08032019-2230. The Biodynamic System of Rice and Root Intensification (BioSRRI).

08032019-2230. The Biodynamic System of Rice and Root Intensification (BioSRRI).

This photo was taken on August 2, 3 days after transplanting on the Fruit day of August 29, 2019 ( it seems nothing is growing – the transplanted field indicator of SRI). It’s a full BioSRRI with BD 500 (from Biodynamic Agriculture Association India, BDAI) soil spray b4 transplanting. The living diverse weeds biomass on the left serve as forage for 3 cattles (2 still coming) and a refuge of beneficial insects.

Prior to harvest of this BioSRRI, the forage area will be prepared for the next planting- it’s harvesting manure and urine of cattle and the live biomass (roots and leaves) as principal source for Soil Organic Matter (SOM) to effectively regenerate soil health and carbon sequestration. After harvest, the field serves as the forage area of cattles. The area rotation cycle continuous with a cropping intensity of 2 times per year. In this way, application of solid bacterial fertilizer is an option but not necessary- the manure and plant/weed biomass sufficient to internally renegenerate soil health and/or fertility.

This is a 9,000 m2 or 0.9 hectare of 1.44 hectare alluvial ricescape dedicated to at least 3 Locally Adapted Varieties (LAVs) of black, white and red. The remaining 5,000 m2 or 0.5 hectare is for the built-in functional ecointensification microstructures to co-create climate-resilient family farm entrepreneurial school, eg. perimeter NFTs to buffer flooding and contamination from chemical pesticide drift, process protein and nitrogen source for livestock/poultry and soil health regeneration, respectively,

renewable energy from 4 CM biogas and 158 watts solar panel, combined piggery of cement floor and biomass bed for manure biogas feed cum low carbon and moderate carbon sources, respectively, for Bacterial and Fungal Biofertilizer production, harvested rain water and VAJ Transformative Education Hall (TEH) among others of the self finance Biodynamic Rice-based Ecointensification Agriecotour Diversified Learning Investment in Family Farm Entrepreneurial School (BREAD LIFE Family Farm Entrepreneurial School) of SAFEGCC INC ( Sustainable Agriculture Family-centrred Entrepreneurial Group of Co-Creators, Inc.

DA Caraga empowers barangay officials as partners in agri-development

BUTUAN CITY, July 11 — To promote agricultural development in the region, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga continues to build a partnership with the local government units to support farming endeavors.

The Department recognized that barangays served as the primary unit of government where basic services are being delivered to constituents.

As such, DA highlights the need to empower barangay officials of its programs, projects, and services and inform them how to avail of the agri- interventions.

A total of 306 punong barangays and barangay kagawads handling Committee on Agriculture participated in the recently conducted Information Awareness Caravan dubbed agri-barangayan – a dialogue with barangay officials from Butuan City and Agusan del Norte.

“DA’s desire is to empower the barangay officials with information for them to become active partners in agricultural development in their respective areas of responsibility,” said Regional Information Officer Emmylou T. Presilda.

During the forum, topics on how to avail of DA services and interventions were thoroughly discussed. Information on training and E-Learning from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) was also shared while Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation gave inputs on Crop and Livestock Insurance. Philippine Coconut Authority also gave their share of topics to shed light on the programs for coconut farmers. 

From the information he acquired, Barangay Kagawad Mateo P. Diango is now interested to attend agri-related seminars.

“As a Kagawad handling Committee on Agriculture, it is important for me to be aware of the programs of the DA and its attached agencies so that I can guide the farmers in our barangay,” he said.

The Agri-Barangayan part of the campaign aims to bring the government closer to the people.

With the positive feedbacks gathered from the first leg, DA’s Agri-Barangayan will soon cover other provinces in the region. (Rhea Abao, DA Caraga/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Mechanization transforms Caraga farms

BUTUAN CITY, July 17 — Agricultural modernization is one of the key interventions of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to support the farmers and make them more competitive in an open rice market.

The DA-Caraga through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) turned over the 110 units of mechanical rice transplanters to 110 eligible farmer associations and cooperatives from the different provinces in the region with a total worth of ₱30.4 million last July 12 at the DA-Integrated Laboratories Compound, Brgy. Taguibo, Butuan City.

RCEF is a safeguard mechanism of the Rice Liberalization Law wherein ₱10 Billion annual appropriations for the next six years, will be allocated to rice farm machinery and equipment, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion and expanded rice credit.

Just in time for the year’s first cropping season, DA responds to the call of the rice farmers to make their farming more productive and less laborious by granting them with modern farm facilities. Mechanizing rice farms maximizes land and labor productivity thereby increasing the economic returns to rice farmers.

“DA is distributing first the mechanical rice transplanters so that our farmers will now take charge of their planting schedule and not be dependent on seasonal labors,” said DA-Caraga Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Alberto D. Ocampo, Jr.

