Thursday, April 20, 2017

GAP: Farmer’s Road to ASEAN market

Johnny Concon, DA Caraga GAP focal person talks about GAP certification
The sure ticket for Filipino farmers to seize the opportunities on the ASEAN market is through Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

Supervising Agriculturist Isabelita Ocampo of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of Department of Agriculture Caraga said that quality is the name of the game on ASEAN market.

“If your product is not GAP certified you can’t access the ASEAN market”, she said.
GAP is the common parameter for ASEAN products wherein member countries can market their products as long as it conform the standards.

To broaden the understanding of Caraga vegetables farmers on GAP, DA Caraga conducted a training-seminar on GAP recently.

The training was participated by farmers, students, consumers and traders.

GAP focal person Johnny Concon emphasized the importance of following the GAP standards as it ensures safe and quality food products.

GAP approach aims at applying available knowledge to addressing environmental, economic and social sustainability dimensions for on-farm production and post-production processes, resulting in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products.

To encourage Caraga farmers to be GAP certified, Concon said that DA Caraga will assist those interested.

“GAP certification is free and DA Caraga is ready to assist the farmers”, Concon said.

The certification is open for individual, associations or cooperative with basic requirements such as GAP training certificate, farm map and location and farming practices records. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Sunday, March 12, 2017


Have you tasted macaroni made from sago?

Wow... superb... this is a product from Veruela, Agusan del Sur.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Poultry a Promising Agribusiness in Caraga Region

Mr. Joel Callano prepares his harvested eggs for costumers

There’s money in an egg.

Are you thinking of a promising business? Poultry industry might be your future!

Data presented during the crafting of the industry roadmap for poultry spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture, Caraga Region needs more supply for poultry products and by products.

As of 2015 PSA data, Caraga with a population of more than 2.5 million the demand for poultry products pegged to 24.126 metric tons (MT) while its supply accounted for only 18,967 MT or a deficit of 5,159 MT.

The data is using the per capita consumption from year 2012-2015, wherein per person consumes an average of 5.51 kilograms per year (kg/yr) of chicken meat, 3.48 kg/yr of chicken egg, 0.04 kg/yr of duck meat and 0.13 of duck egg.

The gap between the supply and demand means there is an opportunity for investment in poultry industry in Caraga.

As of now, Caraga Region absorbs supply from other neighboring region to fill the gap of the demand and supply.

Joel Callano, a poultry grower in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur said that his daily harvest of 25 trays of eggs is not enough to supply the need of his municipality alone.

“There is still a room for investment in the poultry industry in Caraga Region, so for the farmers who are willing to invest it's an opportune time,” Callano said.

Poultry industry is a significant contributor to the agricultural sector in the Philippines chipping in 15.41 percent to the total value of agricultural production in 2015.

To strengthen government support for the industry and other commodities, DA Caraga conducted series of roadmap crafting through the involvement of different stakeholders such as farmer associations, academe, agripreneurs, agriculture and fishery council, financial institutions, DA attached agencies and other national line government agencies.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Caraga RAFC Chair Advocates Agripreneurship

Caraga Region RAFC Chair Pedro Lim in an interview
Agriculture is business!

This is how the newly elected chairperson Pedro Lim of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Council (RAFC) in Caraga wants the farmers to perceive.

Lim, an agricultural machine fabricator said that the only way a farmer to be successful is to treat his work as business.

“Farmers should have to level-up their mindset from a mere producer to a processor,” he said.

He said that instead of a farmer confined himself to planting, harvesting and selling raw produce; they should have to venture into value adding that commands higher price, wider marketing edge thus ensuring higher return of investments.

He also stressed the importance of time and financial management.

“For example a farmer plants corn, it is not daily the farmer need to attend his farm so why not utilize other days for another venture to be more productive rather just wait until harvesting time,” he emphasized.

He also lauded the Department of Agriculture Caraga for spearheading the crafting of regional roadmap of major commodities in Caraga as an effective tool in program planning and policy direction.

He is confident that if all stakeholders in the agricultural sector both from private and government will work closely, agricultural development is just within reach.

RAFC is a private sector-led consultative council toward the formulation of sound policy and program recommendations for sustained countryside agricultural and fishery development. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga) 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

DA Caraga Joins 116th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary

Nasipit, Agusan del Norte - To help make our country resilient amidst the threat brought about by climate change, this year’s activities in line with the 116th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary highlights the care for environment.

