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Finally, cases related to Fertilizer Fund Scam reach court

abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – The seven-year old Fertilizer Fund Scam is finally moving, with the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision to file before the Sandiganbayan two cases related to it.

Two graft charges were filed last April 7, naming as respondents incumbent Sorsogon Provincial Governor Raul R. Lee, accountant Raul G. Hernandez and provincial treasurer Ofelia D. Velasco.

A 22-page resolution recommending indictment was submitted to Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez by graft investigation and prosecution officer II Judy Anne Doctor-Escalona way back November 24, 2008.

It stemmed from the complaint of Sorsogon provincial board member Rebecca De Leon Aquino, who accused the officials of undue injury to the government by approving the purchase of 2,133 liters of Bio Nature Liquid Fertilizer from supplier Feshan Philippines Inc. in 2004.

The fertilizer was bought at P1,500 per liter against a prevailing market price of only P180/L or an overprice of more than 800 percent.

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando C. Casimiro finally approved the indictment resolution last March 29 “pursuant to delegated authority”.

Interestingly, page 21 of the resolution also showed it was Casimiro who “recommended approval of Escalona’s resolution” after Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Bureau (PARB) Director Mary Antonette Yalao signed her concurrence on the document.

According to graft investigators, the purchase was accomplished through two separate transactions involving payment for 133 liters of liquid fertilizer on May 6, 2004 for P189,525 and another 2,000 liters for P3 million on June 28, 2004.

Auditors noted the officials approved the purchases via “sole or exclusive distributorship” even if there were other comparable substitutes in the market.

“It is evident that the province proceeded to purchase the fertilizer without conducting any price canvass and evaluation report…thereby making it perceptible that the acquisition of the Bio Nature Liquid Fertilizer was tailored for Fershan Phils. Inc. which appears to be the exclusive distributor of the said brand,” the Ombudsman resolution pointed out.

The disbursement vouchers for both transactions were signed by all three accused. Auditors noted the money came from a P5 million allocation extended to the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit V (DA-FRU V) under the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA).

Auditors also noted only P3.25 million of the purchase has been accounted for. Details of the P1.75 million balance are unclear.

Auditors also noted the type bought is “not the appropriate” one for the province because its prime product is ‘pili.’ A foliar/liquid fertilizer was suitable mostly for ornamental hanging plants like orchids.

Prosecutor Escalona recommended that bail bond for the accused be set at P30,000 for each count of graft.

Cleared were Feshan executives Ma. Eunique Galang and Redentor Antolin due to insufficient evidence against them.

Filed under: Agriculture, Sorsogon News Updates, , , , , , , ,

Convergence Benefits Four Municipalities

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY , April 11 (PIA)– The four municipalities of Juban, Casiguran, Magallanes and Sorsogon City were recipients of several projects during the project launch of the Sorsogon Convergence Initiatives on Rural Development held here at Paradise Hotel last week.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over the Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP) 2 which includes rural infrastructure projects, community development programs, survey and agro-enterprise development projects to the municipalities of Juban, Casiguran and Sorsogon City.

USEC Gerundio C. Madueno together with DAR Region 5 regional director Maria Celestina M. Tam turned over the manifesto and description of projects to Mayor Ester Hamor of Casiguran, Mayor Olivia M. Bermillo of Castilla and Mayor Leovic R. Deoneda of Sorsogon City who are the focus of the convergence initiatives..

These three local governments are the pilot areas of the convergence initiative program to run for 5 years from 2011 to 2016.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) headed by Secretary Ramon Paje and region 5 regional director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada turned over to the three local government units under the convergence program the DENR program component which is the Integrated Agroferestry Production /Support to the National Greening Program.

The project includes the establishment of agroforestry farms and maintenance of the existing assisted natural regeneration project in their areas.

In support to the national greening program which these three municipalities will support as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding which earlier during the launch they have signed will include the production of forest and fruit trees for distribution to their identified areas for planting.

DENR have also turned over to these municipalities titles of alienable and disposable lands, the title of issuance of free patents for agricultural lands and issuance of patent for school site.

