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Tobacco floor prices up PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-AFIS   
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 06:09

Floor prices of various types of tobacco in the next two years were hiked by as much as over 51 percent to ensure a 25 percent increase in farmers’ income, the National Tobacco Administration announced on Friday.

 NTA Administrator Edgardo D. Zaragoza, in a press briefing announced the price increases for Virginia, burley, and native tobacco effective crop years 2012 to 2013 as a result of a recently-concluded tripartite conference participated in by the government regulatory agency, farmers, and buyer firms.

Floor prices of AA grade Virginia tobacco was pegged at P72 per kilo, up by 9 percent from P66 in 2010-2011. Prices for grades B, C, D, and E were also increased by P5, respectively, while grades E, F1, and F2 were increased by P3.00. Usable R tobacco was priced at P40 per kilo, up by P12 from the previous price of P28.

For burley grades A, B, C, D, E, F and R, and native high grade/morado, liso high, liso medium, and short sapod were increased by an average of P7 per kilo. Native sexta or reject sapod was priced at P22, up by 51.72 percent from its original level of P14.50.

Zaragoza said the new tobacco rates were a result of separate negotiations they held with farmers and buyer firms. “We talked separately with farmers and buyers so there was no need to haggle for the prices (like in the past). We came up with floor prices that are acceptable to both parties based on calculations that will ensure 25 percent income for the farmers,” he said.

As this developed, Zaragoza also reported tobacco production reached 78.5 million kilos in green weight this year, compared to the 74 million kilos produced in 2010.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 October 2011 01:37
DA links veggie farmers with Singaporean buyers PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-AFIS   
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 00:43

The Department of Agriculture is linking vegetable farmers in the provinces of Benguet and Quezon with prospective buyers from Singapore.

 Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said a three-man Singaporean team recently visited the provinces of Quezon and Benguet to see for themselves the various vegetables that their fellow Singaporeans prefer.

 “Their visit is a signal that Filipino farmers are now ready to export their quality, organically-grown vegetables to Singapore, Japan and other neighboring countries,” said Sec. Alcala.

The Singaporean team is composed of Dr. Michael Lau, CEO of Green and Fresh Pte. Ltd., and its directors Ong Hock Beng and Ang Yong Beng. They arrived September 9 and proceeded to Quezon, where they toured several organic vegetables farms. On September 11, they motored to Benguet and visited vegetable farms in the towns of Mankayan, Buguias, and Madaymen.

They were accompanied by Filipino entrepreneur Agripino Ferrer, Jr., and Singaporean Max Teo Chin Huat, project leader of the Philippine-Singapore vegetable mission.

Sec. Alcala said the group took interest in semi-temperate Chinese-type vegetables that are widely grown in Quezon and Benguet that include bell pepper, tomatoes, cabbage, pechay, several types of lettuce, and coriander. They are also interested to import fresh banana leaves as plate liner.

The Singaporeans brought with them seeds of vegetables preferred in Singapore and see if these would adapt well for propagation in various parts of the Philippines.

Sec. Alcala said the Department of Agriculture through its High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) directorate is ready to organize farmers’ groups in Quezon and Benguet to meet the demand and preferences of Singaporeans through Green and Fresh Pte. Ltd.

 “We will talk with our farmers and seed growers and we will tell them what varieties you prefer. We can also supply you with banana leaves. We are also willing to expand our production areas to satisfy your quantity requirements,” Sec. Alcala told the Singaporeans during a courtesy call September 12 before they flew back to their country. They will be back shortly to accomplish needed documentation and procedures and follow up initial orders of vegetables from Quezon and Benguet.

DA chief reduces tuna export fees PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-AFIS   
Friday, 16 September 2011 01:11

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has approved a proposal by a fishing federation in Mindanao seeking the reduction of a current three percent (%) export fee on tuna in a bid to shore up the ailing industry.

Secretary Alcala announced the reduction during his speech at the recently-concluded 13th National Tuna Congress at General Santos City, where he approved to amend Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 233 issued in 2010, stipulating fees for the issuance of export/re-export permits equivalent to 3% of export value.

The fee was reduced to merely 0.2% for all fish species caught in Philippine waters.

For his part, BFAR national director Asis G. Perez said the reduced fee is equivalent to P1,650 or 0.2 percent of fish raw material value computed from the previous year’s average wholesale price, whichever is higher, based on price surveys of the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).

The previous 3% export fee was an additional burden and a disincentive for exporters, unduly increasing the prices of tuna products and thus making them less competitive in the world market, according to the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII).

The measure was counterproductive and inconsistent with the thrust of the government to promote exports, said Marfenio Y. Tan, outgoing SFFAII chairman.

The National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFARMC) initially promulgated FAO 233, in keeping with the intent of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.

 The NFARMC is a multi-sectoral, advisory group under the supervision of the DA-BFAR. Among other major tasks, it conducts national consultations to craft needed policies for the protection, conservation, sustainable development and management of the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources. The recommended policies are then sent to the DA Secretary for consideration and approval.

During its July 22, 2011 meeting, the NFARMC upon consultations with tuna industry stakeholders approved the recommendation to reduce the 3% export fee for captured aquatic wildlife like tuna.

Sixty percent of the country’s tuna catch is unloaded at General Santos City, thus making it the “tuna capital” of the Philippines.

The tuna industry is presently facing hard times as a result of a ban on fishing in the high seas imposed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) since January 1, 2010.

At least 95% of FBDs in seven regions fully functional PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-PhilMech   
Thursday, 15 September 2011 05:10

At least 95% of the flatbed dryers (FBDs) in seven regions that were distributed by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) are functioning and are ready to serve its intended recipients.

DA-PhilMech Executive Director Ricardo L. Cachuela said that contrary to earlier findings of a report issued by the Commission on Audit (COA), 95% of the FBDs in Central Luzon (Region 3), Bicol Region (Region 5), Western Visayas (Region 6), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Davao Region (Region 11) and SOCCSKSARGEN (Region 12) are fully functioning with very few units needing repairs.

The COA findings, which were based on field investigations during Calendar Year 2010, stated that in the seven aforementioned regions “62.38% of flatbed dryers installed and delivered (were) not operational”. During the same calendar year, COA observed that in Western Visayas (Region 6) most of the flatbed dryers “were 80% complete”, meaning these were still in the stage of construction or installation.

“We appreciate the findings of the COA based on Calendar Year 2010, and based on our latest field assessment as of August 2011, we are very happy to report that 95% of FBDs in the seven regions are functioning,” Cachuela said.

The seven regions have a total of 1,250 FBDs of which 95% or 1,194 are functioning, based on the assessment of DA-PhilMech as of August 2011.

The breakdown of the functioning units are Central Luzon (Region 3) 297 units functioning out of the 313 distributed; Bicol Region (Region 5) 203 functioning out of 227 distributed; Western Visayas (Region 6) all 188 units functioning; Central Visayas (Region 7) 33 units functioning out of 35 distributed; Eastern Visayas (Region 8) 208 units functioning out of 215 distributed; Davao Region (Region 11) 92 functioning out of 93 distributed; and SOCCSKSARGEN (Region 12) 173 functioning out of 179 distributed.

Aside from the support given by the DA Regional Field Units and concerned Local Government Units in establishing the FBDs, Cachuela said that farmer organizations should also be lauded for making most of the FBDs in the seven regions functioning.


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