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Agri dep’t host ng selebrasyon ng “Consumer Welfare Month”

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Ang Department of Agriculture ang host ng selebrasyon ng “Consumer Welfare Month” na pasisinayaan sa Oct 3-7 sa Bureau of Soils and Water Management sa Visayas Ave. at Department of Agriculture central office sa Diliman, Quezon City. Ang tema ng pagdiriwang ay “Sapat, ligtas at abot-kayang pagkain para sa lahat.”

 

Ang buwang ito na inilalaan para sa mga konsumer ay taunang isinusulong ng National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC).  Sa mismong pagbubukas ng pagdiriwang humigit-kumulang mga 300 bisita at mga magsisilahok sa food at product exhibits at mga food technology demonstration ang dadalo.

 

Ayon kay Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, ang tema ay tugmang-tugma sa mga programa ng Kagawaran na nagsusulong ng kasapatan sa pagkaing ligtas at mataas ang kalidad. Iyon ay bukod pa sa layuning ang pagkain ay abot-kaya ng mga konsumer lalo na ng mga karaniwang mamamayan at ng mga maralita.

 

Dagdag ni Alcala, ang 2011 ang pangatlong taon na ang DA ang host ng pagdiriwang at kasama ang mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan na kasapi sa NCAC gaya ng Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, DepEd, DENR, Department of Energy at DOTC. Kasama rin sa konseho ang apat na kinatawan ng mga consumer organizations at dalawang kinatawan mula sa sektor ng industriya at pagnenegosyo.

 

Bilang host sina Agriculture Assistant Secretary Salvador S. Salacup at Director Leandro H. Gazmin ng Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service ang mga punong abala kasama ang mga miyembro ng National Consumer Affairs Council na pinangungunahan ni Bb. Velma Lim. .

 

Ang Consumer Welfare Month ay ipinagdiriwang tuwing Oktubre batay sa Presidential Proclamation No. 1098 na inilathala nuong 1997. Pinasimulan ito ng NCAC at pinagtibay ng Republic Act No. 7394 o Consumer Act of the Philippines na naglalayong mapabuti ang pangangasiwa, pag-uugnayan at bisa ng mga programang nagbibigay proteksiyon sa mga karapatan ng mga konsumer at mamimili. DA Information Service

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October 2, 2011 at 4:34 am

Posted in Usapang Bukid

Correct halal goat production and processing offers bright prospects

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Gaps and inefficiencies on halal goat production and processing must be addressed if the Philippines is to prosper from the opportunities offered by the halal food market. 

 

To address this need, a team of researchers from Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU) conducted a survey to determine the level of awareness and practices about halal goat production and processing in Region 12.

 

Involving 253 respondents who represent goat raisers, processors and consumers, the survey was conducted in cooperation with DA-Regional field Unit 12, Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA), and the local government units in various study sites.

 

The country’s inability to develop a standard in raising halal goats due to the lack of the corresponding protocol, and the absence of a standard in detecting haram (opposite of halal) ingredients in the butchering process, were identified as major reasons for the country’s inability to profit from the halal goat market.        

 

The data were gathered from the cities of General Santos, Tacurong and Koronadal, and the municipalities of Kabacan, North Cotobato, and Maasim of Sarangani province.               

 

Survey also revealed that respondents’ age and education influenced their awareness of halal goat production, while these factors did not affect their knowledge of halal goat processing practices.   

 

Survey further revealed that halal goat production practices and halal goat processing practices were not consistently observed by smallhold farmers and by butchers, respectively.

 

Production practices focused more on the technical aspects of raising the animals, while butchering and processing practices focused more on religious-related considerations.

 

Aside from the lack of protocol for production and quality assurance, other constraints identified in the study include: absence of implementing rules and regulations for the Philippine National Standard for Halal Food General Guidelines (PNS 2067-2008); absence of an accredited halal abattoir for livestock in Mindanao; and lack of laboratory facilities for product verification and labeling purposes.

 

If the protocols can be developed, the Philippines can assess its own halal products and confidently market authentic halal meat outside the focal project communities, and even outside Region 12 and outside Mindanao.  

 

Expected benefits include the development of related agri-based products and allied industries that will provide alternative sources of livelihood. 

 

This and other information on research and development activities pertaining to the agriculture, forestry and natural resources (AFNR) sectors are featured in the 2009 Highlights.

 

A yearly publication of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) Highlights presents the research and development accomplishments of government institutions towards bringing better opportunities for our people especially in the countryside. Ricardo R. Argana, S&T Media Service

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October 1, 2011 at 4:46 am

Appropriate planting distance for malunggay determined

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A French author and entomologist named Jean Henri Fabre once said, “If there is one vegetable which is God-given, it is the haricot bean.” In the Philippines, with the continuing prominence of malunggay (moringa oleifera) due to its proven nutritive and medicinal values, most Filipinos will probably have an obvious choice.

 

Regarded as a miracle plant, malunggay has much commercial potentials, thus the need for a formal system for its commercial production. Incidentally, such a system is wanting in the Philippines. 