Around 4,000 mangrove seedlings were planted in a mangrove planting activity participated by various government agencies at USS Marshall Memorial Complex, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte today September 23, 2016.

Armed with digging tools such as hoe, shovel and bolo, around 30 personnel of the Department of Agriculture Caraga representing various divisions and sections headed by the Human Resource Section arrived at the planting site around 6:00 in the morning and took part the activity.  

The mangrove planting is one of the highlight of the 116th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary with the theme “Sigaw ng Lingkod Bayani: Malasakit para sa Taumbayan, Kapwa Kawani at Kalikasan.”

Earlier, a coastal clean-up campaign was also conducted at Brgy. Masao, Butuan City.

Every September, Philippine government workforce will celebrate the civil service anniversary as an observance of the enactment of Public Law No. 5, “An Act for the Establishment and Maintenance of our Efficient and Honest Civil Service in the Philippine Islands” on September 19, 1900 with the Civil Service Commission as lead agency.

This year’s activities are meant to instill malasakit or compassion with action for our health, the environment, deserving public servants, and the Filipino public who are the clients of the government service offices. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Honey: For Health and Wealth

Bit scary but sure money!
Malabaybalay City, Bukidnon - Considering its health benefits and livelihood opportunity, the Department of Agriculture Caraga is eyeing to boost beekeeping in the region.

As a start, DA Caraga sends out 20 individuals to Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Center (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City to attend the basic beekeeping training.

A five-day training from August 15-19, 2016, participants who were composed of DA Staff and LGU personnel were taught on proper procedure on beekeeping focusing on technical and management practices to make it viable and sustainable.

Dr. Roche Rey Barrios, livestock program focal person said that the training is the initial stage of DA Caraga’s support for beekeeping in coordination with the local government units.

“Graduates from this training upon return will serve as trainers for the farmers in our region,” he said.

To concretize its support, DA Caraga has been set to establish bee farm in DA Caraga’s Research Stations in Trento, Agusan del Sur; Del Monte, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur; Tagbina, Surigao del Sur and Taguibo, Butuan City and on selected participating LGUs as showcase for learning.

Arnold Valle, president of the Bukidnon Beekeepers Association and one of the resource person said that beekeeping is a great help for farmers.

“Honeybee serves as a partner for the farmers since they help pollinate the plants to increase production and at the same time it can produce honey which is good for human body,” Valle said.

Zaldy Idulsa, a practicing beekeeper also said that there is market for honey in the country.
“Nowadays people are health conscious, they tend to look for healthier and natural products; and as far as sweetener is concerned, honey is the best,” he said.

Honey, a sweet food made by bees foraging nectar from plants particularly on its flowers is known as a powerful immune system booster. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


DA Caraga Supports KBP Oplan Broadcastreeing

Thousands of individuals armed with bolos and crowbars swooped down Philippine Army’s Camp Bancasi in Butuan City not for a battle but to care the Mother Nature.

The Department of Agriculture Caraga is one of the agencies who responded the call from the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Agusan del Norte-Butuan City Chapter in the conduct of the tree growing activity dubbed as Oplan Broadcastreeing last August 6, 2016 at Camp Bancasi, Butuan City.

Participants who came from different government agencies, private sectors and media institutions arrived at the planting site around 5:00 am within the 48 hectare military reservation of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4ID), Philippine Army.

Around 10,000 tree seedlings provided by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga and CENRO-Nasipit were planted by the participants.

It was learned from Cathy Tobis, station manager of DXMK Magik FM and the president of KBP Butuan City Chapter that Oplan Broadcastreeing is an annual activity in support to government’s National Greening Program.

Meanwhile, Benjie Balansag, station manager of DXBR Bombo Radyo said that it is already seven years that Oplan Broadcastreeing has been conducted to increase the number of trees in the city and to lessen the impacts of climate change.

DA has been an advocate for maintaining ecological balance since it could affect agricultural productivity hence tree planting activity deserves an all-out support. (Aurell P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bahandi sa Kaumahan Radio Program

Last broadcast of DA Caraga's radio program "Bahandi sa Kaumahan" aired over DXIM FM 93.5 MHz Hope Radio Butuan for the year 2016 on December 26.

Thank you for all, who one way or the other contributed to the program especially to all my listeners the farmers and fisherfolks.

