caraga region

DA-13: Caraga needs more coffee nurseries to meet production goals

August 31, 2017

Blessed with suitable climatic condition plus available farm technologies, coffee industry in Caraga looks promising. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), coffee production in Caraga had an average growth rate of 12.8% from 2010-2015. Yet, coffee supply was not enough to meet demand. “Nestle Philippines, the biggest coffee buyer in the country was able to source out only 25% of local coffee requirement.The remaining 75% had to be imported,” Eddie Baylin, Nestle Area Agronomist for Caraga, said. During the crafting of Caraga’s coffee industry roadmap in 2016, the lack of quality materials was identified as among weak points of the industry. Currently, there is only one accredited coffee nursery in the region, the Mabuhay Kahayagan Coffee Growers Cooperative nursery in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur. Accreditation of plant nurseries ensures quality planting materials that are free from pests and diseases. On the other hand, accredited plant nurseries will have access to technical assistance and supervision, access to government programs in terms of marketing, and are entitled to identified scion/plant propagules from government-registered scion groves. Among the requirements of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) for nursery accreditation is the establishment of the nursery at least one year prior to application. It should also have a minimum area of 1,000 sq.m. with a stock inventory of planting materials valued at P100,000 per crop applied. It should also have a scion grove and garden planted with National Seed Industry Council (NSC) approved and registered Varieties/cultivars of fruit, plantation and root crops established at least a year before application. The nursery must also have a minimum of 20 mother trees per variety/strain of the crop applied following the recommended distance. The scion grove should not be more than five kilometer radios from the nursery for accessibility. All propagules to be used in sexual/asexual propagation must be obtained from tagged trees by Plant Material Certification of the established foundation/scion budwood and seed garden. “There is a need to establish more nurseries in the region because we want to be assured of the production of quality and high-yielding planting materials to meet our coffee production target,” said DA-Caraga High-Value Development Program Coordinator Marco Antonio Morido. Based on the roadmap, Caraga has a projected target of increased coffee production from 1,716 MT to 3,712 MT in 2022. Applicants for nursery accreditation may either be an individual applicant or designated representative of an association/corporation/non-government organization (NGO)/local government units (LGUs) or state universities and colleges (SUCs) engaged in plant nursery business. They must have a propagator who has undergone training in nursery establishment, and principles of plant propagation conducted by BPI, DA-Regional Offices and SUCs.

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Rising rabies deaths: S. Cotabato wants more bite centers

August 29, 2017

GENERAL Santos City––Health authorities in South Cotabato are pushing for the establishment before yearend of six more Department of Health (DOH)-accredited Animal Bite Centers (ABC) as it moves to address the rising cases of rabies deaths in the area. John Codilla, rabies program coordinator of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Wednesday they are currently working with six municipal governments in the province for the opening of their own bite centers. He said the new facilities would be established in the municipalities of Sto. Nino, Lake Sebu, Tboli, Tupi, Banga and Tampakan. Codilla said they are assisting in the processing of requirements to facilitate the accreditation of the rural health unit-based ABCs with the DOH. “This is part of our ongoing efforts to further strengthen our rabies prevention and control program,” he said. The official said the province has four existing DOH-accredited ABCs. These are located at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital and Dr. Arturo Pingoy Hospital in Koronadal City, Rural Health Unit of Tantangan town and the Upper Valley Community Hospital in Surallah town. Codilla said the DOH will provide 60 percent of the anti-rabies vaccine requirements of the additional bite centers while the host local governments will shoulder the remaining 40 percent. The number of vaccines that would be provided by the DOH to the ABCs will be based on the recorded number of animal bites in their areas. As of the second week of August, the IPHO’s epidemiology and surveillance unit already recorded 16 confirmed deaths due to rabies infection. The municipalities of Lake Sebu and T’boli posted the most number of cases with four each, followed by Polomolok with three, Koronadal City with two, and Banga, Sto, Nino and Norala with one each. The PESU report said the victims were aged between five to 70 years-old and majority of them were males. At least 12 of the cases or 75 percent involved rabid dogs that did not undergo rabies vaccination. Owing to this. Dr. Flora Bigot, acting head of the Provincial Veterinary Office, said they have stepped up their anti-rabies vaccination drives within the province’s 10 towns and lone city. In the last six months, she said they already vaccinated around 60 percent of the estimated 60,000 dog population in the province. Vaccination activities are ongoing in Polomolom town and the next stops would be the Tantangan, Tampakan and Tupi towns, she added. (MindaNews)

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Butuan remains bird flu-free

August 25, 2017

BUTUAN CITY – This city’s veterinarian, Dr. Danilo Alegado has denied reports of possible bird flu outbreak here as results of initial investigation by the Department of Agriculture’s Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic laboratory was released on the reported August 19 and 21, 2017 incidents. According to the veterinary office, 15 ducks reportedly died on August 19 in Barangay Holy Redeemer. Alegado said the fowls’ deaths were caused by asphyxia or suffocation due to overcrowding. absence of ventilation and lack of water. The city veterinarian also noted that 20 chickens died in Barangay Villakananga due to New Castle disease or “Pukdaw” as locally called. He said the chickens had low resistance to climate change and had no history of vaccination. The cause of the poultry animals’ deaths could not be traced to Avian flu according to Alegado but Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada ordered concerned agencies and stakeholders to implement strict preventive measures and quarantine to prevent the disease’s incursion into the city, The city chief executive urged the public to remain vigilant and be in constant contact with the city information office at 085-3422696 for any bird flu report or incident.