The programs and projects also given to these three local governments from the Department of Agriculture was turned over by USEC Bernadette Romulo-Puyat together with DA Region 5 regional director Jose V. Dayao which includes Livelihood Projects Facilities, equipments, and other interventions by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The project includes tilapia , bangus fingerlings, prawn, post larvae, tilapia breders, seaweed seedling dispersal; distribution and establishment of the Municipal and City Tilapia Hatchery, Mariculture Zone, Post Harvest Facility, Aquasilviculture Project, Fishing Gears Distribution, Seaweed Input Assistance and the re assessment of the Fish Sanctuary in these three local government units.

These three municipalities also received from the DA small water impounding projects from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) which was turned over by Dr. Silvino Q. Tejada.

Two units of pump and engine sets were also turned over by Dr. Tejada to Congressman Salvador H. Escudero III.

The local government of Casiguran, Castilla and the City of Sorsogon also received Communal Irrigation Project and Communal Irrigation Service Extension from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) thru Engr. Antonio S. Nangel , NIA administrator.

Mayor Roque L. Carranza of the municipality of Magallanes also received the Farm Mecahnization and Post Harvest Program Retrofitting of Mechanical Dryers thru PHILMEC as a separate program from the convergence initiative program implementation.

This project includes provision of farm machineries and dyying facilities such as hand tractor, thresher, flatbed dryer and multi-purpose drill pump in together with the three cluster local government of Castilla, Casiguran and Sorsogon City.

Additional project also turned over includeed the retrofitting of the existing kerosine fed mechanical dryers with rice hull furnace in the City of Sorsogon.

Other projects turned over to the three municipalities, as pilot LGUs of the convergence initiatives program were projects from the Fiber Indusry Development Authority, the Organic Demo Farm by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Project Standards (BAFPS), the Nursery Developmet, Cassava Development Project in Casiguran and Castilla, the farm to market roads in Burabod-Palanas- Road, distribution of Irrigation pumps and the Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) project in support of the Credit Programs by the Agricultural Credit Facility.

The project launch was a success and the three municipalities piloted will be monitored closely and regularly according to the two congressmen of the the province of Sorsogon, Hon. Salvador H. Escudero III of the 1st district and Hon. Deogracias B. Ramos of the 2nd district.(PIA-Sorsogon)

Filed under: Agriculture, Environment, Get Involved, Government, Sorsogon News Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DAR Sorsogon in cyberspace

SORSOGON PROVINCE – LATEST issues about the DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) Sorsogon could be found in DAR’s newest site www.dar.gov.ph/sorsogon.

This webpage was created to facilitate the students and researchers with their studies especially in information and data gathering, so that, they don’t need to travel just to get these in the DAR’s Office at Brgy. Balogo, Sorsogon City.

DAR Sorsogon’s website was officially launched by Roseller R. Olayres, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II on October 20, 2009 along with the launching of other DAR Regional and Provincial Offices’ websites nationwide. The creation of these websites happened in response to the fast changing technology of the present generation.

Available data/information that can be obtained in http://www.dar.gov.ph/sorsogon includes: history of the organization of DAR Sorsogon; its organizational structure; the provincial officers; the three major components of CARP; accomplishment reports; DAR Ladies Association; Gender and Development; Human Resource Development; DAR Employees Association; PDMASP (President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program); Foreign Assisted Projects; Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries’ Stories; news; and many more will be added in the coming days.

The presence of website is very helpful to Sorsogueños in many ways: there is no need for the students and other clientele to travel far just to obtain information because they can get it from the site through the internet; the media can pick the latest issue from news corner of the DAR Sorsogon website; the courage of farmers in fighting poverty are being featured and read even international which inspires them; the status of accomplishments are made transparent to the public for their monitoring; and for those who have queries, they can send their messages to the email provided in the site and the webteam assures that every mail they received will surely reach the hand of the PARO II or any concerned personnel.

Although the website is not yet a year old since its creation, the very first DAR WEB Assessment and Strategic Planning Workshop was held in Cebu City in order to review and evaluate its performance. Said planning workshop was conducted by DAR Central Office – National Web Team chaired by Atty. Jim G. Coleto.