GOD Bless us all! It's me your program anchor Paglaum Aurell P. Arais. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

QUENDANCOR Offers Amnesty Program for their Borrowers

Bahandi sa Kaumahan on Hope Radio studio with Quedancor as guests
To help borrowers settle their long overdue accounts, the Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation (QUEDANCOR) is now offering a program dubbed as Quedancor Amnesty Program (QAP).

This was announced by Engr. Christopher Gilos, OIC Regional Assistant Vice President for Caraga and Property Appraiser for Mindanao Area in a radio interview as guest on Bahandi sa Kaumahan radio program over Hope Radio Butuan yesterday, August 8, 2016.

Gilos said that under QAP, the remaining principal amount will be settled; the penalty will be waived 100%; interest will be slashed down up to 75% if paid in full or up to 50% if amortized within three years.

Dave Iligan of Quedancor Regional Communications and Records Management Office said that borrowers and co-makers can avail of the amnesty program.

They are advised to visit the nearest Quendancor provincial offices for complete details on QAP.
Quendancor, is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture credit resources into the countryside so as to trigger the vigorous growth and development of rural productivity, employment and enterprises.

Bahandi sa Kaumahan is a flagship radio program of the Department of Agriculture Caraga to update its listeners on projects and programs as well as advocacies for agricultural development. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Women Empowerment through DA-SELAP

Traditional wives who are just relying on the income of their husband nowadays a thing of the past.

This is how members of the Tagbuyacan Rural Improvement Club (RIC) describe their current plight after accessing a project through the Support to Emergency and Livelihood Assistance Project (SELAP) Phase II of the Department of Agriculture Caraga.

Tagbuyacan is one of the barangay in Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

Josephine Monter, president of the Tagbuyacan RIC with 30 members said that in 2013 they had availed P300,000.00 funding support from SELAP for their Integrated Food Processing Project. 

With the SELAP funding support and an additional P34,000.00 from the local government unit, they were able to purchase a freezer, sealer, grinder, weighing scale and chopper for their business venture.

They were also able to purchase an initial 20 heads of piglet and were dispersed to their members for fattening project. 

Members who would want to engage in the fattening project would have to pay P2,400 per piglet after four months, so the club has an income of P400.00 since a piglet would cost P2,000.00.

The club now had wide array of value adding products such as banana and camote chips and longganisa. They also operate a sari-sari store and catering services.

Raw materials to be processed were sourced out from their farmer members, thereby ensuring market for the farmers.

To ensure regular operation of their store, they hired a store attendant with a monthly salary of P2,500.00.

She said that every month they were able to process about 100 kilos of banana (cardava) and 20 kilos of camote for their banana and camote chips products respectively and 60 kilos of pork for their longganisa and for catering services.

As Tagbuyacan RIC manages their ventures well, other government agency extended their support to the group particularly the Department of Trade and Industry.

The club had availed Support Service Facility Project adding their array of products with ube and squash flour but still utilizing SELAP funds as capital for raw materials.

Betchaida Rojo, business manager of the club said that their products are sold in the locality and currently being promoted to other areas through trade fairs.

She said that for the past two years, they had been able to give out cash dividend for the members out from the income of their business ventures. However, those members who frequently volunteered to run their business were compensated much higher.

“What makes us empowered is that we are no longer those classical wives who are just relying on the income from our husbands. Nowadays we have our own source of income to help husbands in meeting the needs of our respective families,’ Monter said.

She said that through DA-SELAP Phase II their horizon broadens as they have now opportunities to face other business owners and an opportunity to travel other places especially during trade fairs.

“We are so thankful to DA-SELAP Phase II, without their support we would remain typical wives and typical farmers”, Monter added.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

DA Project Transforms Coffee Farmers to Manufacturers

Buenas Coffee products
Coffee remains the staple drink of Filipinos and its demand continues to expand.

According to Philippine Coffee Board, Filipinos can consume 100,000 metric tons of coffee a year. Hence, various companies established their coffee products in the Philippines to grab the huge market opportunities.

But did you know that coffee farmers themselves in Simbalan, a mountainous barangay in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte planted and manufactured their own line of coffee products bringing the brand name as Buenas Coffee. The group is called Simbalan Rubber Farmers Association Incorporated (SBFAI) with 37 strong members.

