Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CPAC gears toward organic agriculture

THE Central Philippine Adventist College (CPAC) in Murcia, Negros Occidental is applying for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification with the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) as a first step towards the implementation of its organic agriculture program, its official said.

Carlos Jardeniano Jr., program head for agriculture and research director of CPAC, said the GAP certification would further boost their products, which means it will be declared safer and of higher quality for better market reach and profitability.

Jardeniano said that of the 122-hectare area covered by CPAC, almost 100 hectares is dedicated to agricultural land use such as sugarcane field and orchard with different fruits trees and vegetable crops, mostly still non-organic.

The school has been doing well in terms of its agriculture programs, particularly in maintaining high production, he said.
For further development, it is eyeing to venture more into organic agriculture because of its emerging commercial value and demand.
It is feasible through acquisition of GAP certification, Jardeniano said.

Moreover, he said that CPAC was already accredited by the bureau to conduct efficacy trial on various commodities prior to the registration of organic fertilizers.

"We now have the privilege to conduct the test on the efficacy level of an organic fertilizer used by farmers in the country for it to be registered by the BAFS," he added.

Meanwhile, Jardeniano said that as they host the first province-wide vegetable congress on August 27, CPAC will showcase its products as well as its different agricultural practices and mechanism to more than 300 local vegetable farmers.

A group of vegetable farmers from the province of Antique will also participate for them to replicate the school’s best agricultural practices in their respective localities.

Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/bacolod/business/2015/08/13/cpac-gears-toward-organic-agriculture-424343
Written by: Erwin P. Nicavera


MB’s Agriculture mag hosts organic farming trade fair at Eastwood City

Organic farming advocates, believers and supporters gathered yesterday at the Urban Agriculture: Organic Market at Eastwood City’s Central Plaza to further promote and advance the concept of organic agriculture and urban farming.

Urban Agriculture: Organic Market at Eastwood City will again open its gates to the public for two more Sundays, August 23 and 30.

Organized by Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.’s Agriculture Magazine, which is marking its 18th anniversary, the weekend event, among others, showcases the benefits of consuming organic products, urban farming and the importance of support for the country’s local farmers.

The Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP) and Negros Island Organic Certification Services likewise provided instrumental support behind the Urban Agriculture: Organic Market event.

Numerous booths were set-up for organic farm owners and food producers who introduced their goods and explained the benefits of organic products to eager and keen consumers.

“Organic agriculture combines innovation and science to benefit the environment and to know fair relationship and good quality of life for all involved; the farmer and the consumer are given equal importance,” OOCP Executive Director Leila Ramona Limpin said.

OOCP, a certifying body for international and local organic products, protects the buying public by guaranteeing food is safe and free of adverse chemical components.


“In my view, the only way to protect the future generation is by providing healthy and safe food, protecting the environment,” Limpin said.

Agriculture Magazine Editor-in-Chief Zac Sarian, meantime, said purchasing organically-grown food products does not only make a person healthier, but also helps the local farmers.

“Para mas maging mas malusog, kakain tayo ng ligtas na pagkain; at mabibigyan din natin ng pagkakataon na kumita yung mga ating kababayan,” (To be healthier, we must consume safe and healthy food; that way, we also help support the sources of income of our local farmers),” he said.


Sarian also pushed for a massive organic farming information drive among farmers, many of whom still do not have even a slight grasp of the concept.

“Marami ring problema sa kagamitan, hindi sanay yung mga kakabayan natin sa kagamitan at pamamaraan ng organic agriculture, kulang ang supply, kulang ang kaalaman, kulang pati yung espasyo na pagtataniman,” (There are many problems, people are not familiar with organic farming methods, there is lack of general knowledge, there is also the problem of lack of planting space),” he said.

Sarian said featuring farming innovations and developments in Agriculture Magazine is one way of enhancing the knowledge of farmers and would-be farmers.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/mbs-agriculture-mag-hosts-organic-farming-trade-fair-at-eastwood-city/
Written by: Vanne Elaine Terrazola


Bigger and Better

The 2nd Urban Agriculture trade show will be staged on Sept. 5 and 6 at the SM Mall of Asia. This is under the auspices of Manila Bulletin’s Agriculture Magazine and a sequel to the very successful event held last May at the Rockwell Tent in Makati.

The Rockwell Tent proved to be too small for the event and so it was transferred to a bigger venue this time, the spacious Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

The aim of the trade show is simple enough. It wants to showcase the latest practical technologies that will enable ordinary urban residents to do their own brand of gardening and farming, growing plants as well as raising small animals for home consumption or for sale to augment the family’s income.

