As there have been confirmed African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in Mindanao, the agriculture department in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) continues its call for the local government units’ (LGUs) support in intensifying their respective control measures against the spread of ASF in the region.

The LGU of Lantapan, Bukidnon through its Municipal Agriculture’s Office initiated an orientation on the dreaded disease among residents of barangay Bugcaon, in said town on August 27.

Recognizing hog raising as an important source of income, the activity geared towards instilling cooperation of its populace to protect the livelihood of livestock farmers.

Emphasizing among others, to avoid swill feeding to their raised hogs, to refrain from bringing in pork meat and its by-products from ASF affected areas, and to support farmers’ local meat and its by-products.

Serving as resource speakers for the activity were Bernido Miasco, municipal livestock coordinator of LGU-Lantapan and Mario Alob. # (Photos Supplied: MAO-Lantapan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – This year’s fourth batch of employees from the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10), comprising of ten newly promoted and one appointed personnel, took their oath of office on Tuesday, September 1.

DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado administered the oath taking ceremony held on-site and virtually at the agency compound, this city.

Included in the list of promoted, with salary grades from 6 to 22 are the following:

Patrick Ian F. Pedarse – Supervising Administrative Officer
Luz I. Guzman – Supervising Science Research Specialist
Abdulharis P. Paporo – Agricultural Center Chief II
Sky Love A. Sarmiento – Administrative Officer V
Joanne L. Olson – Information Officer II
Marilou C. Hebia – Administrative Officer IV
Jaypee R. Pichay – Administrative Officer IV
Chamberlie Gay M. Regis – Agriculturist II
Rhoda Mae M. Galia – Accountant I
Milcah S. Tenchavez – Administrative Aide VI
Annie Rose D. Cassion – Administrative Aide VI

In his message, Director Collado underscored DA Secretary William D. Dar’s call for good governance and zero corruption in the department in serving the Filipino people with utmost integrity and competence.

“Uphold the core values practiced by the department in our bid to deliver our services to farmers and fisherfolk, which includes transparency, accountability and efficiency,” Collado urged.

Dir. Collado also emphasized the need to double the agency’s efforts in providing food for the people amid the ongoing pandemic.

“Let us not lose sight of our mandate, as we continue to brave ourselves in delivering our services, considering high vulnerability of the nature of our work,” he further challenged the agri employees.

On the other hand, DA-RFO 10 Regional Technical Director for Operations, Carlota S. Madriaga, challenged the newly promoted and appointed employees to innovate, contribute and participate attuned to the agency’s mandate.

Such inputs would make a significant impact to the development of the agri-fisheries sector, in its move towards ‘a food secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk’.

To date, a total of 47 DA-RFO 10 personnel were promoted and appointed this year.# (JLO/Photo:JCGamboa)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To further enhance rice production and augment the income of rice farmers in Lanao del Norte, the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) distributed around P25.6 million worth of farm machineries and equipment to six farmer cooperatives, associations (FCAs) in Lanao del Norte on Thursday, August 27.

Leading the turnover were Engr. Edgar B. Testa, Head of DA-PhilMech Mindanao Cluster A, Provincial LDN Agriculture Officer Letecia Diticulan, DA-RFO 10 Field Operations Division OIC-Chief, Audy Maagad, with DA-RFO 10 Provincial Operations Center OIC-Chief in Lanao del Norte, Engr. Abdulharis P. Paporo.

The FCAs from the towns of Baroy, Maigo, Lala, Kapatagan and Salvador availed the farm machineries and equipment comprising of four-wheel drive tractors, hand tractors, floating tiller, riding-type transplanter, combine harvester and rice mill which will be used for land preparation and postharvest activities of the rice farmers.

Said intervention is an aid for rice farmers who were affected by the low-buying price of palay in effect, of the full implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law or the Republic Act No. 11203.

Engr. Testa emphasized, the program is intended to increase farm productivity of eligible rice farmer-groups listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), with at least 50 hectares of irrigated rice farmlands.

The six FCAs include the following, MARSADATES Irrigators Association (IA); Patcusilangka IA; Butadon Solar Dryer with Warehouse and Rice Mill Association; Palay Check Panaliwad-on Farmers Association; Manan-ao Rice Growers Association and Segapod Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, will benefit the agri-interventions of the department, funded under the mechanization component of RCEF.