The event was attended by 31 provinces from Luzon including Sorsogon. Each province has its own DAR Web Team Structure.

In Sorsogon it is composed of only three personnel that will maintain its operation: the Chairperson – Roseller R. Olayres, PARO II; and 2 members – Gilbert Goingo and Alura Arbolente.

Goingo is assigned in uploading and posting of the latest reports from PMEU (Provincial Monitoring and Evaluation Unit), while Arbolente is assigned in the writing and provision of news and other valuable information.

As to the design and colors, Arbolente serves as the “drafter” while Goingo is the “finalizer”. Finished designs will still pass through the approval of Olayres.

“Now that DAR Sorsogon is already in the cyberspace, we invite everyone to visit the site to learn more about our office and its programs,” said Olayres. [ajarbolente, DAR Sorsogon]

via: http://pia-sorsogon.blogspot.com/2010/06/dar-sorsogon-in-cyberspace.html

Filed under: Agriculture, Department of Agriculture,

Former OFW runs a farmers’ co-op

A civil engineer who worked for six years in Saudi Arabia returned to his hometown of Sta. Rita, Pampanga, in 1992 and decided to make farming as his main source of livelihood by planting rice and vegetables in his own three hectares. He is Fidel David who finished his engineering course in 1987 at the Guagua National Colleges.

Knowing the difficulty of some of his barrio mates in Brgy. San Matias in making money from farming, he thought of organizing the Bangon San Matias Multi-Purpose Cooperative that initially engaged in palay and vegetable trading. He believed that by engaging in trading, his fellow farmers will have a better opportunity to sell their produce at a better price.
His cooperative is small compared to other groups. They have only 26 regular members and 15 associate members. But being small has its advantages. It is much more manageable and the members could be served more efficiently.

The members grow high-value vegetables such as different varieties of pepper, hybrid tomato, eggplant, cucumber, squash, upo, sitao and several others. Most of them usually devote 2,000 or a bit bigger to vegetables which is quite profitable. Last September, David planted Django, a hot finger pepper, on 2,000 square meters. He started harvesting 65 days later, and during the peak production month of December and January, he was harvesting 1.5 to 2 tons every five days. The price was as much as P190 per kilo but the price went down later. The plants were still productive during our interview last May 22 but the farmgate price had gone down to P15 to P20 per kilo.

The co-op is helping the members by giving production loans not in cash but in kind. For pepper production, the amount is P10,000 to P15,000 while it is P25,000 to P35,000 for ampalaya. David said that the farmer can net P70,000 to P80,000 from his 2,000 square meter ampalaya plantation.
He confesses that it is not easy to open up markets for their vegetables. He remembers they had really difficulty penetrating many public markets in Pampanga because he suspects that there are syndicates controlling the markets. He says, however, that they are concentrating on the markets in San Fernando and Guagua in Pampanga, and Dinalupihan, Bataan.

David is very thankful that the Department of Agriculture gave them a free space at the Cloverleaf Market in Quezon City last year. With this David is very upbeat about the prospects for growth of his cooperative because their products could now be sold to direct buyers.

By ZAC B. SARIAN

Filed under: Agriculture, Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, ,

SAVE YOUR HEART WITH PILINUTS

The healthy goodness of nuts can be traced way back to ancient history when only the royals were given the privilege to eat the luscious morsel because they have known that nuts are good for the heart.

Over the past years, various researches have shown that nuts are indeed nutritious and one of the best plant sources of protein and other vitamins.

In the Philippines, exporters have began capitalizing on the nutrient advantage of nuts by creating a myriad of healthy versions of the local Pilinut.

Pilinut is a popular native variety of nuts in the Philippines that is abundant in the Bicol region. People love it as a dessert, an appetizer, as a pasalubong, or just a snack to while away time because of its zesty flavor and delightful crunch.

