Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Batanes Researcher At the Exhibition

Zac B. Sarian, left, with Dr. Roger Baltazar at the
Batanes exhibit booth at the exhibition marking
the 25th anniversary of the DA-BAR at the SN
Megamall in Mandaluyong City August 9-12.

Dr. Roger Baltazar was one of the interesting fellows we met at the exhibitions marking the 25th anniversary of the Bureau of Agricultural Research at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City last August 9-12.

He heads the research and extension division of the Basco State College in Batanes. He is a very active researcher, and one fruit tree that he is obsessed in studying is the Arius tree botanically known as Podocarpus costalis.

This is a tree that is indigenous to Batanes where it freely produces berry-like fruits. This tree produces abundant berries that could be made into various processed products.

While the Arius tree is also grown in other parts of the country, especially in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, it does not produce fruits as it does in Batanes. The tree makes a good landscaping material and some bonsai hobbyists are also making it into their favorite bonsai.

One of the products from Arius that Dr. Baltazar exhibited was Arius wine. Other products included pastillas, jam, tart and others. Dr. Baltazar and his colleagues are expected to develop more products from the Arius fruits in the near future as the Bureau of Agricultural Research is about to release a P1.5 million research grant to fund further research either on new products or improvement of the current products.

Batanes is one place where production of organically grown products can be undertaken. It is isolated from the rest of Luzon and special organic produce could be commercially developed.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Natural Farming Seminar: Sept. 19-21, 2012

A three-day seminar on Natural Farming will be conducted by Andry Lim of the Tribal Mission Foundation International on September 19-21, 2012.

This will be held at Flor's Garden in Antipolo City. This is a well-developed natural farming project of Florencia "Flor" Tarriela. The place is cool, filled with fruit trees, ornamental plants, forest trees and shrubs. It has well-equipped facilities for staying overnight and for conducting seminars, retreats and the like.

Andry Lim is a pioneer in natural farming techniques in the Philippines. He has been conducting seminars on this topic all over the Philippines.

For reservation and other details of the seminar, contact Fely at 0919-556-7121.

Vangie Go & Her Exhibit At P.O.S. Show

VANGIE GO, president of the Philippine Orchid Society, is very proud of her prize-winning orchids at the P.O.S. Orchid and Garden Show at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City (Aug. 30 to Sept. 10, 2012). These include the floriferous Fire Orchid (Renanthera philippinensis) and Waling-Waling (Vanda sanderiana). She is shown here with her exhibits complete with four Major Cups for her first-prize winners. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

DELIA ALBERT: Obsessed With Avocado

Retired Lady Ambassador Delia Domingo-Albert is obsessed with planting avocado. When we met her at the gala dinner for the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees on August 31, she said more avocados should be planted in the Philippines for processing into health and wellness products.

When she received an award as outstanding alumna of the University of the Philippines, she planted 70 avocados in her native Baguio to mark the occasion. She could have planted more had there been available planting materials.

When she was invited to be a speaker in Dumaguete City, she told the organizers that she would only accept the invitation if she would be given the chance to plant avocado in Dumaguete. That's one way of pushing her advocacy.

She says she needs a lot of grafted avocado seedlings. She lamented the fact that when she went to UP Los Banos, she was able to buy only 60 grafted seedlings.

She related that Nelson Mandela had planted thousands of avocado in South Africa and they are now extracting avocado oil which they sell at a high price to Europe, particularly in Germany.

We were quite surprised when she said she reads our columns in the Manila Bulletin. We never thought she would be interested in agriculture.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dragon Fruit From Susan Roces

Photo shows this blogger, Zac B. Sarian, holding one of the fruits of Dragon Fruit from Movie Queen Susan Roces.

Ms. Roces must have been so thrilled with the many fruits of the Dragon Fruit she planted in her home garden, she sent some of her harvest to friends, including this blogger, last August 28, 2012.

