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)

In support to Department of Agriculture’s Plant Plant Plant Program, the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of DA-10 will be distributing P5.6 million worth of basic farm inputs as COVID-19 assistance to SAAD-implementing local government units (LGUs).

The provinces of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental will receive the farm inputs composed of 20,192 packs vegetable seeds, 1,125 packs sweet corn seeds and 2,500 bags organic fertilizers.

The intervention will be fully distributed this August which are procured through the 2020 regular and emergency procurements with an aim to augment DA-10’s COVID-19 response measure in Northern Mindanao.

At least 30 towns in the region will benefit from the intervention, urging farmers in the area to continue farming at an increased production.

Adhering to DA’s campaign for sustained and unhampered food production amidst the enduring health crisis, SAAD-10 refocused P11.2 million of its 2020 appropriation to fund the procurement of basic inputs for crops and livestock production this year.

Provision of basic farm inputs are deemed imperative to whip up food production in the region as the country is in continuous battle against the pandemic.

Notwithstanding inevitable drawbacks, SAAD-10 continuously lived up to its mandate, serving the marginalized farmers in Northern Mindanao.#(Azbie Talib)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Urban dwellers may now have access in buying fresh, quality and affordable agricultural produce straight from farmers and fisherfolk.

Starting August 23, a new distribution outlet coined as the ‘Farmers’ Produce’ is now open to the public, which will initially run until September 20 at SM City Mall Cagayan de Oro (CdeO), Masterson Avenue.

Said food market sprung after an agreement was formed among the Department of Agriculture (DA), SM Supermalls and the Restaurant Owners of the Philippines (Resto PH) to provide agri-fishery producers a venue to directly sell their produce, while eyeing for the involved to spur economic activities amid the ongoing pandemic.

“The first ever ‘Farmers’ Produce’ is staged at SM Aura’s Premier in Taguig City, which championed the abundance of supply and commodities in their respective area. At the moment, we are also replicating such marketing initiative here at the regional level, prominently featuring our fruits and vegetables,” Chedy V. Ansale, chief of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division of DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) said.

Through the agribiz arm of DA-RFO 10, different farmer-groups from the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon were tapped.

Majority of whom are also the agriculture department’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita suppliers since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.

Included in the roster of exhibitors are the Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives, Miarayon Talakag Highland Farmers Association, Tagpuangi Farmers and Fisherfolk Association, Canitoan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Manzano Farm, CNQ Agri Ventures, Farmgrown Association of Claveria, NM Foods, Kaycee’s Dragon Fruit, Puclawan Fruits, and Lantapan Vegetable Farmers Marketing Cooperative.

Commodities up for sale vary from fruits, vegetables, spices, dairy products, fish and other processed food products.

The joint undertaking will be beneficial for the farmer- and fisher-producers. They can earn decent incomes with the additional marketing platform and enjoy reduced costs for rental space, Ansale added.

She also emphasized, they would be more motivated to produce more with the eyed consumers’ patronage for their local produce, at the same time, the buyers gaining for availing of agri-fishery products at reasonable prices.

On the other hand, SM Supermalls has opened its premises for the food markets to be in place, where farmer-groups can use for free, but in the case of SM City Mall CdeO, for only a minimal fee for almost a month that they can display their produce.

“We encourage everyone, especially for those residing in the uptown area or from the neighboring barangays, to come visit and buy the fresh, quality and affordable products of our local farmers and fisherfolk,” Ansale urged.

She also assured that proper health protocols will be observed with the help of the mall operators and more importantly, that the agri-fishery commodities being sold were produced with the farmers’ adoption of good agricultural practices.

Further, the restaurants are likewise eyed to gain from the ‘Farmers’ Produce’, as they may directly buy in bulk raw ingredients to be used in the preparation of their dishes from the producers themselves.

“We will also be conducting a market linkage, where restaurant owners are invited, so that they can forge a contract with our producers, at the same time, support of our local farmers,” Ansale pointed out.

The Farmers’ Produce project is a collaborative marketing initiative between government and the private sector to invigorate local farmers and small businesses’ operations challenged by the current health crisis.#

CLAVERIA, MISAMIS ORIENTAL – With the agriculture department set on further promoting and developing sorghum as an important crop for food and feed industries, a Sorghum Field Day and Technology Forum is staged at the Research Center for Hillyland Development (RCHD), in Lanise, of this town.