 

Acting on this concern, a group of researchers from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) conducted a study to develop a malunggay foliage production technology. The study was conducted at the Central Luzon Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CLIARC) in San Miguel, Tarlac.

 

Using three planting distances (10 cm x 10 cm; 10 cm x 20 cm; 20 cm x 20 cm) and a common depth (2 cm), the study determined the effect of planting distances on the growth of malunggay for fresh herbage (vegetable) and tea herbage production.

 

Based on the study, after 60 days of transplanting, malunggay planted at a distance of 20 cm x 20 cm, produced the tallest plant and widest leaves. It also gave the highest income at P124,533/ha and the highest return of investment (ROI) at 40%, followed by the 10 cm x  20 cm planting distance at 11%.

 

The planting distances did not produce any significant differences though, on the length and number of leaves, stem girth, grown out shoots and the total of fresh herbage that is used for vegetable. 

 

Planting distances, however, proved to have significant effects in terms of herbage tea production. The 10 cm x 10 cm planting distance significantly yielded the highest produce at 3,308 kg over a 1-year period. Despite this yield, it gave a negative return of investment (ROI). The researchers attributed this to higher labor cost and farm inputs compared with other treatments. 

 

The 10 cm x 20 cm planting distance for herbage tea production gave the second highest produce at 3,077 kg, followed by the 20 cm x 20 cm planting distance at 2,937 kg.  

 

This and other information on research and development activities pertaining to the agriculture, forestry and natural resources (AFNR) sectors are featured in the 2009 Highlights.

 

A yearly publication of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) Highlights presents research and development accomplishments of government institutions towards bringing better opportunities for our people especially in the countryside. Ricardo R. Argana, S&T Media Service

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October 1, 2011 at 4:45 am

Region 2 ensures better health through improved vegetable production

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Much has been said about the benefits of eating vegetables-their antioxidants to stop certain cancers; fiber which makes the digestive system remain healthier and more toned; and the essential amino acids needed in most body processes, and even in the proper functioning of the brain.  However, only a few are fortunate to enjoy these natural benefits from eating vegetables due to a number of reasons. 

 

High prices especially during the rainy season, minimal use of hybrid varieties, poor quality of produce, and harsh weather contribute to erratic vegetable supply in  urban areas and eventually lead to low vegetable consumption. These inefficiencies affect not only farmers’ income but more so our health.  

 

Responding to this concern, a group of researchers from the Department of Agriculture in Region 2 implemented a project under the “Plant Now Pay Later” scheme.

 

Under the said scheme, farmers in Nueva Viscaya, Isabela and Cagayan were provided hybrid seeds and organic fertilizer with the hope that it could stabilize vegetable supply in urban areas of Region 2. It also aimed to make vegetables more affordable to consumers and increase awareness of the benefits of vegetable consumption.     

Farmer-recipients were trained on good agricultural practices (GAP) and acquainted with the nutritional benefits of eating vegetables.

 

With the project, areas planted to tomato, squash, ampalaya, eggplant, and carrots increased by 559.90 hectares (ha). This increased the volume of production by 5,550 tons. Consequently, with the use of hybrid seeds and organic fertilizer, net income increased at P82,936/ha from off-season planting of  tomato; P82,102/ha from ampalaya; P51,708/ha from  eggplant; P22,395/ha from squash, and P11,650/ha from carrot.

 

            The introduction of production programming and the use of hybrid varieties have stabilized the prices of vegetables in Region 2, as they were made available throughout the year. More importantly, it has provided a greater number of people in the area with better access to vegetables.

 

This and other information on research and development activities pertaining to the agriculture, forestry and natural resources (AFNR) sectors are featured in the 2009 Highlights.

 

A yearly publication of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) Highlights presents research and development accomplishments of government institutions towards bringing better opportunities for our people especially in the countryside. Ricardo R. Argana, S&T Media Service

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October 1, 2011 at 4:44 am

Jatropha curcas can be safely planted with other crops, research shows

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Farming for biofuels can be a profitable farming endeavor because of the ever increasing cost and demands for fossil fuels the world over.  It also presents other benefits to farmers as it can optimize the use of marginal lands, which are unproductive and underutilized for food production.

 

One of the most promising plants for biofuel farming is Jatropha curcas, locally known as ‘tubang bakod’.  J. curcas is fast becoming the most promising biofuel source with its reported more than 30% oil yiel.  Jatropha methyl ester (JME) was also found to be better than that of fossil fuel diesel and safer for the environment.

 

However, farmers and other concerned stakeholders of biofuel farming have been apprehensive about the danger of planting J. curcas alongside other crops as it might do harm to useful soil microbes or microorganisms that can contribute to agricultural productivity.  Useful microbes promote plant growth and development, protect crops from pests and diseases, and improve soil water retention.

 

According to a report, plant-based substances released by the various parts of J. curcas such as its leaves and roots produce allelophatic substance that has negative effects to soil bacteria along with other beneficial microbes such as Rhizobium and Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (VAM) fungi, among others.