Her gesture has inspired the editors and staff of the vernacular magazines Liwayway, Bannawag, Bisaya and Hiligaynon to also grow their own Dragon Fruit. That was after they tasted the fruits from Ms. Roces. We promised to give them some planting materials from our farm in Teresa, Rizal.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jackfruit Grower On Agriculture Cover

JOB ABUYABOR is an enterprising farmer who specializes in producing jackfruit in his 7.8-hectare farm in Brgy.San Isidro, Mahaplag, Leyte. In 2003, he planted 1,000 jackfruit of the Eviarc Sweet variety in between his mature coconuts. The trees have been producing a lot of fruits in the last few years. In 2011, he harvested 40 tons. This year, he expects to harvest 70 tons, thanks to science-based techniques he has adopted like the prevention and control of the dreaded phytophthora disease. His Eviarc Sweet jackfruit produces high quality fruits in terms of sweetness and aroma. Cover photo was taken by Melpha M. Abello.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Susan Roces Is Dragon Fruit Queen

Sliced dragon fruit from the garden of
Ms. Susan Roces which she sent to ZBS
Movie Queen Susan Roces is also Dragon Fruit Queen as far as the
editors of Liwayway, Bannawag, Bisaya and Hiligaynon magazines
are concerned. They enjoyed tasting the dragon fruits from Ms. Roces.
Editors and staff of the vernacular magazines published by the
Manila Bulletin show slices of the dragon fruit sent to this blogger
by Ms. Susan Roces, a most popular movie actress and endorser
of affordable but effective medicines. 
THIS BLOGGER, Zac B. Sarian, got the most pleasant surprise of his life today, August 28, when most respected Movie Queen Susan Roces sent us a bag full of dragon fruits she harvested from her garden. We shared the fruits with the editors and staff of the Liwayway, Bannawag, Bisaya and Hiligaynon Magazines and they certainly enjoyed eating the healthful fruit. And in fact they suggested that Ms. Roces might as well be called the new Dragon Fruit Queen.

Here's Susan Roces' letter that accompanied the fruits written in her own penmanship. Here it is:

Dear Mr. Sarian,

Let me share with you my joy from the dragon fruit harvest I got from my garden.
A few years ago a friend gave me the plant she said she got from your plant nursery in Teresa. I planted it in a pot and took good care of it yet the growth was so slow. It bloomed and gave me one fruit.

In one of the issues of your Agriculture Magazine, I saw pictures and read the article on how they were grown in the Ilocos region, in sunny areas in plots propped in poles.
To blend with the rest of the landscpe in my garden I had two plant boxes made with an entry way in the center, installed wire mesh across, filled the boxes with garden soil and dried chicken dung. I bought a few more dragon fruit plants and added them to what I originally had.
With not much care they grew so fast and lush and in a few months had lovely white blooms which later developed into fruits.
The red fruits looked so beautiful on the vine. I enjoyed looking at them first before harvesting.
Thank you Mr. Sarian for propagating and making us aware of plants and trees and how they can give us so much pleasure.
Susan Roces

Monday, August 27, 2012

Berba Is Rodius edulis From Brazil

Thanks to Joseph Reyes, he provided the botanical name of Berba which is from Brazil. He says the botanical name is Rodius edulis. When we posted it in our blog (June 17, 2012), a number of page viewers commented. One lady said she used to see a lot ot Berba in her native Sorsogon. Another commented that Berba is very common in Bicol.

Joseph Reyes said that the small fruit tree was brought by the religious orders who settled in Bicol long time ago. That is why some people call it native to the Philippines. Now we know, it is a native of Brazil and its scientific name is Rodius edulis.

ZBS To Talk On Exotic Fruit Trees Sept. 1, 2012

Zac B. Sarian showing fruit of imported pummelo variety
he harvested from a tree grown in a rubberized container.

This blogger, Zac B. Sarian, will talk on exotic fruits this Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, at 3 to 5 pm at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. He is one of the speakers in the lecture series in connection with the Midyear Orchid and Garden Show of the Philippine Orchid Society. The show runs from August 31 to September 10, 2012.

Sarian, with the aid of a power point, will discuss the money-making opportunities in growing exotic fruit trees. These include Abiu from Brazil, durian, rambutan, pummelo, jackfruit, mango, variegated orange, key lime, pomegranate, cacao, avocado, miracle fruit, mangosteen, imported makopa, atis, guyabano, longkong lanzones, duku lanzones and others.