On August 20, more than 35 potential growers and marketers convened to learn the package of technology of grain sorghum, at the same time, the demand for such crop in the market.

Such undertaking also drums up the initiative of DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) in urging farmers to produce additional feed grains and silage to support the livestock and poultry sector, as sorghum is an alternative source of protein to corn and cassava.

“Through the technology demonstration, we can showcase the productivity performance and most adaptable sorghum varieties under different agro-climatic conditions,” Jurrybe J. Lachica, sorghum focal person of DA-RFO 10 said.

He added, the department has ongoing studies on the development of sorghum varieties through its research stations, namely: Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex, Research Center for Upland Development and RCHD.

With the latter being the site for the field day, participants were guided on a tour that featured the 505 x 5 and 506 x 15 sorghum varieties, which originated from Texas, USA.

These provisions were provided to the DA regional field offices across the country after select DA officials were sent to a sorghum company based there.

Of which, the planting materials were then distributed in March at Davao City, and planted mid-May, of this year.

Particularly, the station has six components for its sorghum production technology demonstration project.

This includes the Varietal Evaluation of Grain Sorghum in Different Production Environments; Site Specific Nutrient Management of Grain Sorghum for Better Yield and Income; Influence of Biomass Management for the Fertility and Yield of Grain Sorghum; Tiller Management for Ratooned Grain Sorghum; Performance of Ratooned Crop in Different Production Environments; and Population Density for Optimum Yield of Grain Sorghum.

For this year, Lachica also bared that the Region targets to establish six techno demo farms, ideally having at least five hectares, that would serve as demonstration site and learning center for farmers who wish to engage in sorghum farming.

“Should any group be interested, the department will be providing seeds and fertilizers while farmer/project partners will shoulder the labor as their counterpart,” he explained.

Reportedly, a giant agribusiness company guarantees to buy P14 per kilo of sorghum or even higher, depending on prevailing prices.

With generated results from research, farmers can make informed decisions which appropriate sorghum varieties and production technologies to choose from that are best suited to their agro climatic condition. #

DALWANGAN, MALAYBALAY CITY – Ten farmer-cooperatives, associations (FCAs) in Bukidnon received P41.5 million worth of agri-machinery from the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) on Tuesday, August 18.

DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado and Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga with DA-PhilMech Head Facility Management and Field Operations Division Joel V. Dator led the turnover and awarding of certificates to FCAs.

Said FCAs coming from the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia and the municipalities of Impasug-ong, San Fernando, Cabanglasan, Quezon, Pangantucan and Kalilangan availed the machineries which include four-wheel drive tractor, float-assist tiller, rice precision seeder, walk-behind transplanter, four-wheel riding-type rice transplanter, rice reaper, rice combine harvester and mobile rice mill.

RED Collado emphasized, the first batch distribution of PhilMech mechanization program is 40 percent of the 2019 budget, while the 60 percent amounting to P152.8 million is under procurement phase and may be distributed within the year which will benefit around 38 FCAs.

First batch of the mechanization program in Region 10 has a budget of P103.7 million.

Rice mechanization is one of the components of Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law, which stipulates the creation of the RCEF that would be funded from rice tariffs collections, with P10 billion allocated annually from 2019 to 2024 or a period of six years.

DA-PhilMech Director Baldwin G. Jallorina, in his written message, stressed, ‘Farming and fishing are the main economic activities of the region. Kaya nararapat lamang na bigyan natin ng priority ang rehiyon na ito na may malaking kontribusyon sa food security ng bansa’.

Mechanization component of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) aims to improve rice production in the country thru mechanization that would reduce production and postharvest losses up to 20 percent and eventually increase production.

Based on PhilMech study, postharvest losses for rice is at 16.47 percent from harvesting, piling threshing, drying, milling and storage.

Of the total amount, P5 billion was allocated for mechanization of rice farms, P3 billion for provision of high-yielding inbred rice seeds, P1 billion for credit support, and P1 billion for extension support and education of rice farmers.

The province of Bukidnon contributes around 50-60 percent of rice sufficiency in the region with 98,000 hectares of rice harvest area.

