Monday, April 7, 2014

PRC Re-opens Application for Registration without Examination for Agriculturists

Good news for all agricultural technicians and technologists who haven’t been registered.

The Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC) had re-opened the registration and licensing without examination for agriculturists effective since on September 12, 2013.

This was embodied through Resolution No. 08, series of 2013 of the Professional Regulatory Board of Agriculture entitled “Resolution to Re-open the Registration and Licensing without Examination for Agriculturists, Amending for the Purpose Board Resolution No. 05, Series of 2011 and Section 3 of Board Resolution No. 09-A, Series of 2005.

It was recalled that PRC set until December 29, 2011 as the deadline for the registration without examination for agriculturists.

But on its recent resolution, it acknowledges that there is still substantial number of agricultural technicians and technologists who are unable to avail of the opportunity due to difficulties in obtaining the documentary requirements and heavy work schedules.

The resolution further acknowledges that the employment status and promotion of hundreds of agricultural technologists rests on their acquisition of license as agriculturists.

With the foregoing facts, the board recommended the re-opening of the application for registration without examination for agriculturists, until such time that the new agriculturist law is approved and made operative.

The resolution was in response to numerous appeals from various groups including the Office of the Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, League of Municipal Agricultural Officers, Municipal Agriculturists and City Agriculturists of the Philippines, Inc. and the Philippine Coconut Authority.

For more information and details, interested parties may inquire at your nearest PRC office or visit their website (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)


DA Searches Corn Quality Achievers: Now on its Second Year

Quantity and quality of produce is the utmost priority of the Department of Agriculture (DA) nowadays.

Thus, DA thru the AgriPinoy Corn Program is now on its second year of eyeing more achievers for this year’s Corn Quality Achievers Awards.

In its quest to bring Caraga into limelight once again; the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 13 met the prospective local government units who will vie for the national level to guide them in packaging their entries.

Last year, Caraga Region garnered a total of eight awards across all five categories.

This year’s search for Corn Quality Achievers has been expanded with more categories and with more exciting prizes.

The National Quality Corn Achievers Awards shall be given to the top 5 LGU provinces, 25 cities and or municipalities, 5 provincial corn coordinators, 25 municipal and or city corn coordinators, 100 agricultural extension workers and the new categories; 5 provincial agriculturists, 25 municipal agriculturists and outstanding regional corn teams.

Individual winners will received cash award and plaque while the winning LGU shall be in the form of projects such as infrastructures, farm equipments, post harvest facilities and machineries and or other relevant projects with a total prizes at stake of more than 43 million pesos.

For LGU category, judging will be based on technical requirements such as the corn grain samples shall comply with maximum aflatoxin level of 50 ppb and minimum Grade No. 3 as per Quality Grade Requirements on Shelled Corn of the Philippine National Standards for Grains-Corn.

For yield, must have an annual average corn yield for the past three years of at least 3.5 metric tons per hectares (mt/ha) for yellow and 1.5 mt/ha for white.

For province, it must have a minimum of 5,000 ha (effective) or 2,500 ha (physical) devoted to corn farming while for city or municipal category, must have 400 ha (effective) or minimum of 200 ha (physical) devoted corn farming.  

The level of aflatoxin and other quality parameters shall be based on the data obtained during the contest duration.

Awarding for the national winners is tentatively set on October 2014 during the 10th National Corn Congress to be held in Cagayan de Oro City.
The DA Corn Quality Award aims to recognize the achievement of top performing LGUs with outstanding contribution to the corn industry; encourage strong DA-LGU partnership in the production of quality corn; and sustain awareness of the LGUs to the Agri-Pinoy Corn Program and Activities of the Department of Agriculture. (Aurell P. Arais/ Info Section DA CARAGA)


2013 a Triumphant Year for AgriPinoy Corn Program in Caraga

Clear vision, close coordination and determination equal success.

These are the driving force of Caraga AgriPinoy Corn Program in attaining various achievements not just in terms of awards but on helping the farmers alleviate their plight.

DA RFO 13 Acting Director Edna Mabeza, incalculated into the minds of every staff on the corn program the importance of closely coordinating with the local government units in all its programs and activities.

Thus as a result of close coordination, DA RFO 13 garnered five major awards last year during the 1st National Quality Corn Achievers Awards wherein the awarding was held at Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City last October 23, 2013.

Caraga region grabbed the following awards: Most Outstanding Province: Province of Agusan del Sur, Most Outstanding Municipalities: Esperanza, Agusan del Sur and Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte; Most Outstanding Provincial Corn Coordinator- Perla C. Galaura of Agusan del Sur; Most Outstanding Municipal Corn Coordinators: Mary Jane A. Maratas and Jovie R. Ego-ugan; and Most Outstanding Corn AEWs: Ismael Saguran and Nelson Dulayba.

The awarding ceremony was attended by Acting Director Edna Mabeza, Caraga AgriPinoy Corn Coordinator Abel Wagas and no less than Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala who handed over the awards and prizes.

This activity aimed the country’s corn industry to scale height with a proof of the strong partnership of government, private sector, corn farmers and other stakeholders.

But grabbing an award is just a tip of the iceberg. What is most important is the growth rate on corn production attained last year.

Based on data, corn production posted an increase of 20.06% for the year 2013 as compared to 2012 or an annual production of 89,521 metric tons (MT) on 2012 to 107,476 MT on 2013. This was attributed to increase in area harvested which was 33,830 hectares in 2012 to 38,017 hectares in 2013 and an increase in yield from 2.65 tons in 2012 to 2.83 tons in 2013 or an increment of 6.83%.

Increase in area for corn was due to availability of seeds and favorable soil moisture while increase in yield was attributed to lesser occurrence of pests and diseases as well as the use of high quality seeds.

To strengthen coordination, DA RFO 13 meet with its local government unit counterparts composed of 82 LGU agricultural extension workers working with the corn program region wide more often.

Aside from meetings, AEWS were also equipped with the necessary capabilities through training of trainers (TOT) and other field exposure activities.

On the other hand, to make the farmers at par with the agri-technological advances, farmers field schools (FFS) were conducted.

Radio was also tapped in teaching the farmers through the University on the Air on Corn Production aired on four radio stations in Caraga. It was a two month radio airing using the corn production module anchored by the respective LGU corn coordinators together with the provincial farmcasters.

To further encourage the farmers in its endeavor, various interventions had been implemented such as the provision of farm mechanization projects ranging from planting to harvesting as well as inputs needed by the farmers.

Aside from production side, DA RFO 13 also implemented massive campaign on consumption of white corn through information and education campaign.

Following the milestones in the roadmap towards corn sufficiency in the country it is not far that Caraga Region will suffice and even more than its commodity demand.

Armed with technically equipped staff including its LGU counterparts and development minded farmers, who knows’ Caraga Region will become a major corn producer in the country. (Aurell P. Arais/DA CARAGA)