 

Therefore, researchers of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) conducted a research study titled “Jatropha curcas: Impact on soil microbial relationship of the said components to determine the impacts of J. curcas on soil microbial populations and its response to mycorrhizal inoculation.

 

Findings of the study as reported to the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), revealed the impacts of J. curcas on major functional soil microbes (bacteria, fungi, and mycorrhiza) and jatropha’s responsiveness to beneficial soil microbes (VAM mycorrhiza fungi).

 

The study proved that jatropha did not hamper the production of functional groups of aerobic (those that can grow or live only in the presence of free oxygen), heterotrophs (organisms which feed on others), free-living nitrogen fixers, and pseudomonads microbes.

Also, the study showed that majority of data on microbial density comparisons indicate that J. curcas is not detrimental to most of the microorganisms examined.  Some results showed higher number of bacteria, other functional groups and fungi in Jatropha-planted soil and even stimulated VAM fungi sporulation under field conditions.

 

Further, J. curcas did not have any deleterious effect on mycorrhiza, one of the most beneficial soil microbes as exhibited by high percent root colonization and positive growth of J. curcas to VAM inoculation.

 

With these findings, the researchers said that the ability of J. curcas to thrive in poor conditions while simultaneously promoting mycorrhizal proliferation and other beneficial microbes in soil are the qualities that make J. curcas fit for biofuels production.  Bengie P. Gibe, S&T Media Service

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October 1, 2011 at 4:43 am

“Flavors of science” recipes highlight PCARRD T2P

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Media practitioners and experts from the food industry were treated to sample the “Flavors of science” from the TechnoMart kitchen during a recent Technology to the People (T2P) activity of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) held at the H2O Hotel, Manila Ocean Park.

 

T2P harnesses media in promoting the science and technology programs of the Council. TechnoMart, on the other hand, is responsible for bringing the products of research and development (R&D) from the lab to the market.

 

For the recently concluded T2P, dubbed as the “Flavors of science”, five products from the Council’s regional consortia were featured:  frozen durian and low glycemic index coco sugar of the Southern Mindanao Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium, pili oil of the Bicol Consortium for Agriculture and Resources Research and Development, mango catsup and sauce of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium, and the Highland Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium’s strawberry preserve and spreads.

 

The aim of T2P is to bring the sources of agro-based business to the marketplace and reach the consumers through media advocacy and consultation with the industry players. As such, a demonstration on the use of the five food products in food preparations was conducted. Guests were served pizza and spaghetti in mango sauce and ketchup, vegetable salad with pili oil, strawberry tart, and frozen durian. After the taste test, guests were provided with a consumer satisfaction survey where they could write in their comments and suggestions to derive the information needed to improve the products and their acceptability in the market.

 

Media partners present during the event were correspondents of Diaryong Tagalog, DZXL, GMA TV News, Manila Newsweek, Mag-Agri Tayo of NBN Channel 4, Cook Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Business Mirror, Nutriganics, Greenfields, Manila Bulletin, UNTV, and Remate Online.

 

From the food industry, the Yellow Cab R&D team, and representatives from the Market Encounter Goes to Manila and Philippine Food Processors and Exporters, Inc. were in attendance. Rowell P. Cortes, S&T Media Service

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October 1, 2011 at 4:42 am

DOST’s techno transfer programs back MSMEs

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“Micro small medium enterprises (MSMEs) have significant economic contribution, accounting for almost 32% of the Philippine gross domestic product ”, said Engr. Emelyn P. Flores, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 6.

 

Flores spoke in one of the forums of the first regional Techno Gabay and TechnoMart Summit conducted by the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) held in Iloilo City recently.

 

According to Flores, three major programs comprise the medium-term component of the technology transfer and commercialization section of the 2002-2010 DOST National Science and Technology Plan. These are the Small Enterprise Technology-Upgrading Program (SET-UP), Technology Innovation and Commercialization (Technicom), and Techno Gabay Program (TGP).

 

Flores explained that SET-UP seeks to enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs through technology innovations while Technicom identifies technology gaps to facilitate interventions for technology commercialization. On the other hand, TGP, bannered by DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), promotes science-based technology services to end-users in the agriculture, forestry and natural resources sectors.

 

Flores also reported that MSMEs represent 99.6 % of total business registered in the country and 92% of which are micro enterprises. MSMEs also employ 40 % of the total labor force nationwide.

 

“These significant figures attest why DOST supports MSMEs and enhances their competitiveness”, Flores emphasized.

 

“With priority concerns for natural fiber, fashion accessories, metals and engineering, furniture, horticulture, food processing, aquatic and marine, DOST offers provision of technology, technology training, technical consultancy and advisory services, support services for enterprise development, and laboratory and other testing services”, Flores said in closing. Isaac T. Abello, S&T Media Service, WESVARRDEC-RACE Staff

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October 1, 2011 at 4:41 am

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