Recognizing the healthy benefits of pilinuts and realizing its huge market potential, companies from the Bicol region such as J. Emmanuel Pastries, Sweetven Enterprise, and C.O.P. Pili Sweets and Pastries start venturing into healthy pilinut-based products business. These companies are introducing their pilinuts-made items at the forthcoming 7th International Food Exhibition on 6-8 May at the World Trade Center.

Philippine company J. Emmanuel Pastries started producing pili nut-based products as a gift or pasalubong. Their products have captured the discerning taste of the public and they have catered to markets such as Japan. After realizing the huge market potentials of pilinuts, Lydia Lomibao, owner of J. Emmanuel Pastries, quit her job and focused in producing and developing pilinut-based products.

“We soon found out that aside from its luscious and distinct taste, pilinuts have more to offer. Through our continuous product research and development we found out that pilinuts are very good for the heart so we started producing healthier pilinut snacks,” said Lydia Lomibao, owner of J. Emmanuel Pastries.

The company’s efforts were rewarded as the regional Department of Health (DOH) recognized them as the “Most Outstanding Healthy Lifestyle Advocate”.

Meanwhile, another company based in Bicol, Sweetven Enterprise also ventured into the pilinut business as the demand for sweets but healthy snacks continue to rise. “We were inspired by the belief that everybody loves sweets but because of the demand for healthy food and abundance of pilinuts in our place we came up with different versions of pilinut products that also promote healthy eating. We strongly promote our pilinut products as source of protein and other vitamins that are good for the heart,” said Rachelle Abordo, Owner and Manager of Sweetven Enterprise.

According to Abordo, their best seller is the Dark Chocolate with Pilinuts because of its indulging taste without the guilt. “Our products are made from high quality plinuts that are good sources of calcium and other vitamins and dark chocolates proven to be good for the heart,” added Abordo.

On the other hand, C.O.P. Pili Sweets and Pastries owners couple Erwin and Cindy Pereña grabbed the opportunity of the increasing demand for healthy, delicious snacks and pasalubong hence, they started manufacturing the “Wrapsody” or formerly known as “Chewy Pili Caramel”, a pilinut-filled pastry. They also started incorporating other healthy ingredients such as chili and garlic in creating pilinuts-based products. To date, C.O.P. now offers Hopia de Pili, Pili Puffs, Mini Mazapan, Chili Garlic Pili, Nutty Bar and Sugar Coated Pili.

“Our products are new and unique compared to other pilinuts-based products, but because people know the healthy benefits they can get from nuts, particularly pilinuts, we have expanded our business to also penetrate the international market,” said Cindy Pereña, owner of the C.O.P. Pili Sweets and Pastries.

Nowadays, all kinds, shapes, and brands of nuts line the grocery shelves- imported and local ones. Nuts have become popular because they are very versatile and present numerous health benefits.

Highlighting the health benefits of the pilinuts-based products, these companies will introduce their pilinuts snacks in the international market through their participation in the Best of Partner Region Program (BPRP), a component of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX), the Philippines must-attend food event.

The BPRP, with its bid to provide a higher level of enhancing the quality, product acceptability, and marketability of select food and beverage products of previous partner regions participants, is led by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

This year, join this gastronomic journey of Philippine food from the regions as the 7th edition of IFEX Philippines feature the best products from five regions. Local gastronomic finds from Regions IV-A (Calabarzon), V (Bicol), VII (Central Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao), and XIII (Caraga).

For more information on IFEX Philippines, visit http://www.ifexphilippines.com.

Source: http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=412180&Itemid=33

Filed under: Agriculture, Food and Drinks, Health Tips, Healthy Living,

Return to botanical pesticides, farmers urged

By Danny O. Calleja/PIA

Castilla, Sorsogon (7 June) — Sorsogon Vice Governor Renato Laurinaria has urged farmers in the province to start participating in a nationwide drive against the extensive use of harmful agricultural chemicals particularly pesticides by way of returning to botanical pesticides.

“Let’s go back to the basics of using botanical pesticides in our farms and save lives while earning more profits from our crops,” Laurinaria told dozens of farmers from all over the province who visited his agro-tourism farm here over the weekend.

