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)


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

DA Caraga and LGUs Prepares for Rainy Season

Prevention is better than cure!

An approach embraced by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 13 and its counterparts in the local governments in anticipation for possible emergence of pests and diseases on rice amid the incoming rainy season.

In Surigao del Sur, DA and the Provincial Agriculture Office conducted a talakayan with the farmers about rice pests and diseases last June 12-17, 2016.
One of the cluster in Cantilan, SDS with your blogger as facilitator

The talakayan (forum) was conducted in 7 clustered sites attended by almost 500 farmers and agricultural extension workers (AEWs) from 17 municipalities and two component cities, Bislig and Tandag.

Surigao del Sur Provincial Agriculturist Marcos Quico appealed to the AEWs to strengthen pest monitoring in their respective areas.

“I am urging all farmers to enhance the two way communication between farmers and agri-extensionists in order to address promptly in case of pests and diseases emergence,” Quico said.

DA Caraga Field Operations Division Chief (FOD) Rebecca Atega stressed the need that farmers should be resilient nowadays to sustain production amidst weather uncertainty.

“Our farmers need to be vigilant and capacitated on what to do in case of pests’ infestation to ensure food supply for the Filipinos,” she said.

Same activities are on the pipeline to be undertaken in other areas in Caraga for the coming days.

Last cropping season, some municipalities of Surigao del Sur experienced mild infestation of BPH where the situation had been curb earlier with adequate technical knowhow of the affected farmers.

As preventive measures for the current planting season, Surigao del Sur LGUs and DA will distribute metarhizium as an initial application to the farms against harmful insects affecting rice such as BPH and Rice Black Bug.

Metarhizium anisopliae, formerly known as Entomophthora anisopliae (basionym), is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and causes disease in various insects by acting as a parasitoid. The fungus then develops inside the body eventually killing the insect after a few days through a disease called green muscardine disease because of the green color of its spores.

Metarhizium anisopliae is one of the biocontrol being developed in RCPC Caraga situated at Trento, Agusan del Sur.  (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Thursday, June 23, 2016

DA Caraga Turns-over Modern Corn Drying Facility to Agusan Farmers

Turn-over of key of responsibility with DA RED Edna Mabeza and Mayor Rosales

To help corn farmers attain premium quality of their produce, the Department of Agriculture Caraga turned-over another Village Type Corn Postharvest Processing Center to the farmers through the local government unit of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte last June 1, 2016.

The second unit established in the said town and third in the region, the Village Type Corn Postharvest Processing Center situated in Brgy. Pinana-an, is a modern drying and shelling facility worth P3.5 million pesos and has a capacity of processing 10 tons of corn.

The facility will process either freshly harvested corn in cob or shelled kernels that need further drying just for a very minimal fee.

DA Caraga Regional Director Edna Mabeza said that modern drying facility helps to eliminate poor quality of corn that may pose health hazard to human and animal due to aflatoxin.

“There are reports based on laboratory test results that some areas are having high aflatoxin level of corn produce which primarily means delayed drying after harvesting,” she said.

According to corn quality parameter, aflatoxin level of corn for feed purposes must not exceed the tolerable limit of 50 parts per billion (pbb) and for human consumption of not more than 20 pbb.

Las Nieves Mayor Avelina Rosales extended her gratitude to DA Caraga for supporting their corn farmers and vowed to implement measures to ensure sustainability of the project.

“I am urging the farmers to help maintain the facility because it is a multi-million peso project from the government and be cooperative on the policy that we are going to implement to make this project sustainable,” she said.

Aside from corn, the facility is also designed to dry palay thus making it more advantageous for the farmers.

The first Village Type Corn Postharvest Processing Center funded through DA is located at Brgy. Tiniwisan, Butuan City, followed by at Brgy. Malicato of Las Nieves and the third is the recently turned-over.

More of this kind is on the pipeline for completion in various parts of the region implemented under AgriPinoy Corn Program. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Monday, May 30, 2016

Data: Vital for Agricultural Development

DA RFO 13 ARD Edgardo Dahino emphasizes the importance of data

Figure tells story.

To come up with a comprehensive outlook of the agricultural trends for rice and corn, the Department of Agriculture Caraga in partnership with the Philippine Statistics Authority is currently drafting an agricultural information and early warning system.

An initial step was the conduct of the orientation on rice and corn information and early warning system situation report preparation last May 24-26, 2016.

Armed with agricultural data, five provinces in Caraga Region including Butuan City, participated the activity and came up with their respective situation report.

Initially, the plan was to cover 2014-2015 cropping sessions but DA regional office geared towards expanding the scope to cover 2011-15 to come up a comprehensive outlook.

“This information is vital for our decision makers as well as for investors so they will have a clear picture what is the agricultural scenario here in Caraga,” Assistant Regional Director for Operations and LGU Support Edgardo Dahino said.

Reports from the respective local government units will be consolidated by the DA regional office to come up with the regional situation report and will be the basis for the crafting of the agricultural early warning system.

Data to be included are physical area of rice and corn and its ecosystems, weather pattern, production, government interventions and supports, marketing aspects, challenges, and more. 

To make it more comprehensive, data from attached agencies and other national line agencies engaged in serving the farmers such as National Irrigation Administration, Department of Agrarian Reform, National Food Authority, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Agricultural Training Institute among others will be incorporated.

Melchor Bautista, Statistical Operations and Coordination Division Chief of PSA Caraga said that agricultural information based on data is a vital tool in planning and decision making both for the government and farmers alike.(Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)