Monday, October 22, 2012

‘Rice sufficiency’ drive 
Veers to other staples 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 22, 2012 (PIA)—The Department of Agriculture (DA) takes a second look at developing alternative staples to minimize the demand for rice, which has become a determining factor for global politics. 

Already considered a global agricultural commodity, of which only 5-7% was exported in 2000-2008, and 84% these exports are controlled by the world’s biggest rice producing countries, global rice demand has increased that rice self sufficiency becomes a must for rice importing countries like the Philippines. 

With the introduction of rice as staple to traditionally non-rice consuming countries, the demand spiked in time for the climate change when weather changes wreak havoc among farms. 

For this, rice has become a sought after staple that push for production and increased sufficiency, Engr. Eugene Cahiles, Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center (APC) manager said. 

The activity in Bohol also side features a competition on preparing staple alternatives to increase local awareness in their crucial role in minimizing rice consumption. 

“While rice sufficiency could be possible, it could even become probable when communities work together to attain this,” Cahiles said, while students from city schools find ways to make sweet potato, cassava, and corn as palatable staples, during the Bohol commemoration of World Food Day, October 16 at the Bohol Quality Atrium. 

APC, an office under the DA, through manager Cahiles said this year’s food sufficiency plan is geared towards the sufficiency of the country on food staples. 

“This program not only focuses on food security which is the availability, accessibility and affordability of safe and nutritious food to everyone at all times, but also more focuses on becoming food self sufficient,” Cahiles expounded at the jam-packed crowd at the Atrium where Bohol’s formal commemorative program was held. 

By food sufficiency, he said “It is the ability of the population to secure its food needs by its own production.” 

“We recognize that food security is a basic human right and the state is committed to take actions towards its full utilization; however, it is also in the best interest of our country to become food self sufficient by producing the food requirement of our people,” Cahiles, who spoke for Regional Executive Director, Angel C. Enriquez, said. 

Most places in the country rely on outside sources for food, not really producing for their needs. 

In 2011, which was historically Bohol’s most productive year in rice harvests when it peaked at 231,569 metric tons, this contributed to about 72% or the total regional production, Cahiles cited in his message. 

The achievement in Bohol however did not happen overnight. 

In 2007, Bohol rice production was only 163,441 metric tons, attaining 86% sufficiency level. That year also marked the start of the food crisis. 

But by constant engaging of farmers to adopt new technologies, high yielding rice seed varieties including hybrids, and correct farm inputs have reversed the situation for Bohol. 

This can be seen when from 2008-2010, Bohol averaged an annual growth rate of 7 % even if a mild El Nino threatened farms in 2009 and 2010, Cahiles noted. 

By 2011, Bohol has significantly increased its harvest 40% higher compared to 2007, contributing largely to the regional production, Cahiles said. 

Per capita consumption in Bohol however, consequently increased since then, rendering high sufficiency levels almost to insignificance. 

To bank on the laurels of sufficiency, Bohol agri-officials and leaders campaigned for alternative staples like corn, bananas, camote, ube and other root-crops including those wild varieties to lessen rice consumption. 

In his message, the APC head also cited the office of the provincial agriculturist of the Boholano Initiators for Sustainable Agricultural Development (BISAD) for deepening the meaning of the celebration in making steps to spread the awareness and importance of organic agriculture and the role of other staple foods like corn, cassava, sweet potato other root crops as alternatives to minimize the consumption of rice, our main staple.

Salads, staples take the 
Sidelines WFD in Bohol 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 22, 2012 (PIA)—Vegetable garden salad express drives to a win as it earned the thumbs-up of the judges during the recent organic garden salad preparation held at the sidelines of the Word Food Day, October 16. 

An entry by Jude Marie Cutanda of Manga National High School (MNHS), the winning garden salad loaded with the much needed nutrient content for a Boholano family was a combination of okra, carrots, ampalaya, pipino, (cucumber) eggplant, sweet, tomato and camote tops arranged in a platter comes in an equally unique malunggay powder in the usual coconut milk, vinegar, sugar ginger and onion dressing. 

Prepared at the cost of P50.00 and serves five, the winner emerged, but not after a weighty determination by judges. 

Coming in as strong second is a native salad prepared by Rosalina Labinta of the Tagbilaran City School for the Hearing Impaired. 

Third prize winner is Vegetable Salad in Sour Soup Dipping prepared by Patrick Sister of Mansasa High School. 

All the vegetables and fruits used in the salad are organically grown, making these preparations not only mouthwateringly palatable but also organically healthy, according to Larry Pamugas, assistant provincial agriculturist and one of the contest organizers. 

Another side event during the WFD was the Alternate Staple Food Preparations Competition. 