The two-hectare farm which the vice-governor started five years ago boasts of several species of high-yielding fruit trees, root crops, vegetables and other high value crops grown and maintained without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides.

“I go natural and organic, and you see, without worrying about chemical farm inputs that are poisonous yet very expensive, my harvest gives me more profit than those who rely on chemicals,” he said.

It is a common knowledge that modern agriculture produces high yields but is often not sustainable. Expensive farm chemicals eat into profit. Pesticides upset the natural balance between predators and pests and chemicals poison groundwater and rivers.

He cited a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) saying every year, hundreds of thousands of people are killed due to accidental poisoning by agricultural chemicals.

“Three people are poisoned by pesticides every minute around the world and all in all, about 10,000 die annually due to pesticides,” the WHO report according to Laurinaria.

The AgribusinessWeek in its latest publication reports said that 62 percent of pesticides sold in the Philippines are insecticides. Of these, 46 percent are applied to rice and 20 percent to vegetables. Insecticides had become one of the major expenses of farmers that account for about 40 percent of total production cost.

Experts say people who are eating chemical-laced vegetables are risking their lives since chemicals are not always dissipated. Generally, chemicals are accumulated in the human body.

The lack of regulation in most developing countries like the Philippines often accounts for the importation of banned pesticides. In some instances, farmers try to apply untested chemicals which they think could drive away insects and pest. In 1992, the illegal use of cyanide compounds by cabbage farmers in the Cordillera region provoked a public outcry.

In time, the use of botanical pesticides again gains wider acceptance among farmers. Botanical pesticides are derived from plants which have been shown to have insecticidal properties. Used widely until the 1940s, these natural pesticides were displaced by modern synthetic pesticides that at that time seemed cheaper, easier, and longer lasting.

The increasing awareness of the dangers posed by chemical pesticides to human health is prompting many Filipino farmers to use botanical formulations that they themselves are preparing, the AgribusinessWeek said.

Eric Vinje of Planet Natural in an article said “natural pest controls like the botanicals are safer to the user and the environment because they break down into harmless compounds within hours or days in the presence of sunlight.”

They are also very close chemically to those plants from which they are derived, so they are easily decomposed by a variety of microbes common in most soils, Vinje added.

Many plants have insecticidal properties. Extracts of these plants can be sprayed on the crop to either kill or repel insects. Take the case of atis, which is best used against aphids, ants, and other crawling insects. The seed of the fruit is crushed and mixed with water. The solution is sprayed against target pests, according to Laurinaria.

Manzanilla, on the other hand, he said drives away a wide range of insects. To use it as a pesticide, dried flowers are finely chopped and mixed with fine clay loam and water at the rate of six to seven tablespoons of dried flowers per gallon of water. The mixture is sprayed on infested plant parts.

Tubli, a wild vine, has an ancient reputation as a botanical pesticide. Ethnic groups in the Philippines have long been using it to poison unwanted fish. In Brazilian rivers, it is used to eliminate the deadly piranha.

Tubli’s insecticidal properties were discovered in 1848, when the plant was first used against the nutmeg caterpillar. It was patented for use as an insecticide in England during the late 19th century, and American farmers started using it in 1911.

Applied as a powder or spray, tubli is toxic to a wide range of insect pests-aphids, beetles, borers, the diamondback moth, fruit flies, thrips, cabbage worms, fleas, flea beetles, lice, loopers, mites, mosquitoes, psyllids, and slugs. It is recommended for application on bush and vine crops, too, Laurinaria said.

Another excellent botanical pesticide is kakawate. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that kakawate leaves contain coumarin, which can be converted into an anticoagulant “discoumerol” found to be an efficient rat killer.

“Anticoagulants are an efficient natural method of pest control because they reduce the protein prothrombin, a clotting agent secreted in the liver, and eventually cause death from internal bleeding,” the FAO noted.

Tests have shown that while the toxin produced by kakawate does not act rapidly, repeated doses lead to fatal hemorrhaging within a few days. “Unlike many other poisons, anticoagulants do not produce bait shyness, which rodents tend to acquire as soon as the first victims of other poisons are taken,” the FAO said.

