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MOU on native pig production signed

 

The Conservation and Development Specialists Foundation (CDSF), Inc. sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Municipality of Tuburan, Cebu and Cebu Technological University (CTU) Tuburan Campus to commercialize native swine and show its socioeconomic potential and marketability in the municipality.

Present during the MOU signing were CDSF Research Associate Ma. Joy Malabayabas, CTU Campus Director Dr. Pedrito Pontillas, BAI-NSPRDC Center Chief Dr. Rene C. Santiago, and BAR Project Coordinator Evelyn Juanillo. Also witnesses were CTU-Professor Dr. Pedro M. Mondejar; Municpal Agricultural Officer Esterlita Andales; and Tuburan Municipal Administrator Royeto Talaugon.

Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under its National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP), the project titled, “Demonstration and Commercialization of Native Swine Production Technologies in Selected Areas in the Philippines,” covers the transfer of the feeding and housing strategies to project cooperators including initial stocks of native swine.

The BAR-CDSFI Team visited the Ubay Stock Farm in Bohol and met with Mr. Rodrigo Geromo and Mr. Joaquin Polestico to seek assistance in the procurement of native pig stocks to be brought to the technology demonstration facility to be set-up at the CTU Tuburan Campus. Mr. Geromo and Mr. Polestico committed to assist in the procurement of the initial stock for the technology demonstration as they have farmer cooperators who are dispersal recipients and are now into native pig production.

A seminar on native pig production was also facilitated by CDSF, Inc. with the assistance from the LGU through MAO Esterlita Andales. During a visit at the proposed site for the technology demonstration, Dr. Santiago provided some suggestions on the location of the housing and range area for the native pigs. He also initiated the planting of cuttings of Trichanthera, a forage crop that can be fed to native pigs, at the demonstration site.

“At this stage of the project, the technology demonstration level was adjusted according to the needs of the area and the existing management practices and level of awareness on the potentials native pigs,” Ms. Juanillo said.

Under the signed MOU, CTU-Tuburan will be responsible in the maintenance of the breeder stocks (feeds and drugs/medicines) and forage crops (Madre de agua/Tricanthera). On the other hand, LGU Tuburan, through the MAO, will conduct monitoring activities to determine the performance of the technology demonstration facility in CTU-Tuburan. They will also be responsible in providing a shortlist of possible project cooperators and in coordinating future dispersal and facilitating distribution of repayment stocks to selected project cooperators.

BAR strengthens its support to the livestock industry. For native pig, BAR has funded four completed projects and currently coordinating a total of eight projects on native pig production and processing including value chain analysis implemented in collaboration with other R&D institutions and private institutions in the country.

Native pig is one of the priority commodities under the bureau's Research and Development, Extension Agenda and Programs (RDEAP) 2011-2016. ### (Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)

MOU on native pig production signed

MOU SigningThe Conservation and Development Specialists Foundation (CDSF), Inc. sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Municipality of Tuburan, Cebu and Cebu Technological University (CTU) Tuburan Campus to commercialize native swine and show its socioeconomic potential and marketability in the municipality.

Present during the MOU signing were CDSF Research Associate Ma. Joy Malabayabas, CTU Campus Director Dr. Pedrito Pontillas, BAI-NSPRDC Center Chief Dr. Rene C. Santiago, and BAR Project Coordinator Evelyn Juanillo. Also witnesses were CTU-Professor Dr. Pedro M. Mondejar; Municpal Agricultural Officer Esterlita Andales; and Tuburan Municipal Administrator Royeto Talaugon.

Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under its National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP), the project titled, “Demonstration and Commercialization of Native Swine Production Technologies in Selected Areas in the Philippines,” covers the transfer of the feeding and housing strategies to project cooperators including initial stocks of native swine.

The BAR-CDSFI Team visited the Ubay Stock Farm in Bohol and met with Mr. Rodrigo Geromo and Mr. Joaquin Polestico to seek assistance in the procurement of native pig stocks to be brought to the technology demonstration facility to be set-up at the CTU Tuburan Campus. Mr. Geromo and Mr. Polestico committed to assist in the procurement of the initial stock for the technology demonstration as they have farmer cooperators who are dispersal recipients and are now into native pig production.