“With these new machineries, we can prepare our lands faster and reduce costs in land preparation,” said Eriberto Bangis, President of San Juan Impasugong La Fortuna Irrigators Association, Inc. of Impasugong, Bukidnon.

He added, the most important help the program will provide to their group is ultimately an increased income for the association and its members.

Bukidnon 4th District Representative Rogelio Neil P. Roque appealed to the FCAs to take care the machineries and to graduate from government’s dependence so that other farmers can avail the programs and projects.

Schedule of turnover of machineries to FCAs in the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte in the region is set for completion this month.# (Angelilah T. Cabig)

Fortifying efforts for its Animal Health program and African Swine Fever (ASF) prevention initiatives, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA – RFO 10) turned over a total of more than P1.8 million worth of drugs and biologics to the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental (MisOr).

Early this week, key officials of the agri department handed over the interventions amounting to P992,100 for Bukidnon at the Provincial Operations Center in Malaybalay City and P833,650 for Misamis Oriental at DA-RFO 10 Compound in Cagayan de Oro City.

Leading the turnover were DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado and Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga in Bukidnon, while Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Carmelita T. Bajarla in Misamis Oriental.

Being at the frontline in the delivery of veterinary-related activities, MisOr Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Benjamin S. Resma lauded the agency’s efforts as it strengthens their initiatives in curbing potential outbreaks of highly contagious diseases of livestock animals which poses a challenge to enhanced livestock production.

“On behalf of the provincial government thru Governor Yevgeny Vincente Y. Emano, we are very thankful for the Department for the assistance we have received such as antibiotics, biologics, vitamins, and disinfectants which will be distributed to the different municipalities and cities of MisOr,” Dr. Resma said.

Meanwhile, Bukidnon Prov’l. Vet Office head Dr. Nancy V. Diez noted the bottles of disinfectant will be evenly distributed to the 11 installed quarantine checkpoints of the province to safeguard its borders, especially from the entry of live pigs and meat products from nearby ASF-stricken areas in Mindanao and Luzon.

With the provisions downloaded at the local governments, livestock raisers can readily access the availment of drugs and biologics upon request in their respective areas.

Particularly, said interventions are under the technical support services being extended by DA through its Livestock Program which eyes to boost and improve livestock production to ensure its availability, accessibility, and affordability.# (Irish Mae V. Juntahan/John Carl R. Anito)

MUSUAN, MARAMAG, BUKIDNON – In increasing farm efficiency to attain rice sufficiency through the use of hybrid rice and farm mechanization, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) in partnership with Central Mindanao University (CMU) pushes the ceremonial planting for hybrid rice derby amidst the ongoing pandemic.

DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado and CMU President Jesus Antonio G. Derije showcased the use of mechanical rice transplanter (riding type) and mechanical direct seeder (riding type) on August 17, of said town with the seven participating seed companies.

The 50-hectare rice area will boost rice productivity through the intensified use of quality seeds, appropriate inputs, modern technologies, and mechanization to ensure food productivity for farmers to adopt.

It aims to contribute in increasing the 87 percent rice sufficiency level of the country, including the farm mechanization rate of 2.31 horsepower per hectare, based on the 2011 study conducted by the DA- Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).

With the use of the mechanical direct seeder, farmers can plant 2-3 hectares per day compared to manual labor which takes 20 man-days per hectare.

It has a capacity of 40 kilograms inbred rice seeds per hectare, while 18 kilograms hybrid seeds per hectare.

Meanwhile, the mechanical rice transplanter requires only 1 person to finish 1 hectare compared to manual labor with around 20 farmworkers.

The 5 hectares will be utilized by DA-10’s Research Division for a study on nutrient management on the application of the right amount of fertilizer to optimize productivity and reduce production cost.

RED Collado shared, said the project is in line with Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar’s instruction of conducting technology demonstrations in strategic areas in the country.

He also expressed his gratitude for the support of the seed companies, the SL Agritech, Bayer, Long Ping, Sygenta, Seedworks, Ramgo and Bioseed.

For his part, Pres. Derije assured, “CMU will continue to support the programs and projects of DA and will continue to be a venue for more development-oriented undertakings.” # (Aiza Mae B. Manto)