Thursday, March 31, 2016

Artificial Insemination (AI); A farmer’s Real Partner

Photo courtesy of: Wilfredo Abrea
Amidst farm mechanization era, Filipino farmers still regards carabao as partner in the farms.

This prompted the government through the Department of Agriculture to look for ways to improve genetically our Philippine native breed of carabao through the artificial insemination (AI) program.

Artificial insemination (AI) is the process of collecting sperm cells from a male animal and manually depositing them into the reproductive tract of a female. 

Dr. Roche Rey Barrios, DA Caraga Livestock Coordinator said that male sperm used for carabao cross breeding program is from either Murrah Buffalo or Bulgarian Buffalo while for cattle is from Brahman; an imported breeds.

Jose Tingson of Brgy. Bahi, Barobo, Surigao del Sur said that there’s a big difference between native carabao than an improved breed.

Based on his experience, his carabao; an offspring from AI can withstand longer period of time in the farm works than his native contemporaries.

“In the half days work, native carabao needs to be wallowed (tuna) at least four times but with his buffalo he just need to bring her in a wallow 2 times, thereby saving time.

His carabao had also undergone an AI successfully which during the time of dire need to sustain the studies of his son, he sold the 2.7 years old offspring selling P40,000.00 more than enough to meet their needs.  

Meanwhile Epefanio Busbus of Brgy. Campbagang, Barobo noticed that his carabao; a result also from AI has sturdy body built and larger than its native mother, making it more reliable partner in his farm.

“AI helps me a lot because I have now a buffalo which has a strong body and performs well in the farm and other job as draft animal,” he said.

Artificial insemination program is being implemented to improve the livestock industry in the country through the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), National Artificial Breeding Center, Philippine Carabao Center; academe and local government units. 

Filipinos regards carabao as faithful partners in life. Aside from helping our farmers plow the fields; this animal is still used for transportation, source of milk and even meat. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

DA Supports Women Empowerment in Agri Sector

At all times, women should be protected!

Womens' Power in Agriculture!
A marching call of the United Nations to all nations around the globe in every circumstances and situations.

Heeding to the call, the Department of Agriculture Caraga hosted the orientation workshop of National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (NAP-WPS) held in one of the convention center in Butuan City last February 17-18, 2016.

The activity was participated by Gender and Development (GAD) and PAMANA focal persons from different regions in the country.

According to Director Helen Rojas of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Philippines is still currently considered a conflict area considering the number of rebel groups operating in the country though the government is pursuing for a peace process. 

However, she emphasized that in conflict and post conflict situations, women should be protected, empowered, and should play a decisive role in peace and security mechanisms.

“The National Action Plan in Women, Peace and Security (NAP-WPS) was formulated in support to the implementation of gender equality as well as peace and development,” Rojas said.

NAP-WPS is the articulation of the Philippine’s commitment to international resolutions and national mandates on women, peace and security and in adherence to provisions of RA 9710 or the Magna Carta for Women and the 2010-2016 Philippine Development Plan. It aims to accelerate gender mainstreaming on conflict-affected areas.

DA on its part will support the integration of the NAP-WPS in government programs through the GAD and PAMANA program implementations.

DA Regional Director Edna Mabeza lauded OPAPP for spearheading the peace building initiatives and expressed her support by extending interventions to conflict-affected areas benefitting women.

To capacitate the participants, Planning Officer III Rebecca Baylosis of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) discussed the mechanisms on how to integrate NAP-WPS to GAD Plan and Budget.

Meanwhile, Supervising Agriculturist Lorna Villegas of DA Central Office Field Operation Services spearheaded the workshop crafting the DA NAP-WPS guidelines.

At the national level, NAP-WPS is implemented under the National Steering Committee created through Executive Order No. 865. 

In 2013, agencies implementing the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program, a complementary program for the peace process were also engaged to implement NAP-WPS. 

Consistent with Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988, the annual National Women’s Month Celebration every March aims to give due recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in our society.

This year’s theme is "Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda!"(Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


DA Caraga Supports EARTH HOUR

Image result for earth hour logoIn adherence to the principle that climate change is everybody’s concern, the Department of Agriculture Caraga will support the observance of the World Wide Fund’s Earth Hour 2016 campaign.

Pursuant to the memorandum from DA Central Office, DA Caraga Regional Director Edna Mabeza issued a memorandum encouraging all of its employees and staff to take part of the said endeavor.

“The campaign is our way of sending an even stronger message to take action on global warming,” Mabeza stated.

Agriculture is a vulnerable sector in climate change since crops will be affected by changes of temperature and emergence of pests and diseases would be possible, thus resiliency is a big factor in order for the agriculture sector to sustain amidst the threat of climate change. 

Earth Hour is scheduled this coming March 19, 2016 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

WWF for Nature encourages all stakeholders to switch-off or dim non-essential lights, including streetlights; signages and key monuments. 

Aside from participating the “global lights out”, WWF also encourages everyone to take action against climate change even beyond by publicly promoting renewed ways or practices of initiating change, which can include environmental projects that the offices and individuals are willing to undertake throughout the year.

Now on its 10th year, Earth Hour global campaign showcases what can and is being done all over the world to combat climate change. It is a wordwide initiative showing how individuals, communities, businesses and governments can address the threat of global warming working together.

In 2012, Philippines clinched the top spot for four straight years with 1,671 cities, provinces and municipalities participating.

Rough estimates peg the power saved to be at least 362MWh during the 60 minute blackout. A drop of 214 MWh was recorded for the Luzon grid, 91 MWh for Mindanao and 57 MWh for the Visayas.

WWF for Nature is the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization, operating in over 100 countries.

In the Philipines, it helps communities adapt to climate change, secure food and water sources, conserve local ecosystems and species, minimize ecological impacts of development and promote renewable sources of clean energy. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga).


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

DA Caraga Bridges the Future for IPs

True to its commitment to help improve the lives of indigenous people (IPs), the Department of Agriculture Caraga will provide farm equipments to Manobo community in La Paz, Agusan del Sur.

MOA Signing between Manobo Community and DA for corn development
A signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was inked between DA Caraga and Manobo Indigenous Cultural Community of Agusan, Incorporated (MICCA Inc.) based in Brgy. Kasapa II, La Paz, Agusan del Sur held at DA Regional Office today March 3, 2016.

DA Caraga was represented by Regional Director Edna Mabeza while MICCA Inc. was represented by its president Pedro Francisco Hernandez known as Datu Bunanat.

The Manobo community is set to receive one unit of a 4 wheel drive farm tractor, one unit corn mill and one unit corn sheller worth P2.5M.

Hernandez said that the support of the Department of Agriculture is the realization of their hopes and aspirations to improve the IP community.

“This is not only an opportunity for people of La Paz, it is the future of our town,” Datu Bunanat said.

He said that the provisions from DA will help them in developing initially the five-hectare land to be planted with corn.

Members of the group envisioned to expand the corn areas to come up with a plantation type of operation along with other commodities suitable for their area.

DA’s support to the Manobo community of La Paz complemented the vision of LGU to increase production efficiency and reduce production costs by mechanizing critical field operation and contribute to the food sufficiency program of the government.

DA RFO 13 is implementing the Corn Program, a major component of the Medium Term Agriculture Development Plan to ensure national sufficiency in corn and promote empowerment in the countryside by enabling farmers to raise their income. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)