For the busy urbanite, who does not have the time to water his plants every day, Dr. Eduardo Paningbatan, Jr. of UP Los Baños has come up with the practical aquaponics, which is growing vegetables and other plants with their roots submerged in water. Normally, we know that most vegetables (except kangkong) will not thrive in water because they will be deprived of oxygen. Well, Dr. Paningbatan devised a new technique that enables vegetables to thrive. He exhibited an example at the recent Agri-Kapihan at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. The water container that he used was a blue plastic drum that was halved lengthwise. The drum was then filled with water. Atop the halved drum was welded wire that had slots big enough to accommodate plants grown in small recycled plastic cups. The plants were submerged in water and held upright by the welded wire. Why didn’t the vegetable wilt? Well, Dr. Paningbatan added algae in the water which provided the dissolved oxygen needed by the plants. He also put small tilapia to eat the wrigglers in case mosquitoes were present. Of course, he also added a special nutrient extract to nourish the plants.

One example of Dr. Paningbatan’s very healthy plants submerged in water is the Japanese variety of saluyot. The plants grow robust and blemish-free in the water. Other vegetables and herbs can also be grown in the same manner. Of course, many vegetables and herbs can be grown the conventional way in various containers available for the urban home. What is important is to supply the plants with the right growing medium, which can be mixtures of compost, carbonized rice hull, or other porous materials available like coco peat. You will get to know many of them in the agri trade show.

There will be organic and conventionally grown vegetables and fruits at the trade show, too, which attendees can buy. There will also be lectures on timely topics. See you there on Sept. 5 and 6. Entrance is free.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/bigger-and-better/
Written by: Zac Sarian


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Vegetable Congress set

The first Vegetable Congress will be held at the Central Philippine Adventist College in Barangay Alegria, Murcia town, Negros Occidental, on August 27.

Carlos Jardeniano, CPAC program head of agriculture, said that atleast 300 farmers are expected to attend the congress, he said.

The congress is the initiative of the institution to showcase vegetable production and technology applied by their agricultural scholars, he added.

“An opportune time for farmers to be exposed to the different setting and the acquisition of agricultural knowledge in the process,” he said.

Among the vegetables and fruits to be showcased were cauliflowers, low-land cabbages, ampalayas, sweet corn, lettuce, rambutan, marang, lanzones and durian, he added.

Set as guest speakers were Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan and other officials from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. They will discuss the impact of the vegetable production to the local economy and the industry’s road map before the vegetable farmers and agriculture students.

CPAC instructors will also conduct lectures on the value of good seeds in cutting-edge vegetable production and good agricultural practices.

OPA senior agriculturist Dina Genzola said that students may partner with vegetable farmers in pursuit of agriculture development, especially on high-value crops production, through the congress.

The congress will serve as an experience and learning venues for the students, she added.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sugarcane block farming increases farm productivity

Photo from evolution.skf.com

Atleast 19 pilot block farms showed an average increase from 50.78 Tons Cane per Hectare (TC/Ha) to 65.29 TC/Ha, or a 29% increase in farm productivity in crop year 2013-2014 after being enrolled in the block farming program for a year, the Sugar Regulatory Administration said.

Block farming was introduced in the pilot farms in 2012 by the SRA in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform.

With the capacity-building, technical assistance, farm planning and farm management support provided by SRA, all the pilot block farms showed increases in productivity that ranged from 7.47% to 100%.

Hda. Bernardita ARB MPC in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, showed a 7.47% increase from its initial productivity of 77.00 TC/Ha to 82.75 TC/Ha with block farming, SRA said.

Likewise, the North Cluster Producers COOP in Paniqui, Tarlac showed a 100% increase in productivity from 50 TC/Ha to 100 TC/Ha.

This average 29% increase in productivity would translate to an estimated average increase of farmers’ income by P39,815 per hectare, at 1.96 LKG/TC and a composite price of P1,400 per LKG-bag of raw sugar.

Block farming is the consolidation of the management of small farms of less than five  hectares, into a bigger but contiguous unit of at least 30 hectares for purposes of improving farm productivity while individual ownership is preserved.

Based on SRA records, about 85% of sugarcane farm in the country have areas five hectares and below, due to the natural course of land subdivision by inheritance, sale, and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

While sugarcane is a plantation crop and its cost-efficiency is best achieved with bigger farm sizes of at least 30 hectares, with the aggressive implementation of the CARP, farm sizes are fragmented into small landholding of less than five hectares wherein farm owners can no longer take advantage of the economies of scale.

This is aggravated by the fact that most of the present land owners (CARP beneficiaries) do not have the financial capability to provide the proper farm inputs which resulted in low productivity.
This is one of the greatest hurdles that the sugarcane industry faces.

The Block Farm Program envisions the conversion of the consolidated farms into agribusiness centers through professionalized farm management and mechanized farming; with provisions for logistical, financial, technical, marketing and production support services from various government agencies, banking and financial institutions, and private sectors.

To date, 130 block farms have enrolled for accreditation, with a total area of about 7,000 hectares.

Of these, about 90 block farms will be assisted under the new SRA-DAR-DA convergence which is set to start this month, while about 50 block farms will be assisted under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act next year.



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