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Zac Sarian
Zac Sarian

Interesting research results

We just received the 2015 annual report of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). Here are some significant research results which could improve agricultural productivity and profitability. CARABAO MANGO – The national S&T program on carabao mango has developed a rapid diagnostic kit (dipstick) that could determine true-to-type Carabao mango variety using Carabao mango-specific DNA markers. The dipstick kit specifically identifies Philippine Carabao mango and differentiates it with other mango varieties to ensure dispersal of quality planting materials for the production of quality fruits. The technique is easy to use and reliable. Its use can solve the problem of mislabeling of mango seedlings produced in the nursery, especially in accredited nurseries. MANGO PICKER PROTOTYPES – The University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) in Davao City has …

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Watch for August issue of Agri mag

Make sure to get a copy of the August 2016 issue of Agriculture Magazine which will be off the press any day from now. You will be able to read interesting success stories as well as ideas and research results that can be very useful in your own agri projects. There is, for instance, the inspiring story about Nominisa Rarang-Garcia who disliked living in a fishing village where she was born in Anda, Pangasinan while she was a teenager. Because she did not want to live there, she took up a nursing course so she could go abroad to escape the boring life in her village. And that’s what she did. After 20 years of working in a hospital in Libya, she came back to the Philippines together with her husband she …

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Loveable mini melon

Here’s a mini melon that you will love to eat and grow in your home garden or in your farm. This is the Jill Apple Melon that has been under field trial in farmers’ fields in many parts of the country over the past two growing seasons. The fruit is really small. The bigger ones could weigh just over 300 grams but many of them will weigh about 250 grams or four pieces to a kilo. You will love to eat the fruits because they are aromatic, crunchy, sweet, and juicy. Even the white skin is edible. Jill Apple Melon has other desirable characteristics that you will appreciate. It can be grown even during the rainy months so that if you are business-minded, you can grow it during the off-season so you …

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Growing food in the city gets popular

Growing food plants in the city is becoming a fad, it seems. Mandy Navasero, the photography guru, has just sent us photos of food growers in Metro Manila, not just homeowners doing their edible gardening but even a 5-star hotel producing albeit a mini fraction of  its kitchen requirements! Marlene Aguilar, a landscape designer, reports that she has encouraged New World Hotel in Makati to create its own organic kitchen garden and they now have one by their lagoon. Of course, there are many more individuals who have been infected with the edible gardening itch by Marlene. As Mandy reports, mothers and yuppies as well as denizens of the wealthy villages flock to Marleina’s Garden in Blue Ridge in Quezon City, intent in starting their own herbs and edible plants in pots …

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Farmers urged to plant more OPV rice

A private agricultural researcher is urging more farmers to plant the improved open-pollinated rice varieties (OPVs), especially those who cannot afford the high cost of hybrid seeds. Alfonso G. Puyat, who has been doing a lot of research on plant growth accelerators and other aspects of agricultural production, says that the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has already developed a number of open-pollinated varieties that are high-yielding and have been certified for commercial planting by National Seed Industry Council (NSIC). These include RC 222 which is adapted for planting all over the country both in the wet and dry seasons. It has a certified yield of 6.8 tons per hectare during the wet season and 5.8 tons per hectare during the dry season. It has consistently good performance under transplanted or direct …

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Super Napier as Industrial Fuel

A fast-growing grass from Thailand called Pakchong 1 was introduced in the Philippines about six years ago and has become a favorite forage crop for feeding livestock like cattle, carabaos, goats, sheep, pigs, and even chickens. Aside from being a fast grower, it is valued because of its high-protein content, said to be as high as 18 percent. Pakchong 1 is also popularly called Super Napier in the Philippines. When harvested every 45 days, the leafy stems are tender, relished by animals. In Thailand, the same are shredded into fine particles and fed to tilapia in ponds. There is another possible use of Pakchong 1 that is little known among Filipinos. When allowed to mature, the stems are woody, excellent material as industrial fuel. When we interviewed Dr. Krailas Kyiothong, the plant …

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Foliar fertilizer ups tomato yield, profit

An agri-entrepreneur in Alitagtag, Batangas has found that a new foliar fertilizer can produce high yield and profit in tomato despite the low farmgate price due to oversupply of the vegetable during  the harvest season. Anthony Cortes of Corville Agricom reported that Mike Justiniani who used Supravim, a foliar fertilizer from the US, was able to produce an average of 53 tons per hectare which is 18 tons more than the 35 tons that Justiniani used to harvest per hectare from his previous tomato crops. Despite the  low price during the harvest season (P8 per kilo), Justiniani was able to make an additional profit of P144,000 per hectare. Cortes who distributes Supravim locally says that the new fertilizer provides several benefits to the plants. First, it enables the plants to develop a massive …

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Ashitaba powder can fortify many food products

More uses of Ashitaba, the herb that packs a lot of health benefits, are being developed by Adela Ang, the lady who introduced the real Ashitaba for commercial production in the Philippines. The latest product is powdered Ashitaba which can be used to fortify many food products. The powder can be added to the production of noodles, bakery products like pandesal,cakes and biscuits, ice cream and more. It can be added to soups, rice that is being cooked, etc. The different parts of the Ashitaba plants are being powdered now, including the roots, stems and leaves. Calchone, the yellow exudates which contains the plant’s highest antioxidant, is also included in the powder. The powder is pendng approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Another development is that well selected healthy leaves are now …

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Ashitaba vs Strawberry

Strawberry is a specialty crop in the highlands of Benguet where it thrives well under its cool climate. To a good number of farmers it is a profitable crop to grow because the fruits command a high price. Marvin Chagyo, 54, of La Trinidad used to grow strawberries on 7,000 square meters and he will attest that strawberry is indeed a money-maker if properly taken care of. Today, however, he is better off growing the real Ashitaba (botanic name: Angelica keiski) for a number of good reasons. Ashitaba is well known for its many health benefits—it can improve the cholesterol level, blood pressure and is a remedy for such ailments as constipation, psoriasis, urinary tract infection (UTI), and more. It is also a vegetable that can be used in cooking many …

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Lady ex-OFW now big time bangus grower

You would probably hardly believe that a lady nurse who went to work abroad to get away from the boring life in a fishing village has gone back to the village she disliked after 20 years, and now 16 years later she has become a big time bangus producer, harvesting an average of 20 tons every day. The lady who might as well be called the Bangus Queen of Anda, Pangasinan is the former Nominisia Rarang, now married to Feliciano Garcia, a chef whom she met in Libya. In 2000 the couple with their children in tow returned to Philippines to start a new chapter in their lives. Feliciano who is good in business engaged in a buy-and-sell business based in Capas, Tarlac. In the meanwhile, Nominisia was invited by her brother …

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