Pulasan Bears Fruit In Teresa

DR. JULIO DUMO JR. and Pulasan Fruits at Teresa Orchard & Nursery
For the first time a Pulasan seedling planted seven years ago at the Teresa Orchard & Nursery in Teresa, Rizal is bearing fruit. The seedling was brought from Malaysia by Dr. Pons Batugal who used to work for an international agency in Kuala Lumpur.

When he turned over the seedling to us, he said that this Pulasan is the best variety that they have in Malaysia. Of course, we are excited to taste the Pulasan once the fruits ripen. We have not tasted one before.

A visitor to Teresa, Dr. Julio Dumo Jr., was also excited to see the fruiting Pulasan and he posed for a picture of the still green fruits. He has not also tasted this exotic fruit. He is a medical doctor who loves growing and eating fruits.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Her Salted Eggs Last For 8 Weeks!

Dr. Jovita Datuin (left) and the family of Ricky Malolos.
Ricky is a duck raiser who has adopted the salted egg
technology developed by Dr. Datuin.
Salted duck eggs made with autoclaved
clay, a technique developed by Dr. Datuin.
Dr. Datuin and her salted eggs.
One interesting agricultural researcher has come up with a technique for making salted duck eggs that have a shelf life of as long as eight weeks or two months.

That means, it can even be exported to other countries where there are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who love eating our native delicacies.

The researcher is Dr. Jovita Datuin who heads the Agricultural Research Center of the Department of Agriculture in Region I based in Bacnotan, La Union. She displayed her special salted duck eggs at the recent agricultural exhibit staged by the Bureau of Agricultural Research at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Dr. Datuin explained that there are at least three other methods of making salted duck eggs. One is simply soaking the eggs in a brine solution – meaning salt and water. The shelf life of salted eggs made this way may be only two weeks.

Another way is coating the eggs with ordinary clay and salt without any curing or sterilizing of the clay. The resulting salted eggs may last for three or four weeks.

Then some people heat the clay in a vat to sterilize the material before mixing with salt for coating the eggs. Normally, the salted eggsproduced this way will last for four weeks or a little longer.

Dr. Datuin’s method is different. She uses special clay gathered from the termite mound which she sterilizes with the use of an autoclave. The microbes in the soil are killed by the extreme heat rendered by the autoclave. Which means that the material is very sanitary.

The eggs are also well selected. For one batch of making quality salted eggs in her autoclaved clay method, she recommends selecting 250 pieces of fresh, clean and crack-free eggs. The eggs should not be more than three days old.
The eggs should be candled to make sure that they are fresh, free from cracks and not stale. Wash the eggs with soap and water.

The next step is to pulverize 1.5 kg clay then heat the same in an autoclave for one hour. After autoclaving, mix the autoclaved clay with 1.5 kg salt (good for 250 duck eggs).

Next, add enough boiled but cooled water to the autoclaved clay and salt mixture. Mix well until the mixture becomes muddy in consistency. Then coat the eggs individually with the clay mixture.

After coating the eggs, arrange them in containers like a pail, big clay pot or box. Cover the same with cellophane, and cure for 20 days. This means letting the eggs in the containers stand for 20 days in a cool dry place.
After 20 days, wash the eggs thoroughly. Separate cracked eggs if there are any. The eggs are then ready for boiling in medium fire for four hours.

After boiling, cool the eggs, then arrange them in egg trays. Again, separate those with cracks.

You can now store the eggs at room temperature. They will stay in good condition for at least eight weeks.

By the way, Engr. Ricky Malolos who has a big duck farm in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, is adopting the technology developed by Dr. Datuin. He plans to produce salted eggs the Datuin way in commercial scale.

Salted eggs, especially the kind that uses the Datuin technique could be sold at a higher price than the ordinary kind. Today, the going price is P10 to P12 apiece, depending on where the eggs are sold.

