DA-BAR, DA-CALABARZON ink partnership for moringa and copra meal projects

The DA-BAR and the DA-CALABARZON inked partnership for moringa and copra meal projects worth PhP 9M in total through a ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Agreement on 25 May 2022 in Batangas City. 

The project titled “Strengthening Moringa Industry in Batangas through Sustainable Production, Processing, and Marketing”, aims to strengthen and sustain the moringa industry development in the province with Malvar Organic Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (MOFAC) as the partner beneficiary. 

A community-managed moringa plant nursery in 15 barangays will be established and 100 seedlings will be distributed to 20 farmers per barangay in coordination with Malvar LGU-Office of the Municipal Agriculturist. With the consolidated produce, MOFAC will process moringa powder to supply the demand of Japan Philippines Malunggay Farms, Inc. In addition to the moringa powder, the cooperative will also enter into an agreement with various government agencies and local government units for their feeding programs and disaster response. 

Meanwhile, the project titled, Evaluation and Promotion of Copra Meal as Supplement to Protein and Energy Source Ingredient for Backyard Swine Diet in CALABARZON, aims to maximize the use of agricultural by-products as supplements to other expensive protein and energy source ingredients including corn and soybean meal. 

By increasing the use of copra meal as supplement to commercial feeds and additional source of nutrients for backyard swine raisers in CALABARZON, the technology targets to reduce the cost of production without negatively affecting the growth performance and meat quality of the animal. 

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, DA-BAR director Dr. Junel Soriano, and Assistant Secretary-designate for Operations and DA-CALABARZON director Arnel de Mesa led the MOA signing. MOFAC chair Dr. Reynaldo Lantin, and Pablito Villegas, DA adviser on Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation/Rural Credit and senior adviser of MOFAC, were also present to witness the event. 

In a meeting with the DA-BAR and MOFAC on 19 May 2022, Secretary Dar directed the bureau to focus more on the commercialization and upscaling of the existing technologies particularly on balanced fertilization, urban and peri-urban, local feed production for livestock, poultry and aquaculture, instead of research and pilot production. This is in line with the implementation of Plant, Plant, Plant Program Part 2 in response to the increasing prices of agricultural inputs. (### Chrystel Venus F. Fonseca)