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Agri and Fisheries News
mb.com.ph | September 20, 2014
Agrilink 2014 is the place where you can avail yourself of various seminars and presentations on various aspects of agribusiness for free. This will be held on October 9-11 at the World Trade Center at the corner of Gil Puyat Avenue and Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City.
Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development (FRLD), the Agrilink organizer, has provided us the schedule of major seminars to be conducted by the government agencies and some private groups.
AGRINNOVATION – On Oct. 9, PhilMech will launch Agrinnovation, its latest research and development project aimed at increasing farm mechanization level in the country. Because technologies are oftentimes location-specific, certain technologies need to be adapted to suit the soil, terrain, cropping patterns and agronomic characteristics of crops inherent to local situations.
FRLD explains that PhilMech’s Agrinnovation works to localize, re-engineer, retrofit, or contextualize available machineries and facilities to create faster and more appropriate R&D results. This approach has been successful in crops such as coffee, cacao, soybean, cashew, mango, banana and coconut.
KAPIS PRODUCTION – Also on October 9, Lilian Garcia will conduct a seminar on the economic uses and current status of Philippine kapis production, and how agribusinesses can help strengthen the industry through research and technology, product development, market promotion and commercialization. Ms. Garcia is the assistant regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Region 3. She will conduct the seminar in collaboration with the Bureau of Agricultural Research.
HONEYBEE INDUSTRY – The Bureau of Agricultural Research and Dr. Cleofas Cervancia will conduct a seminar on the current and future status of the Philippine apiculture industry. Dr. Cervancia is professor emeritus of UP Los Baños Institute of Biological Sciences. The seminar will focus on bee product standardization, utilization and packaging. She will also discuss the different bee species and how honey and other hive products are produced. These include propolis, pollen, beeswax, royal jelly, soap and other cosmetic products.
In an effort to further strengthen the apiculture industry, the seminar will also share research results, specifically on the standard forage, colony management, harvesting and processing of honey and its byproducts.
INVESTMENT FORUM – The Agricultural Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) headed by Leandro Gazmin will conduct an investment forum to increase awareness, provide agribusiness investment opportunities and enhance the entrepreneurial skills of farmers, fisherfolk and other stakeholders.
The forum will focus on fishery, mariculture and ornamental fishery products such as mangrove crabs, milkfish, saline tilapia and siganid. AMAS will also discuss how agribusinesses can avail of the various financing programs for the fisheries sector.
FISH PROCESSING DEMO – On Saturday, October 11, AMAS will conduct a demonstration on processing and value-adding of fish products like Spanish sardines, fish burgers and native fish sausages. Martin de Leon and Erwin Leonor of Spread Organic Agriculture in the Philippines (SOAP), in coordination with AMAS, will conduct a seminar on the benefits of urban agriculture. SOAP will also hold a seminar and demonstration on aquaponics or the integration of traditional aquaculture with cultivation of crops in water (hydroponics).
OTHER SEMINARS – Aside from the above, other seminars include “Innovation towards ASEAN Integration Competitiveness,” and “Ensuring Food Safety and Quality of Fresh Horticultural Products for Enhanced Competitiveness in the ASEAN Market.” These will be conducted by the Post-Harvest Horticulture Training and Research Center of UPLB’s Crop Science Cluster.
On the other hand, Richfund International will discuss organic farming and soil management practices, with emphasis on soil function and quality indicators. Rita Macabuhay and Marjay Magbanua of MFI Foundation will discuss how to start bamboo farms, including propagation, establishment of nurseries and maintenance of existing bamboo stands.
See you there at Agrilink 2014!
Source: Attend free seminars at Agrilink 2014
mb.com.ph; August 27, 2014
Last August 10, we were invited to visit Brgy. Santiago in Gerona, Tarlac. Carlos Saplala of SeedWorks Philippines wanted us to see an entire barangay where the farmers are planting nothing but eggplant. SeedWorks is a company that distributes hybrid palay and vegetables.
When we arrived in Santiago, we were really amazed at the extent of eggplant plantings. In one place, in between few big mango trees, all you can see are eggplant. All around houses that we passed by were beautiful stands of eggplant.
Alex Granil, the farmer who was the first to plant Prolifica-L variety three years earlier, disclosed that in the whole barangay, no less than 100 hectares are devoted to eggplant. And he stressed that out of the 100 hectares, perhaps less than three hectares are planted to other eggplant varieties. Practically all the farmers are sold to the new variety called Prolifica-L, including barangay chairwoman Bersame Granil who has 15,000 plants.
Of course, he said, at first nobody in the barangay wanted to plant the new variety. They were afraid they will not be able to sell their harvest. After all, they were already planting a variety that the traders and consumers have been buying. True to Alex Granil’s hunch, however, Prolifica-L has become a bestseller. After the farmers saw that Prolifica-L even sold at a higher price than the older varieties, many farmers followed Alex. And now, in its third year, practically every eggplant farmer in Brgy. Santiago is planting Prolifica-L.
What do the farmers like in Prolifica-L? Simeon Bautista, SeedWorks’ pointman in Central Luzon, said that the farmers like the variety for a number of good reasons. One reason is that the new variety which was developed by Indian scientists is resistant to the bacterial wilt disease. This is a serious disease of eggplant and tomatoes. Once infected, the plant will die. The disease is particularly prevalent during the rainy season.
Being resistant to bacterial wilt is a very big advantage. Because of this, the farmers can grow this during the rainy season when other varieties may not survive the rainy weather. Thus, Prolifica-L is suitable for off-season production which is great because off-season harvests command a high price.
That is really true. At the time of our interview, August 10 which is part of the rainy season, eggplant was already in short supply. And that is why the Santiago farmers were selling their harvests at P58 to P60 per kilo. That’s way above the usual P16 per kilo when there is an oversupply.
Another reason why the farmers like to grow Prolifica-L is that true to its name, it is prolific. Maximo Jose, a 45-year-old barangay kagawad, attests to this. He planted 6,000 plants on a half hectare field on April 25 and started to harvest on June 25. During the first picking, he got only 100 kilos. However, by the second harvest he already got 250 kilos, increasing to 350 kilos by the third picking. Harvesting is every four days. Up to now, he is making a good harvest and because it is the rainy season, the price had gone up to P60 per kilo at the time of our interview.
There is another important reason why Prolifica-L has become a bestseller. It is now the favorite variety of vegetable traders like Marissa Soriano-Lingat who buys 1,500 to 2,000 kilos of Prolifica-L from Alex Granil and other farmers in Santiago every day. Marissa delivers her goods to Pampanga, Olongapo and Balintawak market in Metro Manila.
She observes that Prolifica-L has very good shipping quality and shelf life. She said that after displaying the same in the retail stall it will still remain fresh after three days. Other varieties will usually be wilted by by then, she said. She added that her buyers from the Balintawak market love to ship Prolifica-L to Bicol because of its good shipping quality.
Planting eggplant can be a profitable proposition if done with proper timing – meaning the harvest does not coincide with the peak supply. Eggplant has a big local market, and has a relatively long productive life as long as it is given proper care like adequate fertilization and watering. - by Zac Sarian
Source: New eggplant is resistant to disease