Aside from rodents, kakawate also acts potently on insects. In many countries, its leaves are placed in chicken runs, or left to soak in hot water and used to eliminate fleas and lice on domestic animals.

In Ilocos region, a study made by the Mariano Marcos State University found out that kakawate leaves can be used to control diseases that attack garlic like purple blotch and bulb rot. To prepare the concoction, the leaves are pounded using mortar and pestle.

After that, one liter of water is added to a kilogram of pounded kakawate leaves. The mixture is filtered and sprayed to the plants infested by pests.

In the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, organic rice farmers sprayed their crops with fermented leaves and twigs of kakawate and neem trees to control pests and diseases. Some farmers found it convenient and effective, also, to just allow the kakawate leaves to drift to their farm when they irrigate.

In Baguio, a botanical pesticide prepared from kakawate leaves and other herbals are used against pests that attack cabbage and broccoli like cabbage butterflies, diamondback moths, leafminers, and inchwoitits.

Many other plants can also be used to prepare extracts with pesticidal properties. A mixture of garlic, onion, marigold, and hot pepper can annihilate a wide range of insect pests.

To prepare the concoction, the following are boiled in water for 10 minutes: three to four garlic gloves, two handfuls of marigold leaves, two to three onion bulbs and two to three small hot peppers.

It is left to cool before diluting the mixture with water four to five times the quantity of the botanical materials. Stir thoroughly and spray on infested parts. The mixture is best used within two days.

“Botanical pesticides are one answer to the pest problem in developing countries,” says Gaby Stoll, a German agrobiologist and author of Natural Crop Protection. However, she sounds a word of warning: Not all botanicals are risk-free. “Some are as dangerous as chemical pesticides,” she warns.

But Stoll says the move from chemical to botanical pesticides is “an important step in the search for a balanced, self-regulating agricultural system.”

Another advantage of botanical products is that they are not very persistent. Most of them will break down quickly under influence of high temperature or sunshine. Therefore, they don’t have a long lasting contaminating effect on the environment. (PNA Bicol/CBD)

Filed under: Agriculture, Encouragement, People who inspired Us, Sorsogon News Updates,

DA turns over coco coir processing project

The Department of Agriculture of under its RP-Spain project recently turned over the 3.7 million coco coir processing and marketing project. This is a grant-assistance from the Spanish government through the Agencia de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarullo (AECID).

It aims to facilitate technology adoption, resource utilization and to add value to existing economic activities of the agri-stakeholders in the rural areas. Included in the project component is the establishment and provision of processing facilities which the Castilla Development Cooperative (CADECO) in San Rafael Castilla, Sorsogon is one of the recipients.

CADECO BOD chair Ireneo D. Din said that 98% of their members are coconut and rice farmers. The cooperative has been existing for 22 years and has over eight million assets. He proudly declared that their long years of existence is due to the strong participation and cooperation of their 350 members.

The cooperative’s business activities include: palay/rice trading, rice mill and palay drying. With the establishment of the coco coir processing project, Din is optimistic that more farmers will benefit from the project as coconut husks are just left to rot in the field after copra making, but now it can be converted to cash. He was also thankful to the Local Government Unit of Castilla headed by Mayor Olive Bermillo for giving the counterpart for the installation of the 3-phase electrical installation.

OIC Regional Executive Director Marilyn V. Sta. Catalina said that the cooperative will not be successful if the members did not support the economic activities and the officers did not work hard for its success. Study shows that only few cooperatives are making good in their economic activities. She emphasized that on the part of the DA priority is given to organized cooperatives with good track record.

She challenged the cooperative to continue to serve the farmers in Castilla and the neighboring towns. She lauded the efforts of the officers for their continuous assistance and hard work to keep the cooperative afloat. She also mentioned that the cooperative maximized use of the flatbed dryer installed in the CADECO compound because record shows they were able to generate additional income of Ps 42,000 from drying palay alone.

SAIS-BC project coordinator Ernesto Parato disclosed that the region has 32 project beneficiaries. He urged the cooperative to treat the project as their business in order to generate income. He said that given the technology and the right management the project will benefit many members.