A Practical Home Composter

Photo shows Arsenio "Toto" Barcelona with his portable home composter that he displayed at the recent exhibition at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City staged by the Bureau of Agricultural Research. The composter comes with a pack of Bokashi that is needed in composting kitchen wastes and other biodegradable materials found around the home. It is very sanitary and does not have foul smell because of the action of beneficial microorganisms that enhance the decomposition of the waste materials. In just a couple of weeks, the kitchen wastes become organic fertilizer. Barcelona is the owner of Harbest Agribusiness that distributes hybrid seeds and many other agricultural implements and inputs.

Bus Station Is Good Market

We remember a disabled soldier who decided to grow guavas in Northern Mindanao after he was discharged from the army. He was able to produce a lot of fruits. At first, he brought his harvest to the public market by the sacks. There were very few buyers, however. Many of his fruits remained unsold.

Then he thought of something bright. His brother-in-law was a sweeper in the bus station where passengers wait for the next trip. The guava grower asked his brother-in-law to display his guavas on a small table at the station. Lo and behold! His guavas became  best sellers. His brother-in-law sliced some of the fruits and packed them in transparent plastic ready for eating or bringing home. One pack only cost P10 so it was very affordable. Of course, the unsliced fruits also sold well.

Calalmansi Buyers Harvest What They Buy (Farm Tip 31)

We remember a calamansi farm owner in Samar we interviewed several years back. He had a unique way of selling his product.

Instead of harvesting the fruits and selling them in the market, he waited for the buyers to go to his farm and let them harvest what they wanted to buy. That way, he did not spend for harvesting. Best of all, all the fruits harvested were paid for.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Workshop On GMOs on Sept. 27, 2012

A one-day workshop on Genetically Modified Crops (GMOs) will be held at the Traders Hotel on Roxas Blvd., Manila, will be held on September 27, 2012. 

This is under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Institutions (APAARI), through its program, the Asia-Pacific Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology (APCoAB) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

The workshop is being organized to provide a platform for discussing the status and current issues on genetic modification technology for agricultural develop in the Asia-Pacific Region. The event also aims to enable discussions on R&D initiatives as well as related policy issues on GMOs towards addressing food security and environmental sustainability. Crop R&D experts, representatives of concerned institutions from both private and public sectors, and NGO and farmer-representatives are invited to participate in the workshop.


1. Dr. Randy A. Hautea, ISAAA: Global Status of Adoption of Biotechnology Crops.
2. Dr. J.L. Karihaloo, APAARI: Status of GM Crops in India.
3. Raju Barwale: Commercialization of GM Crops in India.
4. Simeon A. Cuyson, CropLife: Commercialization of GM Crops in the Philippines.
5. Dr. Nina Gloriani, BCP: NGO Initiatives on GM Crops.
6. Rosalie Ellasus: Bt Corn Production: A Farmer's Experience.. 
7. Dr. B.M. Prasanna, CIMMYT: The Cimmyt Maize Program. 
There are several speakers in the afternoon on: The Philippine Biosafety/Regulatory System; DOST Biotechnology Roadmap; DA Biotechnology Roadmap; Bt Eggplant and PRSV-R Papaya; IRRI's Golden Rice Project; and Communicating the Truths and Myths About GM Crops.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Fertilizer Protects Crops From Solar Stress

Sinochem Crop Protection Philippines will launch this October 2012 a new fertilizer product that protects crops from the damage of too much exposure to sun's heat. It is called Purshade, a calcium carbonate-based fertilizer in liquid form which can be sprayed on fruits, vegetables and grain crops.

As a solar stress protectant, Purshade helps crops utilize water from the soil during drought period. Initial tests on Cavendish banana show that Purshade effectively reduced sunburn damage which is caused by extreme heat of the sun. Solar stress in the form of ultra-violet rays and infrared rays can be destructive to crops, resulting in low yields, according to Dennis Miciano, Sinochem technical manager.

In pineapple, tests showed that Purshade also reduced scalding, a physical damage that reduces the marketability of this fruit.

In corn, the use of Purshade resulted in more efficient use of water, reducing the need for irrigation by as much as 40 percent. 

