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Govt sets new target area of 5,000 hectares in Region 2 for protein-rich, climate change-mitigating PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-BAR   
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 01:01

The government has set a new target area of 5,000 hectares in Cagayan Valley for protein-rich peanut as the legume is deemed as an ideal climate change-mitigating crop with its nitrogen-fixing property.

 The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CVIARC) effectively targets a 43 percent increase in peanut production in Region 2 in three to five years. Present area is placed at 3,500 hectares.

“We want to continue our support for peanut breeding and production because peanut remains to be a minor crop rather than a cash crop even if farmers have an opportunity to make money from it by replacing our big import,” said Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) director.

DA sees expansion of peanut area as a climate change-mitigating crop with its ability to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas-emitting nitrous oxide from nitrogen. 

Peanut is likewise considered drought-resistant with less water need at an average irrigation water requirement ranging from four to 50 millimeter per application.

Legumes-- peanut, mungbean, and soybean included-- can capture nitrogen from the air, “fix” this into plant food, and thus make it a natural fertilizer to the plant.

CVIARC Peanut Project Leader Rose Mary G. Aquino said BAR's program involves breeding for improved peanut varieties. This also has a seed support component from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD).

“We want to stabilize the peanut production in Region 2 which has been erratic due farmers' shifting from planting peanut to yellow corn as a result of insufficient peanut seed supply during planting season,” said Aquino.

The country imports an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 metric tons (MT) of peanut yearly out of a total supply of 60,000 to 70,000 MT. This means Philippines imports more than 50 percent of its peanut supply yearly primarily from China.

The peanut project should revive Region 2's leadership in peanut production. Its peanut area was at 22,000 hectares in the 1990s, although yield was very low at 0.65 MT per hectare.

“Region 2 was once a big peanut producer. But due to the low yield and therefore low income, farmers shifted to yellow corn,” a BAR report said.

Legumes in general are eyed by DA as poverty reduction crops. When inter-planted with corn or rice, legumes can raise land use efficiency and farmers' income. At a production cost of P27,030, a farmer may earn a net income of P22,970 out of a 2,000 kilo per hectare yield, given a P25 per kilo farm gate price.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 01:01
Transport of livestock animals, meat now allowed PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-AFIS   
Thursday, 25 August 2011 06:43

Livestock farmers, traders and processors can now freely transport their animals and meat products within the country, as long as appropriate permits are secured from concerned agencies of the Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said this is one of the favorable results of the recent recognition and declaration of the entire Philippines as free from foot and mouth disease (FMD) without vaccination by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or World Organization for Animal Health, on May 26, 2011.

Secretary Alcala recently signed Administrative Order (AO) No. 19, August 2, 2011, lifting all FMD-related transport restrictions for swine, cattle, carabao, sheep, goats, and other cloven-footed animals, including their meat, meat products, and other by-products nationwide.

However, he urged livestock farmers, processors and traders to remain vigilant to maintain the FMD-free status of the country. In fact, under AO 19, the DA and its concerned livestock agencies in partnership with livestock farmers and industry stakeholders will continue to implement an FMD monitoring and preventive plan, maintain a stock of FMD vaccines, and ensure that requirements are complied with prior to transport of animals, their meat, meat products, and other by-products.

As a requirement, farmers and traders wanting to transport live animals should first secure a written authority or permit from the director of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) or his duly authorized representative. The BAI will also issue a veterinary health certificate to attest that the animals are healthy and come from areas free of any outbreak or disease.

Meanwhile, processors and traders are required to secure a certificate of meat inspection from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) when they intend to transport meat and meat products,

Secretary Alcala enjoins BAI veterinary quarantine officers and regional and local government veterinarians to submit a monthly report on any positive or negative disease incidence in their respective areas.

In case of an FMD resurgence, the DA through the BAI and other concerned agencies and livestock owners should stamp out or isolate all infected animals, and vaccinate other exposed susceptible animals. The DA will also institute a ‘ring certification’ and impose strict quarantine rules within a three-kilometer radius, depending on the scale of the outbreak.

Finally, the DA through the BAI will maintain a yearly stock of at least 2,000 bottles or about 100,000 doses of FMD vaccines which could be readily used in case of resurgence.



DA to help transform ‘veggie bowls’ in Negros PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-AFIS   
Monday, 22 August 2011 01:17

The Department of Agriculture will partner with local officials and farmers to transform semi-temperate areas in Negros Island as “vegetable salad bowls” in the Visayas that will provide the vegetable needs of the cities of San Carlos, Dumaguete, Bacolod andCebu.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala recognized the vast potentials of two areas in Negros — the town of  Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental — during his two-day visit last week.

“There is a large potential for organic vegetable production in these areas, as well as for upland rice, coffee, cacao, tea, dairy, and for small ruminants,” Secretary Alcala said.

Don Salvador Benedicto, a fourth class municipality located in the mountainous regions north east of Negros island, was established as a town in 1983. Its semi-temperate climate with temperatures ranging from 16 to 24 degrees Celcius has earned for itself the title as ‘summer capital’ of the island.

This has also enabled farmers in the area to raise so-called Benguet vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, sayote, potato and tomato.

In fact, town Mayor Laurence MJ Dela Cruz said a Korean firm has established a vegetable farm in the area to supply the needs of Korean restaurants in the Visayas.

 To support the production of organic vegetables and other crops, Secretary Alcala said the DA through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will construct an irrigation project next year that will put into productive use an additional 1,500 hectares of farmland.

Secretary Alcala said the DA will help Don Salvador Benedicto farmers to engage in the production of coffee, cacao and tea.

During a farmers’ forum in Don Salvador Benedicto, attended by 2,000 farmers, the DA chief gifted the town through a counterpart scheme two hand tractors, two threshers, five carabaos with farm implements, two flatbed dryers, hundreds of coffee and cacao seedlings, and 10 four-year college scholarship grants (inclusive of tuition, books and monthly stipends) to deserving high school students who will pursue college degrees in agriculture, fishery and other related courses.

Agri sector grows by 5.48% in 1st sem 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by DA-AFIS   
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 01:25

Bannered by the record harvests of palay (unmilled rice) and corn, the crops subsector boosted the growth of the agriculture sector by 5.48 percent (%) in the first six months of 2011. 

 Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said with palay and corn registering all-time outputs of 7.58 million metric tons (MT) and 3.31 million MT, respectively, the crops subsector — which contributed more than one-half (51.8%) to total agricultural output — grew by 11.1%.

 The livestock and poultry subsectors — which grew by 0.85% and 3.6%, respectively — also contributed to the improved performance of the entire agriculture sector.   

 The fisheries subsector, however, dipped by 2.9%, as commercial and municipal fish catch decreased during the first half of 2011.

 In all, the gross value of agricultural output amounted to P706.4 billion at current prices, about 16% more than last year’s level.

 Among major crops, sugarcane made a full recovery from the effects of a dry spell last year, and grew by 75.6%. Other good performers were tobacco (11.5%), rubber (6.2%), pineapple (3.2%), banana (1%), abaca (1.2%).

 The crops subsector grossed P411.8 billion at current prices, 31.1% higher than last year.

 The livestock subsector — accounting for 15.3% of total agricultural production — registered a 0.85% increment in output this year. Hog output went up by 1%.  Gross was valued at P103.1 billion at current prices, 1.6% lower than last year.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 01:29

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