One plus factor of the project is the ready market. JUBOKEN enterprise is buying the coco coir and a marketing contract has been forged between CADECO and JUBOKEN. The project is equipped with coco coir shed, hauling truck, decorticating machine, bailing machine and electric pump. The project is jointly implemented by DA and the Philippine Coconut Authority.

There are two varieties of coir. Brown coir White coir

Brown coir is used in floor mats and doormats, brushes, mattresses, floor tiles and sacking.

The major use of white coir is in rope manufacture. Mats of woven coir fibre are made from the finer grades of bristle and white fibre using hand or mechanical looms. White coir also used to make fishing nets due to its strong resilience to salt water.       Source: Department of Agriculture April 12, 2010 (Philippines)  http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=84595

Filed under: Agriculture, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Inspiration, Invest in Sorsogon, Negosyo Tips, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

Sorsogon exec hails bamboo as a cash crop

CASTILLA, Sorsogon—Vice Gov. Renato Laurinaria of Sorsogon is urging farmers and landowners in the province to grow bamboo because of its potential as a cash crop.

Its versatile qualities make bamboo not only a material for chopstick-making, poles, furniture, handicrafts, fishing gears and housing, among others, but mainly a source  vegetable that would generate good income for growers due to its demand from both the domestic and international market, the vice governor said on Monday.

Research and studies show that bamboo shoots contain 18 amino acids and less carbohydrates, crude fat and crude fiber which make it an ideal vegetable for health-conscious people, Laurinaria said.

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau has reported that bamboo’s main nutritive values seem to be associated with hematopoiesis, or the regeneration of high-energy containing compounds and improvement of protein metabolism.

“I have initiated a bamboo-planting program under our community-based Resource Management Project along riverbanks and on hilly terrains here during my nine-year term as mayor of this town.  That was before I was elected provincial vice governor. I have since been pushing for a province-wide initiative,” he said.

Other farmers in the locality have planted bamboo around their farms as fence or as windbreak that do not easily die or get damaged by typhoons, drought and even by fire.

The Castilla plantation is now a source of bamboo shoots that command a good price in the local market. Considering that grated and boiled shoots sell at around P25 per kilo, Laurinaria said, the many shoots weighing over a kilo each that are harvested from a clump is already a good source of income.

Compared with other agricultural crops that are planted every year or even twice a year, bamboo is planted only once and dies only when it has flowered after 30 years, making it more advantageous for farmers.

There are no problems in planting materials because farmers can start with native varieties, locally called botong, kawayan, oras and marurugue, all source of edible shoots.

“Since our climate is tropical, the Philippines had become bamboo’s natural home as it can be grown even near the residential areas and on any type of soil,” Laurinaria said.

Citing a publication of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), he said planting bamboo for shoot production entails digging a hole of 2x 2×1 meter in dimension, which must be filled with soil and composts.

Planting materials either in the form of cuttings or prerooted cuttings preferably, should come from one-year-old culms rather than from older ones, although they could be used.

The cuttings with one whole internode and two nodes are the best. Internodes which are not hollow should not be used. The recommended distance of planting is 8×6 meters, he said.

The PCARRD publication, Laurinaria said, also reported the two ways of planting cuttings, which are not prerooted, prior to setting them in the field. These are the horizontal and the vertical systems.

For the horizontal, the cuttings are laid horizontally in the hole with the eyes at the sides then covered with two-thirds layer of soil.

The vertical system is done by burying the lower node 5 centimeters below the surface of the node with the soil covering and reaching the upper half of the next internode.

 

Agri-Commodities
Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent   
Friday, 12 March 2010 19:36
 

Filed under: Agriculture, Livelihood, Sorsogon News Updates,

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  • August 19, 1909: First race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    On this day in 1909, the first race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, now the home of the world’s most famous motor racing competition, the Indianapolis 500. Built on 328 acres of farmland five miles northwest of Indianapolis, Indiana, the speedway was started by local businessmen as a testing facility for Indiana’s growing automobile industry. The […]

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