A seminar on native pig production was also facilitated by CDSF, Inc. with the assistance from the LGU through MAO Esterlita Andales. During a visit at the proposed site for the technology demonstration, Dr. Santiago provided some suggestions on the location of the housing and range area for the native pigs. He also initiated the planting of cuttings of Trichanthera, a forage crop that can be fed to native pigs, at the demonstration site.

“At this stage of the project, the technology demonstration level was adjusted according to the needs of the area and the existing management practices and level of awareness on the potentials native pigs,” Ms. Juanillo said.

Under the signed MOU, CTU-Tuburan will be responsible in the maintenance of the breeder stocks (feeds and drugs/medicines) and forage crops (Madre de agua/Tricanthera). On the other hand, LGU Tuburan, through the MAO, will conduct monitoring activities to determine the performance of the technology demonstration facility in CTU-Tuburan. They will also be responsible in providing a shortlist of possible project cooperators and in coordinating future dispersal and facilitating distribution of repayment stocks to selected project cooperators.

BAR strengthens its support to the livestock industry. For native pig, BAR has funded four completed projects and currently coordinating a total of eight projects on native pig production and processing including value chain analysis implemented in collaboration with other R&D institutions and private institutions in the country.

Native pig is one of the priority commodities under the bureau's Research and Development, Extension Agenda and Programs (RDEAP) 2011-2016. ### (Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)

 

Value adding expands seaweed industry

Seaweeds
Seaweeds

It is unlike any sunken treasure anyone has ever discovered underneath the ocean. But its value outweighs that of a chest overflowing of gold. Seaweed is the ocean’s valuable deep sea vegetable. During the ancient times, it was only served to kings and their honoured guests. It has been considered a miracle crop and it doesn’t fail to live up to the name. The ocean water is full of nutrients and where else can these nutrients be concentrated in but to seaweed? Seaweed is rich in minerals like calcium and iodine while also having a low amount of calories. Seaweed detoxifies our bodies. They help prolong one’s life by regulating the acid levels in our blood and in improving our bodies’ disposal of toxins.

In the Philippines, Ms. Aida Andayog of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 5, has been working on seaweeds ever since the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) assisted in funding her CPAR project on seaweeds in 2003. She, along with her team from the Tobaco Faith International Church, developed the existing methods of harvesting seaweeds and eventually ventured in creating seaweed-based products.

Today, seaweed technology has already been developed and enterprises have already emerged featuring a wide array of products. Ms. Andayog is currently on the process of developing their brand and processing plants in the Bicol region.

Through her research, Andayog has managed to come up with a wide array of ways in cooking dried seaweed. One example is seaweed noodles. Making seaweed noodles is almost the same as making pasta. Dried seaweed is rehydrated overnight then blended into a puree. The seaweed puree is then mixed with the rest of the ingredients used to make dough. The noodles must be dried first before it is ready to be cooked.

Seaweed can also be turned into a sauce, wherein its puree form is mixed with salt, sugar, white pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, fried garlic and onion, then garnished with pili nuts. Andayog and her team also incorporated a healthier twist to the Filipino classic morcon dish. For her recipe, Andayog used chopped seaweed as a binder and extender to go along with the a mix of seasonings and fish or meat products. The same mix of ingredients used to produce morcon can also be cooked as longganisa or lumpia. Andayog describes her seaweed mix as a 3 in 1 product. Not only is this dish healthy but it’s also cheap. Seaweed morcon can cost just half the amount of expenses spent on cooking regular morcon.

Vallue Added Seaweed ProductIn a seminar she conducted at BAR, Andayog cited the Marine Resource Develop Corporation in pointing out that seaweed texture exhibits properties that help preserve moisture in foods and make pork more stable and manageable. This implied seaweed’s efficiency on being a food extender, thus leading Andayog to develop a morcon recipe using seaweed.

Other seaweed products that Andayog developed included seaweed juice, seaweed leche flan, seaweed pickles, nata de seaweed, and seaweed spaghetti.

