Initial data signal record rice yields

UNMILLED rice harvest in the first quarter of 2017 rose more than 5% year on year with hybrid rice seed driving the expansion

Citing data from the Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) which provides the agency seasonal reports on harvests, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said that output for unmilled rice, or palay, stood at 4.14 million metric tons (MT) in the three months to March, up 5.34% year on year.

Headded that “for the first time in the history of rice farming,” results indicated a 4.15 ton yield per hectare, breaking the previous record of 3.9 MT per…

Read more: Initial data signal record rice yields

Coco coir eyed vs soil erosion

MORE popularly known as ‘bunot’, coco coir which used to be a useless by-product of coconut tree is now gaining attention from the scientific community after research showed that it could be used as an effective tool against soil erosion.

No less than the Mining and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has certified that the coco fiber is useful erosion tool and that it is compliant with the provisions of Mining Act.

Because of the coir’s potential, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on the use of…

Read more: Coco coir eyed vs soil erosion

Protection of rice farmers sought

WITHOUT appropriate protection from the government, particularly the Department of Agriculture (DA), farmers will be ultimately burdened by the entry of more rice imports following the expiration of quantitative restriction (QR) on the product.

Quantitative restriction is a mechanism which provides limits to the importation of rice to protect local farmers who will suffer once the restriction is eventually lifted.

Economists however are divided over its continued implementation since while it protects the farmers it is seen to keep the prices high to the detriment of the consuming public.

In one of his press briefings, former Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio…

Read more: Protection of rice farmers sought

LEGISLATING “NEW PHILIPPINE AGRICULTURE”

THE farmers’ children are no longer interested in farming but would rather work in CALL CENTERS. This is the observation of Sen. Cynthia Villar, newly appointed chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and fisheries and would like to do something about it. 

It is also for the same reason that Sen. Villar has instructed TESDA to accelerate its FARMING SCHOOL PROGRAM for the training of young farmers. 

The same has been observed among the "sacadas" of sugar farms. There are now less farm workers in sugar plantations because their children that are now working in CALL CENTERS…

Read more: LEGISLATING “NEW PHILIPPINE AGRICULTURE”

By Mico Agustin

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has announced that top executives of giant pineapple firm Del Monte Philippines Inc. has agreed to provide technical and management support as well as marketing contract to Bangsamoro farmers who will produce Cavendish bananas and other tropical fruits for the corporation.

The move was made after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his desire for the company to help the Bangsamoro operate their own farms and give them the opportunity to cash in on the lucrative market for tropical fruits by engaging them in a production-contract scheme.

"Let the Bangsamoro people get more benefits from their land by making them the producers and not just lessors," the President said.

The development was a complete turn-around for the Bangsamoro areas which were shunned by agricultural investors just few years ago because of the endless fighting between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and even rogue members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Read more: Del Monte lends hand on Bangsamoro farmers

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