Purshade has been certified by the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pilot is Fruit Enthusiast

Capt. Arlan Pacis, a pilot who who flies international routes for a popular airline, is a farmer at heart. He finds growing fruit trees very enjoyable, even if it is only in containers which he grows in a vacant lot in Paranaque City. His Vietnam pummelos which he bought a couple of years back are already fruiting. His Star Ruby makopa has already produced a lot of fruits, according to him during a phone conversation. 

He is looking for planting materials of the hybrid durian from Malaysia that has been fruiting at the Teresa Orchard & Nursery. Unfortunately, all the more than 50 grafted seedlings of the same were all bought by a grower from Davao. We told Capt. Pacis that we are going to multiply more of the Malaysian hybrid and we can reserve some for him.

He plans to develop a fruit farm in his hometown in Ilocos Norte.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

FEEDBACK: On Power Grower Combo

The Power Grower Combo fertilizer formulation of Alfonso G. Puyat has impressed Alex Fernandez of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. More than a month ago, he bought one pack of the special fertilizer for trial in his farm of rice and fruit trees. He was excited in telling us that a Longkong lanzones tree that he sprayed all of a sudden produced a lot of long-stemmed flower spikes.

He has also sprayed his young rice plants. He reported that the sprayed rice grew very fast with sturdy stems and leaves. That's why he went back to Manila to pick up three Power Grower Combo and two Heavy Weight Tandem, a formulation that facilitates the transport of potassium processed in the leaves to the flowers and fruits. The resulting fruits are bigger, more juicy and sweeter.

In the case of rice, Power Grower Combo is sprayed 8-10 days after transplanting. This is repeated 20 to 22 days after transplanting (DAT). The Heavy Weight Tandem is first sprayed 36-38 DAT. The second spraying is done at 10 - 20% panicle exsertion or when the panicles are coming out. Ten days before the first spray of Heavy Weight Tandem, the field should be side-dressed with chemical fertilizer (26-28 DAT) consisting of a mixture of 10 kg of 0-0-60 (muriate of potash)  and 1 kg. urea per 1,000 square meters of rice field.

These special fertilizer formulations are available at the Teresa Orchard & Nursery in Teresa, Rizal. Text or call 0917-841-5477 for more information.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Processed Onion In The Ilocos

Dr. Wilhelmina Castaneda showing
a pack of Miki noodles with garlic flavor.
DR. LUCIANA CRUZ  with shallot pickle.
Attending agricultural exhibits is really rewarding. You meet a lot of interesting people and you learn about their interesting products or technologies.

Just like, for instance, at the exhibits staged by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) last August 9-12 at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

There we met for the first time a townmate who has been doing research on shallot or what Ilocanos popularly call “lasona” or native onion. Elsewhere, the same onion is called “sibuyas Tagalog.”

Our townmate from Batac City is Dr. Luciana Torres-Cruz who is a home technology graduate from  Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), masters in Extension Education from UP Los Banos and another expertise for her PhD degree. Of course, she was excited to tell us about the products of her research project on native onion funded by BAR.

Through the BAR funding, she was able to develop technologies that could be adopted by investors in commercializing processed shallot products. These technologies are helpful not only to the investors in processing but also to the farmers who grow native onion.

There are times when farmgate price is so low that it will be a losing proposition for the farmer. Normally, the farmer has to sell his crop not long after harvest because without proper postharvest handling, the onion could spoil. Hence, the processing techniques developed by Dr. Cruz would be very helpful.

The products that Dr. Cruz has developed include shallot pickle which could be used as an appetizer. She says that she has developed an even more delightful appetizer which she calls confit. To produce this, the bulbs are cooked under very slow fire until they are almost totally dry. The other products are shallot chips and powder. These are also useful for homemakers in preparing their favorite dishes that require onion flavoring.

Of course, the research also included the improvement of production techniques in the farmers’ fields. The techniques include the use of organic fertilizer as well as organic biopesticide.

One biopesticide that has impressed Dr. Cruz is Antica, the first organic fungicide that was certified by the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). Antica does not only have fungicidal properties, it also has bactericidal effects. It was developed by Engr. Gigi Zaballero and is produced by Ahcil Laboratories in Cebu.

