Thursday, June 29, 2017

DA Caraga Promotes Urban Agriculture

Urban areas can be a productive source of food through urban gardening.

Thus, Gender and Development (GAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture Caraga conducted an urban agriculture and gardening training for DA employees on May 31, 2017.

Participants proudly pose with their output
DA-GAD focal person Isabelita Ocampo said that they intend to include all DA employees on the said training hence it is divided into four batches with the recent as first batch.

“Each of DA employees can be a role model for our respective community in promoting urban gardening; in the process we can help attaining food sufficiency,”  she said.

Participants were taught how to plant vegetables and herbs and spices in an environment friendly way with resource persons Norvien Mantilla and Geovani Jabagat of Research Division.

With limited space on urban areas, participants learned how to plant utilizing empty plastic containers, thereby it promotes recycling. 

Ocampo said that through urban gardening, families could ensure safe and healthy foods.

“No need for us to buy vegetables or species from the market since we have our own source and at the same time we can use our plants in beautifying our respective homes,” she said.

One of the participants, Rosalinda Galon, who planned to retire soon of Agribusiness and Marketing Division (AMAD) said that what she learned could be a possible avenue for her to attend to after her retirement.

“When I retire at least through gardening I still have source of income, enjoyment, physical fitness, and I can employ house aesthetic more,” Galon said.

DA Caraga Regional Director Abel James Monteagudo lauded the activity as he encouraged each and every employee of DA Caraga to be an advocate of urban agriculture. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Vegetable Garden by the Sea

Actual photo of the garden by the sea
Can you imagine a vegetable garden in the middle of the sea? Does it sound peculiar?

It may sound unusual from other places but not in Barobo, Surigao del Sur.

Ermilinda Cortez, a resident of Sitio Anunang, Brgy. Gamut in the said town raised a vegetable garden in the fish pen located few meters way from the seashore.

She said that while conducting monitoring on the milk fish (bangus) production project under the Anunang Gamut Fishermen Association (AGFA), a project funded by  Department of Agriculture through the then Mindanao Rural Development Project it tickled in her mind to raise vegetables to maximize her time.

Ermilinda is a member of the monitoring team in the said association.

“Since I was a child, I really love gardening so every time I have a chance, I would do it,” she said.  

She then started to bring soil every time she visited the project riding in the small banca and placed it in the plastic container and used sacks.
Interview with Ermilinda Cortez of Sitio Anunang, Gamut, Barobo, SDS

From the vegetables seeds she received from DA through Municipal Agriculture Office of Barobo she sowed it diligently.

She tendered various vegetables such as vine spinach (alugbati), kangkong, bottle gourd (upo), petchay, lemon grass (tanglad), string beans, tomato and more.

Watering the plants is the tedious part since it is located in the sea with no source of fresh water. To solve her dilemma, she innovated a way to capture the rainwater. She put a gutter in the roof of the small hut within the fish pen and drained it to a water container through a funnel and a hose.

With tender care, the vegetable garden of Ermilinda by the sea had grown vigorously.
Now, after her monitoring duty in the project, she would go home with a bagful of vegetables enough for her family and to be shared by her fellow association members.

“If I was able to raise vegetables in the sea, no reason that others who are residing in the mainland could not plant as well,” boasted Ermilinda. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


Monday, May 29, 2017

Caraga RAFC Chair Assumes DA Farmer-Director

Recognizing the significant role of the Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC), the Department of Agriculture has empowered them by designating the RAFC Chair as Farmer-Director.

 Farmer Director Pedro Lim at Rosario, Agusan del Sur
During the flag ceremony on May 2, 2017, Caraga RAFC Chair Pedro T. Lim was formally introduced by DA Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James Monteagudo as Farmer-Director for the whole month of May.

The designation of Lim is in pursuant to the Memorandum Order duly signed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol as a token of recognition and to further strengthen the partnership between DA and RAFC.

As Farmer-Director, Lim will assume the roles and tasks of a DA-RFO Director in the implementation and dissemination of key programs of the agency.

However, their authority shall be limited to non-policy determining activities which should not in any way affect the government accounting rules and procedures as well as the civil service rules and regulations.

The Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFC) is the mechanism for private and public sector partnership in the development processes of the agriculture and fisheries sectors at the regional, provincial and municipal levels.

AFC now on its 30 years of existence, conducts monitoring and recommends agricultural projects, as well provide policy recommendations for the government decision makers.   

The celebration of May as Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s month is in pursuant to the Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Order No. 88 series of 2005 to give due recognition to the contribution of farmers and fisherfolk in the national development. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


DA Caraga Turns-over P20M BUB projects in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur

Road network is vital for development in every human endeavor including the agricultural sector.

Thus the Department of Agriculture continues to implement farm to market roads (FMR) to ease the burden of farmers to deliver their produce to the market.

Recently DA Caraga turned-over an FMR project amounting to more than P19 million to the local government unit of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur funded under the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB).

The said project is the 1.5 kilometers road upgrading of Poblacion to Piglawigan Road jointly funded with the LGU as counterpart.

Aside from road project, DA Caraga also turned-over the completed rehabilitation of the Municipal Agriculture Office warehouse amounting to P1 million.

The said edifice will be the storage area for various inputs and supply for the farmers in the said locality.

Esperanza town mayor Leonida Manpatilan expressed her gratitude to DA for extending its projects and services to her town.

“We are grateful that DA has been a keen in assisting our farmers, thus it contributes to our goal to uplift their lives,’ she said.

DA Caraga Field Operations Division chief Rebecca Atega said that road is vital in agricultural development through faster and convenient delivery of agricultural products.

The town of Esperanza is part of the cluster areas for corn production in the region. Other agricultural crops are also planted in the area such as rice, vegetables and other.

BUB is one of the major government’s reform initiatives aimed at making the national government budgeting process more responsive to local needs. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


DA-ACPC Extends SURE Recovery Loan Package for Flood Affected Farmers

Sure and faster way of helping affected small farmers to recover from recent severe flooding in Caraga Region has been given an utmost priority of the government through the Department of Agriculture nowadays.

One of the approach is giving the farmers an access to avail a recovery loan package of maximum to P25,000.00 per borrower without an interest and payable of up to 3 years.

The loan package called the Survival and Recovery (SURE) program will be implemented through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) in coordination with banks, cooperatives and other financial conduits whichever is accessible to the affected areas.

ACPC Administrative Officer Noel Clarence Ducusin said that SURE program is an immediate response of the government to help the farmers for faster recovery from damages incurred due to intermittent weather conditions.

“After Secretary Emmanuel Piñol saw in person the extent of damage on farms during his personal visit here in Caraga Region, ACPC immediately formulated the guidelines for this kind of loan package,” Ducusin revealed.

As per guideline, SURE recovery loan package is extended for small farmers whose farms incurred considerable damaged due to the flood and situated on an area declared under the state of calamity.

Small farmer refers to farmer whose land area is not more than five hectares. The loan package is also open for fisherfolks.

The said loan package is designed to finance the requirements of rehabilitating the farms, and or livelihood activities of fisherfolks to include production inputs, repair of farm or fishery assets, acquisition of livestock or working animals.   

As of writing, 12 municipalities in Agusan del Sur, 3 municipalities in Agusan del Norte and the City of Butuan had been declared under the state of calamity due to Typhoon Auring and the Tail-End of the Cold Front.

Currently, ACPC is awaiting the final lists of affected farmers who may qualify the loan portfolio from the respective local government units to ascertain the needed amount and to give the go signal to the financial conduits to start releasing the loan package. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)


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.