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DAR-Caraga hosts training of farm business school mentors

August 25, 2017

BUTUAN CITY – The Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Caraga conducted here a Training for Trainers of the Farm Business School (FBS) last August 14-18, 2017. The five-day course was attended by 24 selected field personnel from the four provinces in the region. In his message, DAR Regional Director Engr. Felix Aguhob said the activity aims to orient field implementers on the concepts and mechanics of the implementation of the FBS. “This is to ensure that the project will be managed smoothly and in a manner that our beneficiaries will get the best benefits possible,” he added. In Caraga region, four FBS sites were already established as of press time. “We are targeting six more, two of which will be implemented this year and four more next year,” Aguhob informed. The training was facilitated by Delia Gabales and Agnes Rojas of the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development of the DAR Central Office. Gabales explained that the five-day activity was only part of Phase 1 of the training. “There are 11 sessions in Phase 1, while sessions 12-15 will focus on practical applications,” she further said.

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DILG 13 pump primed LGUs into becoming Better Investments Haven

August 25, 2017

DILG 13 has successfully concluded the Regional Roll-out activities on Developing Sustainable Local Economic Development (LED) Strategies and the Formulation of Local Investments and Incentives Code (LIIC) that was held from August 15 -17, 2017 at The Watergate Hotel, Butuan City. Participants were the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinators (PPDCs), Local Economic and Investments Promotions Officers (LEIPOs) and the Local Sanggunian for Economic Affairs. In a nutshell, the main goal of the activities is to ensure that the strategies and the policies for local economic development particularly on generating investments and employment as well as retaining businesses is aligned with the current national development priorities and ensure that our local governments can be at par with our ASEAN counterparparts. Subscribing to the 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda of the Duterte administration, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has scaled up the requirements of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), particularly in the area of Business Friendliness and Competitiveness. Categorized as one of the essential areas to be achieved by the LGUs, the current focus is evaluating the LGU support to local economic and investment promotion such as the presence of an Office as well as a Designated Officer for local economic and investments promotion. Passing the Seal of Business Friendliness and Competitiveness has become a necessity because it is being tied up as a qualifying requirement for the LGU officials and employees to receive their Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) starting this year. With this, the LGUs in the region are provided with capacity-building intervention to prepare their LED Strategy and to formulate an updated Local Investments and Incentive Code (LIIC) that will articulate the policies, programs and activities that are conducive to business and enjoins the participation of all stakeholders for local economic development. Building LGU assets through economic-boosting infrastructures such as roads and economic zones is the most common LED strategy identified by participants to strengthen the economic development and competitiveness of all provinces, cities and municipalities.

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Stakeholders hold Caraga congress for sustainable organic agriculture

August 22, 2017

BUTUAN CITY – Farmers, agricultural extension workers, local government representatives, researchers, exhibitors and members of the academe recently convened here for the 3rd Regional Organic Congress (ROAC) carrying the theme “Go Organic: Sa Organikong Pamamaraan, Ligtas ang Mamamayan!” The congress aims to mainstream organic agriculture regionwide and encourage practitioners to obtain the Third-Party Certification in order to gain better access to domestic and foreign markets. According to National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) member Jimmy Geronimo, the Department of Agriculture (DA) together with organic agriculture stakeholders should envision not just the five percent conversion to organic farming but also that every household should practice and be an advocate of organic agriculture. DA-Caraga reported that as of December 2016, the region already achieved six percent of agricultural land devoted to organic farming way beyond its five percent target. This accounted to 42,000 hectares regionwide contributed to almost nine percent of the country’s goal of 477,000 hectares converted to organic agriculture. “I believe that the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) through the regional counterparts has been effective in implementing its objectives to the farmers. Up to now, I still hear appreciation from farmers who experienced the difference of the organically-grown produce,” Geronimo said. Geronimo said that despite the strict process for organic certification, some farmers associations and cooperatives gradually work out to comply with the necessary requirements. He also shared the alternative of adapting the standards set by Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). PGS are locally focused quality assurance systems which certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on trust, social network and knowledge exchange. “PGS is designed to encourage more farmers to engage in organic agriculture,” Geronimo added citing that PGS is much cheaper compared to the Third-Party Certification which is assisted by DA and the Bureau of Agriculture Fisheries Standard (BAFS) and eventually certified by a third-party governing body. DA-Caraga’s Alternate BAFS Focal Person Helen Fortun said that the region has one farmer and one LGU-controlled association that complies with PGS: one is the identified integrated organic farmer Edgar Opalia and the City Organic Agriculture Fisheries complex (COAFAC) of Bislig City. DA urged representatives of local government present to provide optimum support to the Organic Agriculture Program as it will further the production of safe good and make the agriculture more sustainable.

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