Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dinagat Islands Aims to be an Organic Province

Dinagat Islands Provincial Administrator Benglen B. Ecleo (standing) expresses deep gratitude to the Department of Agriculture of the continued support for the Province through various agri-related projects.   

San Jose, PDI – The newly recognized province, the Province of Dinagat Islands (PDI) strongly supports the implementation of the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 stipulated under RA 10068.

After hearing the briefing of the new law, PDI officialdom represented by Provincial Administrator Benglen Ecleo said that the province is keen of supporting the advocacy of shifting from contemporary to natural way of farming.

Ecleo said that there is no reason of not supporting the implementation of the RA 10068 since it is geared towards healthy people which would redound to a healthy community and a nation as well.

Provincial Administrator Benglen Ecleo is the chairman of the local technical committee of the Dinagat Islands.

Caraga Organic Agriculture Regional Focal Person Rebecca Atega met with the members of the Provincial Technical Committee of the Province of Dinagat Islands recently to give an update on organic agriculture implementation in the region and to further discuss some important salient features of RA 10068.

Atega said that PDI leads among the five provinces in the region in terms of creating local technical committee (LCT) including municipal technical committees.

The creation of the local technical committee is a strong manifestation of a local government unit in supporting the organic agriculture program.

The organic LTC has given the tasked to review, consolidate and endorse local organic agriculture programs and projects.

Atega clarified that projects proposals emanating from LGU or its constituents through associations will not be acted upon without the endorsement of the local technical committee.

To express strongest term of supporting organic agriculture program, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Bernardino Alcaria, Jr. said that he is planning to pass a resolution adopting RA 10068 or Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. (Aurell P. Arais/ RAFID DA CARAGA)


NMIS Accredits Three Slaughterhouses in Caraga Region

National Meat Inspection Service Caraga Regional Director Desiderio Julaton announced that there are only three slaughter houses in the region accredited by their office.

He said this during the interview on the radio program AgriPinoy Caraga aired over DXBN Radyo ng Bayan Butuan, a radio program of the Department of Agriculture Caraga.

Julaton said the three slaughterhouses currently accredited by their office were the municipal slaughterhouse in Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur and city slaughterhouses in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur and Cabadbaran City in Agusan del Norte.

“All these accredited slaughterhouses can transport their meat products anywhere in the Philippines”, he said.

One of the basic and the most important requirements to be an accredited slaughterhouse are hygiene and sanitation. 

Julaton explained that those who were not accredited falls under the category called Locally Registered Meat Establishment (LRME).
LRME slaughterhouses are permitted by the local government unit to operate within their territorial jurisdiction and its meat products are for local consumption only.

The National Meat Inspection Service, a specialized regulatory agency in the Department of Agriculture is the country’s sole national controlling authority on all matters pertaining to meat inspection and hygiene.

It is mandated to protect the interest, health and general welfare of the meat consuming public and shall endeavor for the development of the livestock and meat industry. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)

DA-PhilRice Agusan Recommends Rice Varieties Suitable for Caraga Region

The Blogger wearing green shirt (yours truly) in action during the rice planting training in PhilRice Nueva Ecija

Selecting a rice variety to be planted in your area? Think it over. Not all rice varieties is suitable everywhere.

Thus Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) cautioned the farmers to know first the rice varieties that are suitable for Caraga condition.

Abner Montecalvo, DA-PhilRice Agusan Experiment Station Manager said that rice varieties are location specific.

During the news conference as one the highlights of the Farmer’s Field Day and Forum held last October 5, 2012, Montecalvo identified specific rice varieties commonly planted and with good yield performance in Caraga Region.

He said for irrigated areas suitable rice varieties are PSB RC 18, NSIC RC 122 popularly called Angelica, NSIC RC 128 and PSB RC 82 while for rainfed areas is PSB RC 14.

For upland areas are NSIC RC 11 and NSIC RC 9 while for saline areas is NSIC RC 190(Salinas 5).

Montecalvo also said that there are varieties suitable for a specific condition such as for drought is NSIC RC 192 and for submergence or flooded area is NSIC 194 also known as the Submarino1 rice variety.

Farmers are also advised to choose a specific rice variety based on a specific planting season and specific growing condition and most importantly to follow right crop management practices.
Caraga Region is noted for its wet and very wet weather conditions.

Montecalvo said that farmers, who want to enhance their knowledge, may visit DA-PhilRice Agusan Experiment station located in Brgy. Basilisa, RT Romualdez, Agusan del Norte which showcase various rice technologies. 

DA-PhilRice can also assist farmers to obtain quality rice seeds. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)


Biotechnology (BT) in Organic Farming?

Philippine Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala

Davao City- Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala clarified that biotechnology (BT) is in harmony with organic farming.

He likewise rectified the wrong general connotation that BT is solely genetically modified organisms (GMO).

To illustrate he said that the production of friendly microorganisms are part of the biotechnology that is needed even in an organic farming.

“Dapat maliwanag yun. Meron pong maling paniniwala na kung pag-uusapan ang biotechnology, akala ng lahat ay GMO, hindi po” (It should be clear. There’s a wrong connotation that if we are going to talk about biotechnology, all believed it is GMO, it is not), he said.

To fully grasp and utilize useful advantages on BT, DA recently coordinated with Cuba who has advanced knowledge, to bring in the kind of technology here in our country.

However during the just concluded 8th Philippine National Corn Congress held in Davao City, Secretary Alcala said that the Department of Agriculture respects on any local government unit declaring the ban of access to the genetically modified organisms within their area.

Alcala said that it is the prerogative of an LGU to formulate its policies by virtue of the local government code.

“Yun pong mga lalawigan o mga munisipyo na nagdedeklara na binabawal yong mga GMO sa kanilang lugar di natin kayang basta i-overrule dahil ito ay karapatan ng LGU. If they choose na sila po ay mag-stick sa kanilang stand di natin pwedeng pilitin na sila ay mag-open-up” (We cannot simply overrule those provinces or municipalities declaring a ban on access of GMO within their area. It is their right, if they choose to stick on their stand we cannot force them to open-up), he said.

Therefore, he advised those who want to plant GMO crops to consider other area which are open for such technology.

This developed as pro and against advocates are still in heated argument whether GMO pose health hazard or not. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)