Reportedly, Lanao del Norte is one of the largest rice-producing provinces in Northern Mindanao next to Bukidnon, with about 16,177 hectares of rice farmlands.

Given with the full grant machinery from DA-PhilMech, PAO Ditucalan urged the recipients to provide shed for the machineries for its safekeeping. #(Edgar M. Bentulan, Jr.)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Enhancing farmers’ productivity through the provision of agri-assistance to maintain accessibility, affordability, and availability of food, remains the thrust of the Department of Agriculture (DA), especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addressing said thrusts, the DA-Regional Field Office 10 thru the Planning and Monitoring Evaluation Division (PMED) spearheaded the briefing on the agency’s new programs and projects in leading the implementers of the department, on Thursday, August 27.

Among these are the institutionalization of the Agriculture Dialogue and Information Network Group (ADING); Establishment of the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) towards a greater inclusive agri-business development in the country; Balik Probinsya-Balik Pag-asa (BP2) for returning Overseas Filipino Workers and individuals affected by the pandemic, who will be returning to their respective provinces; and the ACEF Scholarship Program, a financial aid granted to students pursuing agri-related courses with a basic family annual income of P300,000 and below.

DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado emphasized the department will support said programs at all cost, particularly the BP2 program. Of which, DA’s Special Area for Agricultural Development ( SAAD) program and its banner programs will allocate budget to provide livelihood projects to the affected individuals.

He further requested the support and participation of everyone in the program implementation.

“As frontliners handling the food-producing sector, much is expected from us, and we cannot afford to lose the confidence of so many people depending on our assistance,” Collado said.

In addition, production and marketing assistance can be availed by farmers through the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD).

AMAD will facilitate the loan programs which include Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA) for young farmers aged 18-30 years old; AgriNegosyo (Anyo); Expanded Sure Aid and Recovery (SuRe) program; Agricultural Competitive Enhancement Fund (ACEF); and, the Sagip Saka program.

These financial assistance allows the borrower to loan an amount ranging from P 300,000 to P15 million with 0-2 percent interest payable up to five years, depending on the approved business plan submitted by the proponent to finance their respective agri-fishery small and micro-enterprise.

Interested farmers, associations and cooperatives are requested to submit their letter of intent, followed by a project proposal through the municipal, city agriculture’s office for endorsement to DA regional office through AMAD for review and validation of their proposed project.

On the other hand, Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota Madriaga, hoped that the briefing will help the DA implementers to internalize the programs and projects that the department is going to implement in the succeeding years.

“By understanding its different implementation schemes, more farmers will benefit, and success will not be far from our grasp,” Madriaga concluded. # (Mary Grace B. Sta. Elena)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado leads the signing of the pledge of good governance and zero corruption for the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10).

RED Collado’s move is in response to the call of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and DA Secretary William D. Dar to serve the Filipino people with utmost integrity and competence.

Supporting the DA executive are DA-RFO 10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota Madriaga and RTD for Research and Regulations Carmelita T. Bajarala together with the division chiefs, program coordinators, provincial operations center chiefs of the region.

RED Collado emphasized, the core values practiced by the department in its bid to deliver its services to the farmers and fisherfolk, which include transparency, accountability, efficiency that will guide the DA family for good governance.

He reminded them to perform their duties with highest degree of moral integrity, during the briefing of DA programs.#(ATCabig)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Packages of farm machineries worth P10.4 million were turned over by the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) to farmer-cooperatives, associations (FCAs) cultivating rice in Misamis Oriental (MisOr).

In a turnover ceremony held at the Provincial MisOr Capitol Grounds on August 27, the roster of interventions handed over to Linugos Farmers Irrigators Association, Inc. of Brgy. Kibungsod, Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental included one unit each of four-wheel drive tractor, hand tractor, riding type transplanter and combine harvester.

Meanwhile, the Bal-ason Farmers Producers Cooperative, Inc. (BFPCI) of Brgy. Bal-ason, Gingoog City, was granted with one unit each of hand tractor, reaper, mobile rice mill, and mechanical dryer, and six units floating tiller.

