"To enhance and institutionalize the e-Extension system in agriculture, fisheries, and natural resources for optimal application, utilization and exchange among users and partners."

Department Order No. 03 series of 2007 designates the Agricultural Training Institute as lead agency for the provision of e-Extension services in collaboration with the various agencies, bureaus and organizational units of the DA. This is to integrate and harmonize ICT-based extension delivery system for agriculture and fisheries.

Farmers' Contact Center
Kaagapay ninyo sa usaping pang-agrikultura
call 1 800 10 982 2474
text 0920 946 2474
email: info@e-extension.gov.ph

Agri and Fisheries News

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DA turns over P1.3 billion worth of projects to farmers

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 11:53
by Emerson Ronsairo Deñado.  

www.businessmirror.com.ph November 5, 2015The Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday it has awarded P1.3 billion worth of agriculture projects and interventions to the local government units and farmers in Region 10 to boost farm mechanization and improve agriculture production in the region.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the DA turned over more than P1.3 billion worth of farm machineries, equipment, projects, livestock and seeds to beneficiaries under the Agri-Pinoy Rice Program, livestock and High Value Crops Development Programs (HVCDP), the Philippine Rural Development Project and other special projects of the department.
The machineries and equipment provided by the government include six mini four-wheel drive tractors, two combined harvesters and 16 turtle type power tillers for rice farmer-beneficiaries; seven hand tractors for HVCDP beneficiaries; and nine farm tractors, four cassava diggers, five cassava graters and two grain dryers for corn farmer-beneficiaries.
Three multipurpose drying pavements amounting to P34.9 million were also awarded to the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan project, the DA said.
The provincial government of Camiguin also received farm-to-market road (FMR) projects amounting to P40 million, PRDP subprojects worth P1.2 billion and initiatives under the Bottom-up Budgeting project with an amount of P12.9 million.
Indemnity checks worth P1.7 million from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. were also distributed.
Aside from these, five carabaos, five cattle and three packets of goats, as well as 100 bags of rice seeds and 100 bags of open-pollinated variety corn seed were also awarded to the farmers.
Farmer-leaders in Region 10 said there is a need for support from the government, such as additional machinery assistance, construction of FMRs and more skills training, among others, for their respective groups, municipalities and provinces.
The DA also recently conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of two FMRs worth P1.3 million in the municipalities of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon and Calamba, Misamis Occidental.
The turnover ceremony for the projects was part of the 22nd Farmers’ Field Days and Techno-Forum held recently in Bukidnon.
More than 2,300 participants composed of farmers, students, government leaders and employees, joined and witnessed the activities showcasing 80 agriculture and livestock technologies with emphasis on organic farming during the field days.
This year’s farmers’ field days were centered on the theme, “More than Two Decades of Technology Development, Transfer and Adoption: Bridging a Progressive Northern Mindanao towards Asean Competitiveness,” which aims to enrich Northern Mindanao farmers’ knowledge and abilities on agricultural technologies to increase their production and income and equip them to compete in the Asean market.
Source: DA turns over P1.3 billion worth of projects to farmers

A module for urban quail raising

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 17:54
by Joeven C. Calasagsag.  

mb.com.ph; October 30, 2015
Urban agriculture is becoming to be the ‘in’ thing. And it is not just the usual growing of vegetables, ornamentals and fruits. Animals which are often associated with foul odor can also be grown in thickly populated urban areas.
Of course, not all farm animals are suitable for raising in the urban setting. But there are a number which can be raised without the neighbors complaining. One of them is quail raising.
Gil SP Garcia who is president of a big company that manufactures animal feeds has come up with a practical module for quail raising in urban homes. The module was showcased at the Agri-Kapihan on October 25 at the AANI Agri-Bazaar at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

Jeffrey dela Cruz, Agrichexer’s quail expert, conducted the lecture on urban quail raising at the Agri-Kapihan, bringing with him a double-deck wire cage that can accommodate 30 layers and 10 males to mate the females.
Although the female birds will lay eggs without any males to mate them, many believe that fertile eggs are more healthful than those unfertilized eggs. That’s also the belief of many Japanese and Korean consumers who prefer fertilized chicken eggs. They say a fertilized egg has more healthful attributes.
According to Jeffrey, the 30 layers can produce enough eggs that one family needs in their daily diets. It is also possible for them to sell some of their eggs to their neighbors. In fact, if they are business-minded, they could take care of more cages to increase their production if they think there is a demand in the neighborhood.
Only a modest capital is needed to start a quail raising project in the city. The cost of the cage, the birds (it could be ready-to-lay birds), feeds and miscellaneous expenses could amount to just P3,450. The amount can be recovered in just several months.
Usually the cost of producing a quail egg is about 80 centavos, according to Jeffrey. The market price ex-farm is P1.25 apiece. So there is a 45-centavo margin per egg.
In urban quail raising, the monetary profit may not be the paramount consideration. It is having a supply of fresh eggs that is probably more important. If more urbanites will produce food, especially healthy food, then food security is enhanced. Even if there are areas that are struck by disasters and they cannot deliver the usual commodities to the metro areas, there will be food available from the urban farmers. -  by Zac Sarian
Source: A module for urban quail raising