“Aside from it, we wanted to reduce their workload through the use of the machine. This intervention is for free for eligible farmer groups. Mechanizing our rice farms in the region is our way to reduce their production cost at the same time increase their yield,” he added.

According to the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), the average cost of production of rice in the country is ₱12.00 per kilogram. With this, DA and its partner agencies aim to bring it down to ₱8 per kilogram through agricultural modernization.

“The labor cost during planting season is becoming more expensive it costs us ₱6,000-₱7,000 excluding the pulling of seedlings, aside from the planting contract, laborers also demand free meals,” said Felisa C. Hambala, Chairperson, Bayugan 3 Irrigators Association one of the recipients from Rosario, Agusan del Sur.

“We are very thankful to the government that they give attention to our needs because through their assistance labor cost in our farming will reduce,” added Hambala.

The PhilMech study revealed with the use of the machine, it can give a yield of 4.71MT/ha compared to the 4.24MT/ha using the direct seeding method and 3.90MT/ha for manual transplanting.

“We are encouraging our farmers to make use of the interventions that they receive from the DA.  The recipients should ensure the safety of the equipment while in their custody and optimize its utilization,” said RTD Ocampo.

Necessary operations and management training were also conducted to the beneficiaries to ensure proper and efficient use of the equipment which also includes seedling preparation.

Ultimately, it is the Department’s commitment to transform Caraga farmers to become more productive and competitive through strengthened access and use of efficient mechanized rice farming technologies. (Rhea Abao, DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)

Starting 2019 with a Bang! ATI Inks Partnership with MVC

Mountain View College (MVC), a Seventh-day Adventist Institution in Valencia City, Bukidnon is ATI’s newest partner in eLearning and Organic Agriculture. During the MOA signing, MVC was represented by its President, Dr. Gladden O. Flores, Vice President for Academic Affair, Dr. Hope S. Aperocho, and Dean Ronilo C. Inocencio of the College of Agriculture.

During the MOA signing. From L-R. Ms. Maria Lydia Echavez, Dean Ronilo Inocencio, Dr. Aperocho and Dr. Gladden Flores.

For ATI, OIC Director Alfredo S. Aton was ably represented by ATI-RTC X OIC Center Director, Ms. Maria Lydia A. Echavez and OIC Assistant Center Director and eLearning Coordinator, Ms. Noemi Beth G. Macario.
As part of the agreement, MVC will include eLearning not only for its students in Agriculture but also those in other Colleges and the High School. The school will also promote eLearning to their Industry partners as part of their continuing education. On the other hand, ATI committed to assist in the development of the schools’ 1,024 hectares towards farm tourism. Presently, various cash crops and highvalue crops are planted in the school demo areas. ATI aso committed to assist in the capability development of its teachers, students and outreach partners especially in the field of Organic Agriculture.

The school caters to both students from the Philippines and other foreign countries. It is known to advocate healthy lifestyle, thus their quest towards organic agriculture. The majestic campus is located on a 2,500-foot plateau. It faces Mt. Kalatungan and Mt. Kitanglad. The College’ vast area includes farmlands, forests, and ranch lands. It is ideal for agri-based industries and an excellent training ground for students’ hands-on experiences. Within the school property is the breathtaking Malingon Twin Falls.

How technology is innovating agriculture in the Philippines

Agriculture typically involves manual labor but certain innovations in the sector have made it more technologically-inclined. (The STAR/File photo)

GUIYANG — Agriculture industry originally relies on manual labor but certain integrations of technology into the sector has definitely leveraged its own growth and development.

In other countries, for instance, they have started to roll out particular innovations in order to boost their agricultural systems.

China, which is known for its massive landscapes of grasslands and mountains, has been integrating technology into the development of their agriculture, particularly kiwifruits or kiwi.

The Asian giant is reclaiming the fruit as their own since the seeds originally came from them, and not in New Zealand as the misconception.

China’s Xiuwen county has established itself as one of the major producers of kiwifruits in the country. They have successfully integrated technology into the production and manufacturing of kiwis. (Photo by Jeline Malasig)

In Guizhou province, they have developed the Traceability Management System for Agricultural Products in Xiuwen County.

This system gathers any kind of information relevant to the kiwi plantation’s environment, from its climate to soil pH levels. It also monitors if the kiwifruit trees have diseases or not.

Furthermore, detailed data on each fruit is collected and stored for analysis—such as its size, sugar content and sugar-acid ratio.

Technology for innovation 

While the Philippines has yet to fully improve and develop its own agricultural sector, there have been initiatives done to help farmers through technology as well.

F1 hybrid seeds have been used in corn production in the Caraga region. It is to “ensure sustainable production in prime corn lands,” raise the average yields of corns per hectare and increase the income of marginal corn farmers in the region.