Dr. Cruz said that Antica is really effective against bulb rot and tangle top which are two serious diseases of onion in the Ilocos and elsewhere. She reported that the plants sprayed with Antica produced 20 tons per hectare. On the other hand, the counterpart plants that were sprayed with the usual pesticides used by the farmers yielded only 10 tons.

She said the farmers are really convinced about the effectiveness of Antica in growing their crops. Unfortunately, she said, Antica is not readily available in the Ilocos. It seems there are no distributors in the area.

Another researcher from DA Region 1 that we met at the exhibits was Dr. Wilhelmina P. Castaneda, another townmate who is also undertaking a research project funded by BAR. Her subject of research is garlic, both for improving production techniques in the farm as well as developing products that use garlic.

One of the little known products developed by Dr. Castaneda is ready-to-cook “miki” which looks like flat noodles. The product already has powdered garlic and some other flavoring. Miki is a long-time favorite of Ilocanos that is usually cooked during special occasions. But the old way is kneading the dough and then cutting the same into small strips with a pair of scissors.

DR.LUCIANA CRUZ (2nd from left)  explains to a customer,
Maribel Soriano, the uses of her processed shallot while
Dr. Wilhelmina P. Castaneda at right looks on.

Mama Sita Suckers At Teresa

Suckers of Mama Sita banana at the Teresa Orchard & Nursery
in Teresa, Rizal. They are ready for planting.
So many farm enthusiasts have been looking for planting materials of Mama Sita banana. Now, suckers that are ready for planting are available at the Teresa Orchard & Nursery in Teresa, Rizal.

Mama Sita banana was introduced from Thailand a few years ago. It has proven to be highly desirable. Its fruits are nice to eat as fresh or as cooked. Ripe fruits are nice to fry. One stallholder in Tarlac loves to make banana-cue out of Mama Sita. The fruit is very sweet.

Mama Sita produces a big bunch. The plant starts flowering in just 8 months from planting. The banana blossom is big and is very good for cooking as vegetable.

Teresa Orchard & Nursery is very accessible. It is along the road, about 30 meters from the boundary of Teresa and Morong, Rizal. It is on the right side of the road, coming from Antipolo. Teresa is the next town to Antipolo. You may call Rose Banzuela for more information of the suckers that are available at 0915-434-4216.

Antica Very Effective vs Onion Diseases

A research study in the Ilocos region found that Antica, the organic biopesticide developed by Engr. Gigi Zaballero of Ahcil Laboratories, is very effective against tangle top and bulb rot in shallot or the so-called native onion or "lasona" in Ilocos and sibuyas Tagalog in other regions.

Dr. Luciana Torres-Cruz of the Department of Agriculture, Region 1, said that Antica was sprayed in two cropping seasons by 58 farmer cooperators in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. The onions sprayed with Antica yielded 20 tons per hectare. On the other hand, those sprayed with other chemicals usually sprayed under farmers' practice yielded only 10 tons per hectare. The research study was funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the DA.

Dr. Cruz said the farmers are really convinced by the good results of spraying with Antica. The big problem is that Antica is not readily available in the Ilocos Region. It seems there are no distributors yet in the North. Antica is manufactured by Ahcil Laboratories in Cebu City.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Last 2 Days of BAR Exhibits - Aug. 11 12, 2012

special salted duck eggs at the

DA-BAR exhibits at the SM
Megamall in Mandaluyong City
DA-BAR Director Nicomedes Eleazar
Dr. Heraldo Layaoen and  Tonito Arcangel
pose with SPV 422 sweet sorghum at the
DA-BAR exhibits at SM Megamall.
You have Saturday and Sunday (August 11 and 12, 2012) to visit the product exhibits of the Bureau of Agricultural Research at the Mega Trade Hall of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. The event marks the 25 anniversary of BAR, an agency of the Department of Agriculture.
The exhibits and technology forum started last Thursday and will end
tomorrow (Sunday, August 12). The forums consist of two sections. One is technical whereas the other is popular or non-technical.

