"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.

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Agri and Fisheries News

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Updated: 1 day 15 min ago

Market niche for Philippine culinary herbs explored

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 09:44
by Catheryn Villorente.  

www.businessdiary.com.ph: July 28, 2016
A delightful culinary experience is never complete without a tinge of herbs that add exotic flavor and distinct aromas to dishes. Oftentimes, foods like this are associated with those being served in five-star restaurants. Not if you have herbs in your kitchen cabinet.
Today, the demand for culinary herbs and its products is growing with the emergent interest of people in organically grown products, said Dr. Leonora K. Verzola, assistant manager of the Cordillera Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CIARC) and resource speaker during a seminar, “Prospect of Culinary Herbs in the Philippines” organized by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) on 25 March 2008.
Growing culinary herb has its own niche in the market, according to Dr. Verzola. Although comparatively small at present, the organic section of the market is favoring the demand for culinary herbs, reinforced by the desire to consume natural/organic products. The trend towards a greater variety of ethnic cuisine also offers the prospect towards developing this niche for culinary herbs.
Culinary herbs, as defined by Dr. Verzola, are fresh or dried leaves used as food flavoring. Among the popular commercially grown and available herbs in the country are basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, mint, dill, fennel, and tang-o. Other herbs include lemon balm, tarragon, sage, rosemary, oregano, and thyme.

Dr. Verzola said that these herbs are used and consumed as fresh cuts, live plants, or dried. Part of diversifying herbs products and as a strategy to realize its full potential, culinary herbs are also made available through value-adding. Among the value-added products developed are herbals teas, jellies, sauces, herbed vinegars, and wreaths.
Currently, the production sites for culinary herbs are located in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) which has a favorable and conducive weather to grow these herbs. According to Dr. Verzola, there are four production sites in CAR that grow culinary herbs on a commercial-scale: La Trinidad, Tuba, Tublay, and Itogon.
She explained that cultural management practices for growing culinary herbs vary but essentially, they are easy to grow as they are tolerable to a wide range of soil and growing conditions. However, she emphasized that most herbs do not tolerate continuous rains, hence, must be grown under protected culture. She cited growing through a greenhouse and the open field culture.
Intercropping system is also practical for growing culinary herbs. Intercropping systems involve: parsley + lettuce, lettuce + fennel, basil + tomatoes, or brocolli + coriander.
Since the harvest and storage differ depending on the type of herb, Dr. Verzola said, fresh herb production could be labor intensive. “For example, cilantro, one of the most expensive culinary herbs we have in the market (which cost 100-300 pesos during peak season) must be uprooted, removed of its lower leaves, and then carefully packed,” she explained.
Speaking from their experience in CAR, Dr. Verzola mentioned that culinary herbs are being marketed through several means. Either they sell their products directly to traders/farmgate, vend them to wholesalers at the Baguio hangar market then to traders or retail consumers, sell them to retailers then to consumers, or trade them directly to consumers.
Culinary herbs command high price during off-season or when availability is low in conventional markets. Meanwhile, continuous and sustained production is needed for institutional buyers and well-demanded for organic and natural food stores.
The seminar is the second in the series this year which is regularly organized by BAR through its Management Information and Systems Division (MISD). This is to give way to the exchange of information and knowledge, trends, challenges, and opportunities in the agriculture and fisheries R&D sector.
The activity also serves as an important venue for information-sharing and discussions of some of the latest issues and concerns, challenges, and directions faced today.
by Rita T. dela Cruz, BAR Chronicle, March 2008 Issue (Vol. 9 No. 3)

Source: BusinessDiary.com.ph: http://businessdiary.com.ph/11809/market-niche-philippine-culinary-herbs-explored/

Boosting agriculture through innovations

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 12:04
by Ladylyn R. Jose.  

www.philstar.com: July 24, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration sees agriculture as one of the country’s major growth drivers but not without the stimulus technology it can provide, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
In a speech delivered during the annual meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Pernia said Philippine agriculture could be a lucrative industry with the right investments in technology and development.
 “With the help of science and technology and research and development, agriculture can be a lucrative industry that can foster food security in our country. Farmers with access to different varieties of seedlings and soil typing will no longer fear for their crops in the face of adverse weather conditions,” he said.
The same is true for fisheries with the proper interventions.
“Fishermen with knowledge of sustainable fishery need not fear about their catch during the dry season when fish tend to go deeper into the ocean,” he said.
Pernia said the government would promote the greater use of science, technology and innovation (STI) in various areas of development in line with its  10-point economic agenda.
“In NEDA we recognize the importance of scientific inquiry and academic discourse as the basis of development plans and policies. We believe that STI can help the country realize its economic potential and improve the well-being of the people,” he said.
He noted that increased technological advancements in technology and greater innovation would strengthen manufacturing, enabling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to create products that can meet local and global demand.
“While much has been done by the previous administration in strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which comprise 99.6 percent of the country’s total number of establishments, we still have a long way to go. But through science and technology, and innovation, we can equip MSMEs with the technology that can create globally competitive products to meet the demands of the local and international market quality standards,” said Pernia. 
“Similarly, STI can support the manufacturing and industrial sectors to raise productivity, foster the creation of high-value products, and improve the quality of their products,” he added.
Other areas of development that can benefit from increased advancement in technology are power, healthcare, and government functions.
“Time and again, our new President has uttered that he does not want to see people lining up for government services. This is why a major flagship item in the policies of the president is to reduce red tape to the minimum. We believe that aside from promoting productivity in government offices, STI can also provide solutions in avoiding long queues and long waiting time for frontline services, especially those that inconvenience the daily activities of ordinary citizens,” he said.
Source: Boosting agriculture through innovations