According to Lucia Morden business manager of the association, Buenas Coffee would not have been born without the support from the Department of Agriculture Caraga through the Support to Emergency and Livelihood Assistance Program (SELAP) Phase II.

“We are so grateful to DA because Buenas Coffee would have not been conceived if not with the funding support of SELAP,” Morden said.

In 2012, the Simbalan Rubber Farmers Association Incorporated availed the P300,000.00 livelihood assistance from SELAP Phase II with P34,000.00 counterpart from Buenavista LGU which was used to purchased coffee de huller and coffee roaster.

Morden said that Buenas Coffee with its humble beginning is now slowly gaining popularity among coffee lovers in the locality.

“To ensure freshness of our coffee, we process on an order basis, most of our bulk of orders are coming from government offices and satisfied individuals,” Morden said. With the increasing popularity and demand, some of its products were also featured in various trade fairs in Caraga.

Buenas Coffee is in soluble form in various packaging; with its aesthetic and aroma no doubt it can compete with commercial brands.

SBFAI can process an average of 20 kilos of coffee in a month. The raw coffee to be processed where purchased from its member beneficiaries.  Barangay Simbalan has 77.75 hectares planted with coffee comprising 98 farmers based on data from the Municipal Agriculture Office of Buenavista.
Morden said that aside from funding support from SELAP, they also availed coffee planting materials from the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of DA Caraga.

With good track record in implementing SELAP project, other national line agencies lined up to support the association thus expanding the business line of SBFAI such as grocery store, agri- supplies, agro-forestry planting materials and more.

As their brand name Buenas which means lucky, Morden said that indeed DA-SELAP Phase II brings luck to their association.  (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Monday, July 11, 2016

DA-SELAP Hastens Development in Caraga

DA-SELAP Phase 2 Tubo-Tubo, Cagwait FMR

Shortens travel time, convenience to transport agricultural and aqua products, boosts local trade.

These are just few of the perks enjoyed nowadays by the Caraganons who are directly benefitted from the implementation of the Support to Emergency and Livelihood
Assistance Program (SELAP) Phase II in various parts of the region.

Since the implementation of the SELAP Phase II in 2012, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 13 had implemented 12 farm to market roads with a total length of 8.585 kilometers amounting to P48.5 million.

All SELAP Phase II FMRs are fully concrete in adherence of the policy implemented by the current administration to make infra projects durable and could withstand all weather conditions.

The 12 farm to market roads are implemented at Buenavista, Magallanes and Santiago in Agusan del Norte; San Francisco and Malimono in Surigao del Norte and San Miguel, Lanuza and Cagwait in Surigao del Sur.  

These include the two newly completed FMRs in Cagdianao and Dinagat of the Province of Dinagat Islands.

The said projects were turned-over by DA Caraga to the LGU recipients last June 20, 2016 and on June 24, 2016 at Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. 

Side by side with the implementation of the farm to market roads are livelihood components to hasten the development of the service areas. 

A total of 19 livelihood projects were implemented amounting to P5.7 million and currently managed by the people’s organizations.

Each PO were funded P300,000.00 for their livelihood projects ranging from food processing, handicraft making and value added products from abaca and coconut.

Mayor Marc Adelson Longos of the Municipality of Cagdianao said that DA is the biggest contributor in terms of project for the development of their town.

“I am so grateful that DA Caraga keeps coming back here in our place to pour projects in our locality, which certainly helps in solving our problem particularly the road network,” Longos said.

Members of the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Cagwait (SAMACA), a recipient of the livelihood project in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur now supplies abaca handicraft in a well known resort in Surigao del Sur benefitting its members with an additional income for the family.

To ensure its sustainability, DA Caraga Regional Director Edna Mabeza urged the respective LGUs to conduct regular monitoring of the SELAP implemented projects.

“It is important that the project will sustain for a longer period of time so that recipients would enjoy its benefits even after the government interventions since SELAP is already on its final stage,” she said.

The Support to Emergency and Livelihood Assistance Project (SELAP) is a special project of the Government of the Philippines executed by the Department of Agriculture funded under the US Public Law 480 (US PL 480).

It is primarily designed to cater to the needs of the poorest or marginalized areas in Mindanao. It is implemented in Regions IX, XI and Caraga.

SELAP Phase 2 had been implemented since 2012 and supposed to terminate last year but it has been extended until June this year while SELAP Phase 1 run from 2006 to 2011. (Aurelius P. Arais/ DA Caraga)