With the advancement of seaweed value added products, Andayog continues to boost Bicol’s seaweed industry. She has already brought her product demonstration to other countries such as Korea and Singapore. During the seminar, she pointed out that seaweed farming and the industry’s manufacturing aspect greatly depend on each other. As it grows, more opportunities of doing smallscale business enterprises would be available for the locals in the Bicol region. ### (EJ Gestupa)

 

CPAR boosts Atis production in Lobo

AtisLobo, Batangas has over 500 hectares of farmland planted with sweet sugar apple trees. The tree’s fruit, popularly known as “Atis”, is tended by over a thousand farmers. It’s no wonder why Lobo has been declared through Resolution No. 2011-61 as the “Atis Capital of the Philippines” in September 2011.

Despite this recognition, Lobo started out in a less progressive state in terms of its farming systems. According to Daisynette D. Manalo, project leader of the “Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) on Sugar Apple + Vegetables + Legume Farming System in Lobo, Batangas,” an Atis tree can potentially produce five kilograms of the fruit but the current average production in Lobo is only one kilogram per tree. At 45 pesos per kilogram, low income among atis farmers during harvest time has raised concerns for developing the municipality’s farming systems.

She added that, aside from natural disasters such as typhoons, one major cause for low production is the mealybug, small pest insects that feed on plant sap while leaving a sticky substance on the fruit and leaves. The sticky substance makes room for fungi to develop leaving the fruit surface with sooty mold. These sticky, white cotton ball like pests, infest a great number of Atis tress and can become uncontrollable during summer, when rainfall is scarce and irrigation is unsteady.

The CPAR project, implemented by the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 4A, Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC), is funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

Prior to the implementation of the CPAR project, the Office of the Municipal Agriculture of Lobo conducted a Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) among Atis farmers with the general objective of improving their yield and income. It aimed to equip smallholders with efficient irrigation technology, new crops to plant, and create an organized association for Atis farmers.

It was during the PRA that farmers from Lobo pointed out a simple solution to the mealybug infestation: water. The option of using chemical pesticides was not feasible due to the huge stretches of land and canopy that needed to be sprayed. What was needed is proper irrigation to give farmers access to enough water for spraying the pests off Atis trees. Farmers in Lobo would need long stretches of water pipes that transport water from the municipality’s numerous water springs. With the CPAR project, 20 farmers from two barangays in Lobo were provided with new irrigation systems that included the construction of water reservoirs, and the procurement of water pumps, power sprayers, and plastic drums.

According to Ms. Rosie Egea, municipal agriculturist in Lobo, in two weeks time, farmers have already noticed significant developments in the quality and quantity of their yield. Ever since collecting water from the new irrigation system, Atis trees began yielding more fruit.

Atis FarmersAccording to Pablo De Castro, baranggay captain, also an Atis farmer in Brgy. Banalo, Lobo, the trees that used to yield five kilos of Atis can now produce up to nine kilos of the fruit. At present, Atis farmers are favoured to possibly having two harvest seasons production. Off-season harvest runs from May to July and the regular season from August to October.

Part of the project also involved training farmers in intercropping legumes and vegetables with Atis. According to Ms. Manalo, planting different crops on the same farmland preserves the nutrients present in the soil and it can lead to better quality for the harvested Atis. Diversifying the number of crops planted on farmland has not only increased the income of the farmers in Lobo, but also helped in providing their families with enough supply of crops for personal use.

Aside from providing new methods in irrigation and intercropping, farmers were also trained in the proper methods of applying fertilizer, pruning, and weeding. STIARC provided the farmers with enough equipment in order for its beneficiaries to continue applying what they have been taught.

With the organization of an association for Atis farmers, Ms. Manalo has pointed out that farmers can finally agree to establish a hub where they can store their harvest and directly sell to market vendors. This also cuts down on the necessary expenses needed for one to hire middle men and decreases the retail price per kilo of Atis in the market.

The CPAR project’s recipients are 20 farmers from two of Lobo’s less progressive barangays, Brgy. Balatbat and Brgy. Banaio. According to Ms. Manalo, once the project reaches its conclusion this year, funding is passed down to the municipal government in order for project to continue and expand to the rest of Lobo’s barangays. ### (EJ Gestupa)

Gourmix now used in ABS-CBN’s feeding program

Children eating gourmixGourmix, 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)