors in the selected sample areas. Such areas include major adlay-producing regions including 2, 4A, 9, and 10 and not-so-familiar areas to adlay including NCR and Region 7. The marketing plan will serve as a guiding tool in pursuing possible commercialization of adlay.
According to the UA&P, a comprehensive analysis of adlay’s marketing environment is important in determining its acceptability in the market. Moreover, it will aid in designing appropriate product development and introduction strategies that will help in realizing marketing-related goals of the Adlay R&D Program.
As far as benefits are concerned, this initiative will pave for the crafting of further research plans for the development of adlay as food staple and processed food product in support to the Food Staples Sufficiency Program of the Department of Agriculture. Furthermore, it will encourage farmers to improve their productivity and income by venturing into value-added processing.
On 27-30 April 2015, a team composed of adlay focals from concerned divisions of BAR and DA-Cagayan Valley Research Center joined the UA&P to observe the fieldwork on product test and price sensitivity among selected households in Dupax and Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya. ### (Anne Camille B. Brion)