Today, at 10:30 to 11:30, the technology forum will be tackled by Dr. Rafael Espino who will discuss “Biochemical Genetic Markers as a Tool in the Identification of Onion Varieties.” Espino is a scientist from UP Los Banos.

The nontechnical topic will be on photography which will be discussed by Antonni Cuesta of Canon Philippines.

From 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., Josephine Ramos will discuss “Cacao and Coffee: Evolving with the Emerging Consumption Trends.” Ms. Ramos is from the Ka Tribu Ug Ang Lasang Foundation, Inc.

The popular counterpart will be discussed by Dr. Fernando Sanchez Jr. of UP Los Banos. He will talk on “Edible Landscaping: The Artistic Technique of Food Crop Production.”

From 2 to 3 p.m., the technical discussion will be conducted by Dr. Emilio Cruz of Central Luzon State University. He will talk on “Commercialization of 3-Way Cross Goats for Meat Production.”

At the same time, Zac B. Sarian, agriculture editor of Manila Bulletin and owner of Teresa Orchard & Nursery, will discuss his experiences in growing and propagating Exotic Fruit Trees. He will talk about the money-making potentials of different fruit trees that include pummelos, durian, Abiu, latexless jackfruit, imported makopa, variegated orange, Longkong and Duku lanzones, different mango varieties and others.

From 3 to 4 p.m., Ma. Salvacion Ferrer will discuss “Updates on Seaweed Farming in the Philippines.” She is from the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute.

In another venue, at the same time, Dr. Jonathan Nayga of Isabela State University will talk on “Harnessing Innovative Meat Products from Chevon and Mutton.”

Sunday will be devoted to the closing and awarding ceremonies.

Of course, the exhibits will still be there the whole day for visitors to see and to buy various products from different regions of the country.

You might want to see the exhibit of black pigs by the National Swine & Poultry Research and Development Center in Tiaong, Quezon. You will meet Dr. Flomella S. Alilio-Caguicla who can tell you about the money-making possibilities of the native black pig. They are studying the different types of black pigs from the North and other parts of the country. They are continually doing selections that could result in highly desirable traits.

Raising the black native pig for lechon making is one very good possibility. The native pig grows much slower than its white counterparts. It may take four months to raise it to lechon-size of 30 kilos. That is an advantage because the resulting lechon will be more tasty because the pig would have developed more muscle. The skin would be thicker so that when it is roasted, the skin is more crisp. (It may be noted that the white pig usually attains lechon size in 45 days from birth. That means, it has not developed much muscle and the skin is thin.)

You might also want to talk to Engr. Antonio Arcangel who is the pioneer in commercializing non-biofuel products from sweet sorghum. If you are lucky, you might be able to meet Dr. Jovita Datuin with her special salted duck eggs using a highly hygienic way or processing.

  Another booth you might want to see is that of IRRI. They have samples of submergence rice seeds for trial by farmers. Look for Joyce Pongan Avance and her colleagues from IRRI.

  Better attend the exhibits and lectures today. You will be happy you did.

Endear Yourself To Your Customers (Farm Tip 30)

We remember the late David Remandaban of Tacloban City who produced a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, fish and livestock. He ran the very popular Anibong Farms that had a stall in the Tacloban market manned by his wife and daughter-in-law.

During fiestas and Christmas, other producers would normally jack up their prices to take advantage of the big demand. But not David Remandaban. He maintained his usual prices during those special occasions.

There are only a few days of fiestas and Christmas during the year, he said. Why should I take advantage of my regular customers? After all, I owe my success in farming to them, he stressed when we interviewed him in 1989.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

He Maintained Just A Few Bulls (Farm Tip 29)

We remember a rancher we interviewed many years ago. Despite the fact that he had 200 female breeders, he maintained only five bulls which he used to breed hard-to-breed females.

He depended more on artificial insemination for a number of good reasons. He had a catalog of prize-winning bulls in the US and elsewhere. Anytime he wanted semen from any of them, he could easily order several vials at just $25 to $30 per vial.

It is much more practical to buy the semen than to buy the whole bull, he said. A champion bull may not even be for sale, but its semen is.