Funded under the mechanization component of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), the distribution of agri-machineries is the third distribution in Region 10 within the month, following the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte with an accumulated worth of P67.1 million rice mechanization interventions to 16 farmer-groups.

“Said distribution only represents about 40 percent of DA-PhilMech’s budget for 2019, while the remaining 60 percent [amounting to more than P16.5 million] for MisOr province, is still under procurement stage, and three more FCAs are being eyed as additional recipients,“ Carlene C. Collado, regional executive director of DA-Regional Field Office 10 said.

Apportioned with a yearly P5 billion budget under the P10 billion RCEF portfolio, brought about by the Rice Tariffication Law to be implemented for the 2019-2024 period, rice mechanization is seen to drum up across the country to increase productivity, reduce labor cost, increase income and strengthen the global competitiveness of rice farmers in a liberalized rice industry.

Based on DA-PhilMech data, up to 3 percent milling losses, 5 percent drying losses, and about 2-3 percent postharvest losses can be saved with the use of mechanized rice mills, mechanical dryers and combine harvesters, respectively.

It added, up to 10 percent increase in yield can be achieved with good crop growth and higher density planting using mechanical transplanter, while a significant increase in yield is also aimed with proper soil tillage and better land levelling with the use of tractors.

Nais ng programa [RCEF Mechanization] na isulong at ipakilala sa mga magsasakang Filipino ang paggamit ng mabisa at matipid na makinaryang pansaka. Nais din nitong mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang lahat ng magsasaka na makagamit nang angkop na makinarya sa produksyon ng palay hanggang sa makatapos-ani,” Engr. Baldwin G. Jallorina, Jr., PhilMech national director expressed, in a message, delivered by Engr. Edgar B. Testa, head of Mindanao Cluster A of DA-PhilMech.

Dir. Collado also challenged the province thru Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano to have more FCAs accredited with DA, considering the two benefiting FCAs, comprising of 271 rice farmers.

Mao ning basehan nato kung kinsa ang makadawat og package of machineries under DA-PhilMech. This will now be the chance of our farmer organizations to be given with this kind of intervention, which has not been done in the previous years,” Collado noted.

He also appealed to the recipients to properly manage, operate and handle the farm machineries and equipment, with hopes to augment their income and livelihood, including non-members who may wish to avail of their services.

Meanwhile, Gov. Emano stressed, “Dako kaayo ang gihatag nga gahum sa inyo nga gi-abagan sa dako nga responsibilidad. Atong ipakita sa ilaa nga ang gigasto sa gobyerno nga mahimuslan pag-ayo. Ang gipangayo nga balos, areglahun, pangga-on ug mahalon ang mga makinarya ug ekipo ug motaas pod unta ang inyong abot ug kita.”

Lolita Sanico, BFPCI president responded, “Pangitaan gyud namo og pamaagi nga magamit ang mga makinarya ug ekipo nga gitugyan kanamo gikan sa pangagamhanan. Wala namo damha nga ma-angkon namo ni ug mapasalamaton kami sa inyoa [partner agencies] nga nagpaluyo sa mga small farmers.”

On top of the provision of agri-machinery and equipment from DA-PhilMech, the provincial government also handed over knapsack sprayers and fertilizers assistance to the two FCA-recipients. # (JLO)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY- In line with the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) food resiliency program dubbed as Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) kontra sa COVID-19 or popularly known as the Plant, Plant, Plant program, the 8th Air Reserve Center (ARCen) Philippine Air Force sought the availment of seeds assistance to support farmers and tribal communities to restore their agricultural livelihood amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 26, DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga handed over 100 packets assorted vegetable seeds to 8th ARCen represented by Staff Sergeant Jeneño S Macahilos.

Particularly, the targeted beneficiaries of the vegetable seeds will be the Indigenous Peoples Community in Barangay Besigan, this city.

SSg Macahilos said, through the provisions, they’d be able to promote an alternative source of livelihood for food production, especially in this trying period.

Of which, he added, is part of their quarterly community engagements of ARCen. Each packet of 4-in-1 garden salad seeds, comprise of cucumber, tomato, iceberg and romaine lettuce, which can be planted to around an area up to 300 square meters.