Other papaya-producing countries like Taiwan have similarly incorporated F1 hybrid seeds into their production. According to reports, it has resulted in “high-yielding” and “great tasting” papayas.

Intelligent farming equipment has also helped farmers increase their field productivity. One example is the WR-801 Multi-Function Hand Tractor that can do the job of ten people at once.

The machine can perform weeding, double-row tilling for fertilizer application, rotavation and furrow forming for corn fields and vegetable plots.

The country also completed what could be considered its “first and biggest” solar-powered irrigation system last May 2018. Piñol said that it could irrigate up to 500,000 hectares.

On the same month, Japanese-made drones have been utilized in three Benguet towns to spray fertilizer on vegetable farms located on mountain slopes. It was intended to lessen the farmers’ hours in the field.

The government also created a website specifically designed to help farmers in crop planning. Called Farmers Guide Map, it assists farmers in identifying suitable crops to be planted on their lands. It also provides data on climate conditions and soil adaptability.

In addition, different applications have also been developed as well.

Rice Crop Manager app, a web-based platform, provides recommendations to farmers in crop management based on their own farm conditions.

AgriDOC app enables farmers to record their activities and monitor farm inputs, improve their farm tasking and guide them in farm management.

KROPS app lets farmers market their own products at their own prices and help potential buyers find sources of farm products within their own area.

Editor’s note: The trip to China was hosted by the Chinese embassy to promote tourism. At no stage does the host organization have a say on the stories generated from the coverage, interviews conducted, publication date and story treatment. Content is produced solely by Interaksyon.com following editorial guidelines. 

Israeli–funded solar irrigation in Laguna nears completion

MANILA, Philippines — The Israeli government is set to complete two solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) in Laguna as part of efforts to help ensure sufficient rice supply in the Philippines.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the  LR Group of Israel subsidiary Innovative Agro Industry would soon  complete the replacement of the diesel engine-powered water pumps and another one using underground water from a deep well in Lumban in Laguna.

Apart from the two SPIS units, the Israeli government is offering a P44 billion long term loan to the Department of Agriculture to build an additional 6,200 units to serve an estimated 500,000 hectares nationwide.

The LR Group offered to establish two models of their solar irrigation technology, one is designed to replace the diesel engine-powered shallow tube wells where farmers spend about P15,000 per hectare per planting season just for the fuel,” Piñol said.

“The other would be a deep-well sourced solar powered irrigation designed to provide water in areas where there are no open sources for water,” he said.

Some of the components of the SPIS were designed and fabricated in Israel and shipped to the Philippiaes for installation under the supervision of Israeli engineers and experts.

The demonstration area in Laguna is targeted for completion within the month.  It will then be presented by the Israeli ambassador to President Duterte.

The technology introduced by the LR Group is seen to increase rice production by four million metric tons of paddy rice per annum.

Piñol has emphasized the need to irrigate more lands in the country to boost the production of rice and other high value crops.

“The inability of the country to cope with the rice needs of its consumers is mainly because of the fact that of the estimated 2.9 million hectares of rice farms, only about 1.2 million are effectively irrigated where farmers could plant twice a year,” he said.

The DA has already constructed around 200 SPIS units all over the country but it needs to irrigate 500,000 hectares by the end of Duterte’s term.

Innovative Agro Industry was among the Israeli agriculture firms that met with the DA to explore possible business opportunities for bilateral cooperation during the last forum hosted by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute and the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

The Philippines is  looking  at Israel for the development of new technologies for the agriculture sector.

DA, DILG to provide solar water systems for off-grid barangays

The Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior and Local Government will team up to provide water for irrigation as well as for drinking to far-flung barangays

WATER SOURCE. The Department of Agriculture seeks to provide water to far-flung barangays, with the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will be signing a memorandum of agreement to launch a solar-powered water supply program for off-grid barangays.

In a Facebook post, outgoing Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said this program will give water to rural areas for both irrigation and drinking purposes.

The DA and the DILG will target barangays which rely on open sources of water and lack enough power sources.

The joint program, which will be under the DA’s existing solar-powered irrigation system project, will start by August. (READ: Department of Agriculture eyes more solar irrigation facilities in Laguna, Rizal)

“The absence of water supply in the remote villages also affect the food production activities of the residents, especially those planting vegetables and other crops for their subsistence,” Piñol said.

The DILG will identify the barangays for the project, while the DA will build the system, which will source water from springs or deep wells.

The DA will also organize farmers to be more involved in vegetable farming and other agribusiness opportunities.

Earlier, the DA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also met with Aboitiz Power Corporation to launch a floating solar farm in Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi. This will power an ice-making and cold storage facility.

Piñol said the farm will also serve as a fish convergence area for the community. The DA will provide a P20-billion fund for the floating solar farm prototype.