Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dr. William Dar & His 'Inang Lupa' Advocacy

DR. WILLIAM D. DAR, the director general of the International Crops Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in India. expounded on his advocacy for inclusive agricultural development in the country in his keynote address before a gathering of research managers on April 11, 2014.

The occasion was the 24th annual conference of the Philippine Association of Research Managers (PHILARM) at the Amigo Hotel in Iloilo City. The research managers are mostly from state universities and colleges all over the country and agencies of the Department of Agriculture.

He stressed the extreme challenges that the country faces today brought about by climate change. And in this regard, he challenged the research managers to support his "Inang Lupa" advocacy. This is a movement that calls for inclusive development of agriculture, meaning that the small farmers, most specially, are the beneficiaries. The movement calls for science-based technologies for a resilient agriculture, and the development should be market-driven. The agricultural products, which include value-added products, should have a market.

Very important is for government support for the organization of farmers' cooperatives or associations in order to undertake collective action.

Dr. Dar, by the way, is the first Filipino to head ICRISAT, and the only one so far whose term was extended two times. He is serving his third term that ends in December 2014. At the of his term he will return to the Philippines to personally spearhead the implementation of his advocacy. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

ISU Exec Bats For Rubber In Cagayan Valley

DR. WILLIAM MEDRANO, vice president for Research and Extension of Isabela State University, revealed that a roadmap for rubber production in Cagayan Valley has been crafted. The goal is to plant 10,000 hectares to rubber in the next 10 years. The areas have been pinpointed in both east and west sides of the Sierra Madre.

The Cagayan Valley Rubber Planters Association has been formed with Charles Lim heading the initial 20 members. Dr. Medrano said that a P15-million budget has been endorsed to an influential government official for the funding of nurseries that will supply the needed planting materials.

Dr. Medrano has already talked to Dr. Pablito P. Pamplona about the initial planting materials of a recommended variety that is for a dual purpose. This means that the variety is good for the production of latex as well as for timber. When the trees shall have passed their prime in producing latex, the trees could be harvested for lumber. The lumber could be used for making furniture as well as for construction.

The dual-purpose variety could be targeted for the manufacture of furniture for the European market. Dr. Medrano explained that the importers in Europe prefer furniture made of wood not harvested from the forest.

Dr. Medrano has also scheduled Region 2 farmers to go on a tour of rubber plantations in Mindanao from May 21-24, 2014. 

Dr. Pamplona, by the way, is a retired professor from the University of Southern Mindanao who now operates a big nursery for rubber, oil palm and fruit trees in Kabacan, North Cotabato and in Compostela Valley.

(Note: We talked with Dr. Medrano on April 11, 2014 during the Philarm Convention at the Amigo Hotel in Iloilo City.)

Gerry Leal Wants To Copy Juanito Rama's Technique

GERRY LEAL, an OFW who claims that he is an avid reader of our blog, has sent us a comment. He wants to know the protocol followed by Juanito Rama in producing 20.6 tons of corn (13.5% moisture content) per hectare. That was posted on March 26, 2014. He said he would like to adopt the technology followed by Mr. Rama in his own two-hectare farm in Tupi, Cotabato.

Well, following Mr. Rama's exact technique might not necessarily give the same result. The condition of the soil in Mr. Rama's farm might not be exactly the same as Mr. Leal's. Mr. Rama planted his corn the no-tillage way after harvesting his rice in late November when the soil still had enough moisture. There are also other factors that can affect the outcome of the crop like weather condition and production management.

Anyway, no harm in trying. We advise Mr. Leal to contact Mr. Rama himself and probably Mr. Rama can provide useful suggestions. Here's Mr. Rama's contact number. 0917-321-6987. Good luck Mr. Leal.

We know Mr. Rama freely shares his know-how in farming. He organized a most successful cooperative that has been joined by 18 other farmers' cooperatives to form a federation with about 8,000 members.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


DR. PEDRITA MEDRANO, Director of Extension of the Isabela State University, is the new president of the Philippine Association of Research Managers (PHILARM).

She was sworn into office last April 11, 2014 together with the other officers of the organization at the Amigo Hotel in Iloilo City. This was during the 24th annual Philarm Convention which focused on "Mobilizing Research Managers for Climate-Smart and Resilient Philippines."

The other officers are: Ricarte Castro of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), vice president; Dr. Merian Mani of Romblon State University, secretary; Dr. Joy Eusebio of PCAARRD, treasurer; Ms. Juanita Salvani of DA-Regional Field Unit X, representing Mindanao; Dr. Melvin Carlos, business manager; Dr. Florie Gapido of University of Rizal System, auditor; Dr. Cristeta Gapuz of DMMSU, PRO; Dr. Jonathan Nayga, representative of the Luzon Cluster; Dr. Fe Perlas, representative of the Southern Luzon Cluster; Dr. Jaime Cabarles Jr., representative of the Visayas Cluster; Engr. Roger Bagaporo, representative of the Mindanao Cluster; and Ms. Almira G. Magcawas, Executive Officer.

The officers and members of the board were sworn into office by Dr. William Dar, director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). He was also the keynote speaker in the convention.
RICARTE CASTRO, vice president.
DR. JOY EUSEBIO, Treasurer

Bannawag Editor and His Fruitful Mini Makopa

Cles Rambaud and his fruitful Mini Makopa.
CLES RAMBAUD, editor of Bannawag Magazine, is thrilled no end by the profuse fruiting of his Mini Makopa grown in a plant box on the deck of their home in Caloocan City.

The small fruits in brilliant red are seedless and are very nice to eat. They are crisp and juicy, especially after placing them inside a refrigerator for a few hours.

The colorful fruits can also used in vegetable salads to provide color as well as special flavor to salad greens of lettuce, cucumber and other ingredients. In fact, when Josephine Costales saw the Mini Makopa at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal, she and her husband decided to grow the fruit tree for the commercial  production of fruits that will go with their other salad crops. They bought a lot of mother trees for their organic farm in Majayjay, Laguna.

Rambaud said that he only fertilized his Mini Makopa with composted kitchen wastes. He believes that if he had also applied Durabloom organic fertilizer and sprayed the tree with Power Grower Combo, the fruiting would have been even heavier. Actually,  his wife  had picked much of the fruits before the picture posted here was taken,.

Cless quips that with his fruitful Mini Makopa, he hopes that his wife will be convinced that it is time for him to buy his own farm.
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