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Zac Sarian
Zac Sarian

Experiential Learning

Many government colleges and universities require their students to undergo OJT or on-the-job-training related to their course before they graduate. We have met many students undergoing OJT in agriculture and other related courses and we believe that the requirement is a win-win situation for both the students and the host farm or company. Just like the Costales Nature Farms, an award-winning organic farm in Majayjay, Laguna. At any one time, there are about 30 to 40 students undertaking OJT in the farm. Many of them are enrolled in agriculture, agribusiness, agritourism, and hotel and restaurant management. Of course, it is a win-win situation for the student if the host farm is practicing a lot of improved technologies. The students are immersed in their practical training for a reasonable period during which they …

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Agrilink 2016 to highlight Negros Island

The 23rd edition of Agrilink which will be held on October 6-8 will highlight the newly formed Negros Island Region, it was announced by Antonio V. Roces, president of the Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development (FRLD). The three-day event will be held at the World Trade Center at the corner of Puyat Avenue and Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City. Roces said that Agrilink, the biggest and most influential agricultural trade show in the country, has for its theme “Negros, a Model of Agribusiness Resiliency.” The theme highlights the sturdiness and the strength of the agricultural industries of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental through an improved and integrated focus on the chain of agribusiness activities – from production inputs, the use of new and appropriate technologies, value adding, market diversification, strategic product …

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Engr. produces sweet mangoes in Guimaras

Get a copy of the June issue of Agriculture magazine which is now off the press and read about the engineer who produces big and sweet mangoes in Guimaras. He is Albert G. Teruel who works for a five-star resort hotel in Metro Manila but who decided to rehabilitate his centuries-old mango trees in his hometown of Nueva Valencia in Guimaras. By using new appropriate technologies, he has been able to more than double the usual yield of the old mango trees. Among the practices he has adopted to make the trees productive are the use of an organic fungicide (Nordox 75), Agroblen (a slow release fertilizer) and Peters foliar fertilizer which strengthens the flowers and prevents premature falling of the fruits. Teruel also uses Mightybio or processed calcium nitrate as …

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When there’s a will

When times are tough, people become more creative in finding solutions to problems, just like when the long hot summer dries up the grass for feeding farm animals. Dr. Ronaldo Sumaoang, a microbiologist who studied fermentation technology in Germany, harnessed his creativity to find a solution for the lack of grass to feed his 300 sheep in his farm in Tarlac City. He turned corn cobs into nutritious livestock feed through fermentation. Corn cobs are usually thrown away by big corn processing plants and are often considered a waste disposal problem. At best, some use the cobs as fuel, others for growing mushroom. This year, Dr. Sumaoang has contracted to buy 2,000 tons of corn cobs from a major corn seed company in the country. He crushes the cobs with a hammer mill …

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Garden winners defy El Niño phenomenon

At the second annual gardening competition in Las Piñas City, we saw a number of participants who were really battered by the long dry and hot spell brought by the El Niño phenomenon. Their plants had been severely damaged by the hot weather, many of them withering into pitiful unsightly state. But there are also creative gardeners who can defy the ravages of climate change. Just like the garden of Brgy. FB International Village/CAA under Brgy. Chairman Asuncion C. Aguilar, a retired school principal who is now orchestrating the barangay’s garden which won the top prize in the inter-barangay gardening competition under the auspices of the Villar Sipag Foundation. This is the second time that we have been invited to be one of the judges. There were a total of 30 entries …

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Student OJTs learn a lot at Costales farm

At any given time about 30 to 40 students in agriculture, agritourism and hotel and restaurant management are undergoing on-the-job training (OJT) at the Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna where they produce organic crops, pigs, poultry meat and eggs. The farm has  also started raising Murrah buffalo for milking. Last May 14, we had occasion to talk to the students to find out about  the things they are learning from the program which is a requirement by the schools. Most of the participants are students in their senior year, majority of which are female. They come from state universities and colleges of agriculture and technology in different parts of the country. During our visit, the students came from Eastern Samar, Legazpi City and Sorsogon in Bicol, and from Mindoro Oriental. As …

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Hog Dispersal in Jala-jala

Pig dispersal used to be a program of the Department of Agriculture for many years. Pigs were given to farmer recipients on the condition that they will return two piglets for every weanling they received for breeding. This way, the returned piglets would be given to new recipients so the program will continue to expand. For a number of reasons, the program did not work as envisioned. Many of the recipients did not fulfill their obligation. Some would claim that the animals died for one reason or another. Some sold their pigs before they could pay back because they needed cash to pay for other obligations. It came to a point when the program was stopped altogether. The bad experience in the government’s animal dispersal program did not deter the private sector …

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Rabbit festival slated at the QC agri-bazaar

In a bid to popularize the production of rabbit meat for food, the First Rabbit Festival will be staged on May 20-22 at the  Agri-bazaar cum Agri-Kapihan at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. The event is under the auspices of the Association of Rabbit Meat Producers, Inc. (ARaMP) in collaboration with the Bureau of Animal Industry. Art Veneracion, president of ARaMP, has been the main advocate of rabbit production for human consumption. His family owns  Aven Nature’s Farm in Baliuag, Bulacan where they raise rabbits and other small livestock. Veneracion says that the festival will present rabbit production for meat as a viable income source for Filipino households, emphasizing that rabbit meat is not only tasty but is also nutritious and healthy. During the three-day event, seminars will be held. On …

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Mini begonia flowers in your salad

When we visited the Taiyi Ecological Leisure Farm in Nantou, Taiwan, recently, our guide picked some flowers of the mini begonia that was so floriferous and told us to taste it. It was good and we liked it, especially Ronald Costales who runs an organic farm in Majayjay, Laguna. He immediately thought of planting the mini begonia in his organic farm so he can add the flowers to the salad of lettuce and other materials that they serve to their visitors. As you know, the Costales Nature Farms has become a destination of an increasing number of farm tourists, and for the entrance fee of R200, each visitor gets an eat-all-you can salad of lettuce, cucumbers and other produce in the farm. The addition of flowers in the salad could be another …

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Most Profitable Crop

Many times our readers would ask us: Just what is the most profitable crop to grow? Well, that’s not an easy question to answer because farmers face varying circumstances. Some are more knowledgeable than others. Some have more capital to fund their projects. Their target markets also vary, and so on. But if you ask Jess Domingo, the most profitable crop is the hot chili for a number of good reasons. Last year, he planted the Red Hot variety on 700 square meters of land. This gave him a profit of P100 per square meter in a growing period of nine months. On a per hectare basis, that means a million pesos in profit. And that is the reason why this year, he has dedicated one hectare to the Red Hot variety …

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