Community participation key to boosting productivity

Thu, 10/29/2015 - 16:33
by Ladylyn R. Jose.  

www.philstar.com: October 25, 2015
MANILA, Philippines – In the Bicol region, a community-based participatory action research (CPAR) project exemplifies how collaboration forms an important part in implementing research and development undertakings especially at the grassroots level.
The project was implemented by the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 5 through the Bicol Integrated Agricultural Research Center (BIARC).
Supported by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), the project aimed to increase farmers’ productivity and income in the upland areas through the development of appropriate and location-specific technologies and interventions.
It sought to enhance the role of R&D in production management systems, transfer of technology, and resource management towards agricultural productivity in the region. 
Through the participatory rural appraisal, the farmers identified the problems that need to be addressed in achieving productivity.
Among these needs identified included: lack of quality upland rice seeds, technical know-how on weed management, high cost of inputs, and diversification to address limited income.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1“To respond to the needs of the farmers, we knew that we need strong coordination and linkage mechanisms to government and non-government institutions. We, at the local government unit (LGU) alone, cannot provide all the solutions to the problems of our farmers,” said Arlene Dayo, agricultural technician from the LGU of Goa, Camarines Sur. 
Aside from the provision of initial farm inputs in the form of seeds, tools, equipment, and other agricultural supplies, the farmers were also taught on production and weed management systems.
Meanwhile, the need to diversify was addressed through the LGU of Goa.
Teaching the farmers the importance to diversify meant encouraging them to plant rice along with livestock and poultry, fisheries, rootcrops, and even forest/fruit trees that provided them with additional sources of food and income. 
In cooperation with the Agricultural Training Institute, the LGU likewise spearheaded the conduct of farmers’ field schools on upland farming and farmers’ field days.
To deal with the high cost of inputs, the farmers were introduced to alternative low-cost feeds for livestock and poultry.
As for the costly fertilizers for vegetables and crops, the farmers were capacitated on liquid organic fertilizer production.
Part of the collaboration was the partnership with a non-government organization for the conduct of varietal adaptability trials for rice.
Such endeavor helped the farmers identify the varieties suitable in their respective farms. They implemented the interventions that are most beneficial and are more practical to them. 
For product development and market linkages, the project linked with the Department of Trade and Industry through participation in trade fairs and related activities.
On the other hand, the Department of Labor and Employment was tapped for the registration of farmers’ organizations to give them legal personality.
Ultimately, the farmers themselves were the key collaborators of the CPAR project.
Through holistic capability enhancement approaches, farmers discovered their gifts and appreciated their worth in the community to become more productive and effective partners.
“We have realized that making the farmers our partners in these endeavors make them more responsible and thus, become prime movers of sustainable development not just in their respective organizations, but to the community as well,” Ms. Dayo said. 
The CPAR FarmCARE project developed a pool of farmer-trainers who became resource persons during training workshops.
 “Through capability development, we were able to empower our farmers. We did not only teach them, but we harnessed their capacities and potentials,” BIARC manager  Luz R. Marcelino said.
One of the many farmer-cooperators who benefitted from the project was Myrna C. Asor.
In Thailand, she was recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as a model farmer in the Philippines for her efforts in organic and diversified farming systems.
Serving as a trainer to her fellow farmers, she highly encouraged them to persevere and take advantage of the trainings and technologies given to them.
According to her, collaboration among farmers, government and non-government agencies is essential in bringing about significant changes in their lives.
Source: Community participation key to boosting productivity

Government Delivers El Niño Aquaculture Aid

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 17:15
by Ladylyn R. Jose.  

www.thefishsite.com: October 15, 2015
PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture (DA) has set up temporary livelihood alternatives, including mangrove planting, for fishing communities facing loss of income due to El Niño.
As the government reported P3.32 billion in damage to all crops, livestock, and fisheries caused by the dry spell from February to August, the DA has readied a targeted intervention prioritizing the worst-hit fisherfolk, BusinessWorldOnline reports.
Forty-one provinces will be affected by El Niño which can put a strain on aquaculture, according to Undersecretary for Fisheries Asis G. Perez.
“If you cannot fish and there’s no aquaculture in the area, then you can plant mangroves. The government has money to support mangrove planting, for instance, and so that way, you’re able to mitigate the adverse economic impact of this phenomenon.”
The DA’s El Niño Action Plan released to reporters this month puts the fisheries aid budget at P12.22 million out of a total P2.06 billion requested.
Fish health management, and the monitoring of water quality and fish stocks in brackish water and freshwater areas (fish ponds, fish cages, and fish pens) were part of the budget proposal.
However, Mr Perez assured that damage to aquaculture will be less severe compared to previous El Niño episodes due to a shift over the years in favor of sea-based aquaculture.
“Before, all our aquaculture is done on land, but if you move this to the sea, then you actually solve the problem of loss of water because even with the El Niño phenomenon, the sea will not dry out,” he said.
The DA has said that 80 per cent of the country will likely be experiencing drought by February 2016.
The state weather forecaster Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Association (PAGASA) said El Niño could last until the second quarter of 2016, and is potentially one of the four worst episodes since 1950.

Source: Government Delivers El Niño Aquaculture Aid