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Zac Sarian
Zac Sarian

Plastic mulching made easy

The use of plastic mulch in growing various crops, especially vegetables, has become very popular with farmers these days. This is the use of plastic sheet installed atop the planting bed. The usual dimension of those in the market is one meter wide and 400 meters long that cost about P900 to P1,000 each. Toto Barcelona of Harbest Agribusiness is the fellow we know who first introduced plastic mulching in the Philippines. He will tell you that the first shipment of 10 rolls that he brought from Taiwan in 1998 took him more than a year to sell. Today, 18 years later, he could sell one container load to just one customer. That’s how much the use of plastic mulch has become popular as a standard practice among successful farmers. Plastic mulching offers several advantages. First, it prevents the growth of weeds in the plot. During the dry months, the mulch conserves moisture …

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Seminars set at Agrilink trade show

Visitors who will attend the Agrilink trade show on October 6 to 8 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City will have a wide choice of seminars to attend during the three-day event. This was announced by Antonio V. Roces, president of Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development (FRLD) which is the lead organizer of the country’s premier agricultural trade expo. INDIGENOUS CROPS – On October 6, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) will discuss the various indigenous food crops found in different parts of the country. These include the sugod-sugod and kapas-kapas which are vine crops with edible fruits and shoots found in the Ilocos region. Another is the lagikway which is found in many parts of the country that …

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Urban Agri trade fair a big success

The two-day Urban Agriculture trade fair on September 17-18 was a big hit at the Market! Market! Central Plaza in Taguig City. The event is part of a continuing project of Agriculture Magazine of Manila Bulletin. The trade fair was the third of a series that Agriculture Magazine plans to undertake in the coming years to promote farming and gardening in the urban areas. There are many plants and even small animals that can be produced for food in limited space, using innovative techniques of production. A number of entrepreneurs have shown that mushrooms can be grown practically every where in the city. Eric Rodriguez of Tanauan City was very proud in showing the Ganoderma mushrooms that he grows in his home. This is a special species with medicinal attributes. He also displayed …

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Kids enjoy learning about farming

A leisure farm in Taiwan has a way of inculcating the importance of agriculture in the young minds of kids and their parents. This is at the Tongshan Rice and Tea Resort, a member of the Taiwan Leisure Farms Development Association based in Yilan county. We visited the place recently in the company of other journalists and travel agents. What did we find when we arrived there? About a dozen kids less than 10 years old accompanied by their mothers. The kids were really enjoying straining and mixing the medium for producing mushroom spawns. Tongshan township is where 40,000 people, mostly farmers, reside. Several years back, Tammy Chien decided to convert an old warehouse into a learning center with focus on farming. The town’s four main products are rice, mushroom, pomelo, and …

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Degraded streams into fish habitat

Dr. Macrina Zafaralla is a one-woman army going around the country to promote her advocacy of reviving degraded shallow streams and rivers by a very simple and doable technique that rids the water of pollution so fishes will thrive and multiply. In the scientist’s words, the technique is called Aquatic Macrophyte Biosorption System (AMBS). In the layman’s language, the technique simply uses water plants (water hyacinth or kangkong) that are held in place by a barrier made of short bamboo poles. The plants’ roots form a mat that filters out floating solids as well as absorbs and adsorbs substances that are dissolved in water. With the clean water, various fish species make the place their home. This way, the rehabilitated water system becomes a fish habitat that becomes a continuing source …

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Plastic mulching made easier with machine

The use of plastic mulch in growing various crops, especially vegetables, has become very popular with farmers these days. This is the use of plastic sheet installed atop the planting bed. The usual dimension of those in the market is one meter wide and 400 meters long currently costing about P900 to P1,000 each. Toto Barcelona of Harbest Agribusiness is the fellow we know who first introduced plastic mulching commercially in the Philippines.  He will tell you that the first shipment of 10 rolls that he brought from Taiwan in 1998 took him more than a year to sell. Today, 18 years later, he could sell to just one customer one container load consisting of several hundred rolls. That’s how much the use plastic mulch has become popular as a standard …

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Sage advice from a successful orchid grower

Sally Leuenberger is one of the most successful orchid growers in the country today. One uncontestable proof is that in the last Kadayawan orchid show in Davao City, she bagged practically all the major prizes in the different orchid competition categories. Her hybrid vanda was adjudged the Best Orchid in Show; her waling-waling won the first and second prizes; her strap leaf vanda won all the three top prizes; in the mixed genera category, her orchids also won the top three prizes. It is only in Dendrobium that she won the second and third prizes. On top of that, her exhibit booth was adjudged first prize winner. Who is Sally Leuenberger of Davao City? She is a top rate CPA who used to audit the books of professionals, businessmen, hospitals, schools, and other business enterprises. Her accountancy practice was lucrative but …

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Record crowd attends harvest fest in Tanauan

A record crowd of more than 500 farmers and other visitors attended the first day of the three-day harvest festival which ends today, Saturday, at the Farm 2 of Agri-Tech Integrated Services (ATISCO) in Brgy. Talaga, Tanauan City, Batangas. The attendees observed the high-value crops planted by three leading seed companies that include East-West Seed, Allied Botanical Corporation and Bayer Vegetable Seeds. Aside from vegetables and other high-value crops, there was also a showcase of Korean agricultural machines that include the Branson tractor and its equipment, and the compact Lee Hwa rice mill. The farmers and other attendees also listened to the agricultural programs of the local government unit headed by Mayor Antonio Halili and other city and agriculture officials. Also speaking before the attendees were Arnel de Mesa and Jennifer Remoquillo …

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Harvest festival features veggies, farm machines

A three-day harvest festival starts today and will end on Saturday at the Farm 2 of Agri-Tech Integrated Services Co. (ATISCO) in Brgy. Talaga, Tanauan City. The event will feature a demonstration on the capabilities of Branson tractor from Korea using various land preparation equipment like rotavator, disc plow, levee maker, buck hoe and others. At the same time, the visitors will see for themselves the performance of various vegetable varieties and other high-value crops planted by participating seed companies that include Allied Botanical Corporation, Bayer Vegetable Seeds and East-West Seed. The seed companies have planted their favorite varieties so the farmers  can  see for themselves how the hybrids fare under the conditions obtaining in Tanauan City, particularly Farm 2 of  ATISCO.  ATISCO pioneers in a farming concept that starts with the production …

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Urban Agri Trade Fair

The 3rd Urban Agri Trade Fair will be held from Sept. 17 to 18 at the Market! Market! Central Plaza in Taguig City. The event is being held to show to urbanites creative ways of growing plants and small animals for food even in limited space around the home. The two-day event, free to the public, is a project of Agriculture Magazine and Manila Bulletin to showcase doable food production techniques that can be adopted by urban residents. It will be participated in by companies and private individuals who will showcase their products and services needed in urban farming and gardening. Fresh vegetables and fruits as well as processed products will be available for sale to the visitors. Other items will include grow bags, growing media, seeds, ready-to-plant seedlings, planting materials of …

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