Aside from the vegetable seeds, additional inputs will also be provided in the form of corn seeds, a week prior their distribution activity in the barangay on September 15. # (John Carl Anito)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, August 20 – In a bid to provide inputs for the implementation of Urban Agriculture Project, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) turned over assorted vegetable seeds to the Tactical Operations Group 10 (TOG-10), the unit of Philippine Air Force stationed at Tactical Operations Wing Eastern Mindanao, Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro City.

DA-RFO 10 Administrative and Finance Division Chief Lester A. Jaducana handed over 100 packets of Garden Salad consisting of lettuce (romaine and iceberg), tomato and cucumber; 1 pack at 250 grams of okra; and 2 packets at 50 grams of eggplant seeds to Civil Military Operations apprentices Marjohn L. Igot and Mark Emmanuel R. Gerona.

The requested provisions is in support to the national health emergency, as TOG-10 eyes to distribute them to the Indigenous People of barangays Pigsag-an and Bayanga, this city.

Further, they aim to introduce the concept of hydroponic vegetable production in their areas for sustainable gardening.

Said agri intervention is part of DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program to scale up food production in the households amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.#(Irish Mae Juntahan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, August 20 – Align with Secretary Dar’s aim towards sustainable food security, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10), represented by Regulatory Division Chief Juliet B. Araos turned over assorted vegetable seeds to the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Iligan City.

Receiving 250 packets of chopsuey (pechay, radish, carrots, cauliflower) and 250 packets of garden salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber) seeds on behalf of SP Tamula’s Office, is Kathleen V. Mantalaba, who said, they have a program that advocates the natural way of farming for the benefit of all the Iliganon households in the urban areas.

Eyed to increase agricultural productivity, competitiveness and profitability amidst the country’s fight against the COVID-19 crisis, Office of the City Councilor Rudolph Charles Tamula initiated a program dubbed as ‘Tatak Iliganon’ to provide income generating activity and livelihood through seeds distribution to the Iliganons.

“Nakita namo nga pag start sa COVID-19 daghan na kaayo ganahan mag gardening, mao nag come up mi ani nga program para promotion napod sa food security mao nang gi grab namo ang opportunity nga naay assistance gikan sa DA ug nagpasalamat mi kay paspas ilang response sa among request,” she added.

[We have noticed that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people have gained interest in gardening, so we came up with a program to promote food security. We have also grabbed the opportunity of the assistance from DA, and we are thankful for their immediate response to our request.]

She likewise expressed that they are also promoting Urban Container Gardening to those areas with limited spaces.

Importantly, they encouraged their members into gardening for their daily consumption and to sell surplus of their products to the local market.

The program of the Tatak Iliganon family in the Office of the City Councilor in Iligan has reached more than 3,000 online members up to date.

Of which, they are also conducting weekly monitoring on the growth and development of the plants through photo documentation from their beneficiaries. #(Irish Mae Juntahan)

The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture in Region 10 amplified its agricultural services in Northern Mindanao by adopting six other towns in the region this year.

With the expansion, the SAAD program is anticipated to aid another 665 poorest of the poor farmers, increasing the total figure of SAAD-assisted farming constituents in the region to 3,452 individuals.

The farmer-beneficiaries were profiled and validated by DA-SAAD-10 last year and earlier this year.

The municipalities of Aloran and Don Victoriano Chiongbian in Misamis Occidental; Magsaysay and Munai in Lanao del Norte, and; Lantapan and Sumilao in Bukidnon join SAAD-10’s existing roster of 24 beneficiary LGUs.

The SAAD-implementing LGUs are identified based on Philippine Statistics Authority’s official poverty statistics.

Upon intent and commitment by the local executives, towns with the highest poverty incidence are favored for inclusion to the SAAD program of DA-10.

As a special program of the Department of Agriculture, SAAD aims to uplift the lives of poor farmers in Northern Mindanao.

The program provides the farmers capacitating and enabling agricultural interventions to develop them as enterprising farmers.

Depending on LGUs’ proposal, the beneficiaries are due to receive agri-livelihood projects such as rice and corn production and vegetable production.# (Azbie Talib)