A top bull could cost $50,000 or more, so why bother buying the whole bull?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fence Only What You Can Afford (Farm Tip 28)

We remember a Manila couple who got four hectares in Batangas as their share of their inheritance. But their excitement was short-lived. They had read that the farm should be fenced before they plant anything, otherwise stray animals will eat whatever they plant.

They were downhearted because they couldn't afford to fence the four hectares. They had computed that they will have to spend P1 million to fence the whole area. They said they had only a small saving in the bank. maybe just enough to put up a modest farm house and an ordinary water pump. They certainly could not afford the high cost of fencing their property with concrete.

We suggested to them a doable option. They should fence only half a hectare which they could plant with their favorite fruit trees and vegetables. And we suggested a very affordable fence to keep out stray chickens and other animals. We told them to use fishnet to fence the half-hectare which they are going to cultivate initially.

They were so happy about our suggestion. The fishnet fence only cost them not more than P5,000. And for that they thanked us profusely.   

Save All Income From One Crop (Farm Tip 27)

There are different strategies in saving a big amount fast. One of them is to save all the gross income from one of your crops if you are producing different crops. For instance, you are growing high-value  crops like sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumber, hot pepper and Suprema squash. Choose one of them, say tomato.

You have to discipline yourself and make sure that every time you sell your harvest of tomatoes, don't spend a single centavo of the amount. Open a new account in your favorite bank and deposit all your income from tomatoes.

Use your income from the other crops for your basic needs and other expenses. You will soon discover that you will be able to accumulate a significant amount. You may stop saving your tomato income when you have attained the amount you have set to achieve. After you have saved P500,000, for instance. That would be more than enough to pay for a brand new mini tractor such as the one being distributed by Toto Barcelona of Harbest Agribusiness.

This idea is a systematic way of forcing yourself to save. You can do that if you really discipline yourself. The amount you save can be used to start a new project or anything you have in mind. The amount may be for your dream trip around the world, for a new car, for your wedding anniversary or anything at all that you want to reward yourself.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fish Sauce (Patis) From Fillet Waste Products

A big Filipino-Japanese joint venture firm is going into the manufacture of fish sauce (patis) in Cebu using waste products from the manufacture of fish fillet for export to Japan.

The Cebu-based businessman and a major automaker in Japan have been processing fish fillet for export to Japan in the past several years, using about 10 tons of raw materials a day.  

The problem is that only about 40 percent of the raw material is converted into fish fillet. The 60 percent is considered waste and there is the problem of disposing the heads, entrails and other parts of the fish. A microbiologist who has had a lot of experience in making patis has recommended to the company that they use the fish trimmings to make fish sauce.

Recently, an official of the company and the microbiologist went to Thailand to observe their technology in making patis. Thailand is known for its good quality patis which is exported to the Philippines and other countries. As per the estimate of the expert, they will spend about P50 million to put up the state-of-the-art patis manufacturing facility in Cebu.

The project has a very good profit potential because the raw material used is considered a waste product that could be turned into high-quality patis. The market for patis in the Philippines is very rosy. After all, the Philippines is importing a lot of patis from Thailand. It is one item that is always used practically every day by every household. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

ZBS To Talk At Orchid Show Sept. 1, 2012

The Philippine Orchid Society has invited Zac B. Sarian to talk on Exotic Fruit Trees on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City. This will be one of the highlights of the Orchid & Garden Show of POS which runs from August 31 to September 10.

Sarian has been growing and multiplying superior varieties of exotic fruit trees in his farm in Teresa, Rizal. He is also the Agriculture of Manila Bulletin where his Agriculture Page appears every Thursday and Saturday. He also writes his Agri-Talk column in Panorama magazine, the Sunday supplement of Manila Bulletin. His agriculture articles also appear in Bannawag magazine (Ilocano), Liwayway (Tagalog), Bisaya magazine (Cebuano), Hiligaynon (Ilonggo). He also edits the monthly Agriculture Magazine, another publication of the Bulletin.

He is also co-anchor of the radio program "Kaunlaran sa Agrikultura," broadcast every Sunday morning from 4:30 to 7:30 on DWWW, 774 on the AM band. 

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