Winning the competitor is a native preparation of the finely milled corn commonly called binlod and officially named “Niluwag,” as its entry name. 

Prepared by Fe Abing of Guiwanon, Baclayon Bohol, niluwag also topped a taro and pumpkin mixed preparation as well as the more familiar sinanduloy. 

The taro (paw) and pumpkin mix was an entry of Mansasa National High School and prepared by Analy Potane while sinanduloy, or rice cooked with sweet potato as extender was an entry of San Isidro National High School through Michelle B. Cutin. 

The competition, according to Pamugas is in line with a continuing campaign in Bohol to mainstream the use of alternative staples to bring down the huge domestic consumption of rice. 

At present, a Boholano has an annual per capita consumption of 140 kilos, according to sources at the OPA. (30/ed)

Bohol swears in agri dev’t 
Support network at WFD 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 22, 2012 (PIA) – Consistent with this year’s highlighting of cooperatives in their crucial role of food security, Bohol agriculture stakeholders witness the oath taking of stakeholder organizations during the World Food Day celebrations at the Bohol Quality Atrium, October 16. 

WFD them for this year is Cooperatives: key to food security. 

During the commemorative program, Agricultural promotion Center Bohol Manager Engr. Eugene Cahiles admitted that attaining food sufficiency can be possible in Bohol, but it can be most probable with cooperatives uniting for the goal. 

While farmer and fisher cooperatives have been organized all over Bohol, agriculture authorities said there is still so much to be done to fully unite all of them to focus on specific goals for Bohol. 

Corollary to that, a network of support for the farmers and fishers have been set up, to partner with coops in achieving targets, sources at the Provincial Agriculture said. 

Leading the group was Bohol Initiators of Sustainable Agricultural Development (BISAD) whose members and officers spearhead the advocacy for organic and environment friendly agriculture as an add-on perk for tourists and locals here. 

Sworn were BISAD officers led by organization President Isidore Ancog (Pakisama/BACOPA), Vice President Victoria Sandidge (Bohol Bee Farm), Secretary Ma. Fe Curato (OPA), Treasurer: Engr. Vicente Loquellano (PFTAC) and Auditor: Engr. Panfilo Asares (FCB Fdn). 

Also sworn in were Board members: Zen Darunday (BFWC), Dr. Gloria Tirol (UBCDFI), Paul Borja (SeaRice) and Dr. Carol May Daquio (ATI). 

In the field of agricultural information and technology sharing, sworn in were officers and members of the Provincial Agricultural Information Media Association (PAIMA), an innovation in agri-info-techno dissemination. 

PAIMA president is Cecile A. Opada (Jagna), V-President Marie Flor Pagador (Batuan), Secretary Lorna Perenio (Catigbian), Treasurer Maria Teresita Pentecase (Calape) and Auditor Jose Jorindel Bongco (Loay). 

Also sworn in were public agri information officers for First District Veneranda Alcantar (Tagbilaran), Second District Beriel Torregosa (Danao) and Third District Helen Torrejos (Garcia Hernandez). 

The celebration, the only one in the Visayan region, which commemorates WFD, also has the oath taking of KA-ABAG, an organization of agricultural technicians. 

Organizing the KA-ABAG, or katambayayong (partner), Assistance for Barangay Agricultural Growth is a Bohol development framework identified strategy to create the network for assistance to barangay agricultural growth by unifying barangay official chairs of the sangguniang pambarangay agriculture committee, according to Larry Pamugas. (30/hd)

3 Bohol farmers reap 
Gawad Saka Awards 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 22, 2012 (PIA) – Agriculture authorities in Central Visayas award three Boholano farmers as among this year’s Regional Gawad Saka Awardees. 

Engr. Eugene Cahiles, Agricultural promotion Center Manager revealed this during the World Food Day Celebration, to which only Bohol accordingly put up a commemorative event the day Food and Agricuture Organization of the United Nations was established, October 16. 

The awards is in recognition of the diligence, industry and the crucial role of farmers and fishermen in helping the region attain food sufficiency in various fields of endeavor in farming and fisheries. 

We wish to congratulate Aquilino Columnas, Siverio Miano and Francisco Manigo. 

Columnas, who farms from Carmen town, is the Regional Outstanding Rice Farmer while Siverio Miano, who comes from Mabini town is the region’s outstanding coconut farmer. 

Meanwhile, Francisco Manigo, who comes from Tubigon town is the Central Visayas’ outstanding small animal raiser. 

This year’s achievement however is only half of what Bohol achieved in 2011 when it grabbed six awards, according to sources at the Office of the Provincial Agriculture. 

First opened to recognize exemplary efforts to help the region attain self sufficiency in food, the annual search expanded to many other productive agriculture endeavors and recognizes outstanding individuals, associations, and employee of the Department and to the Local Government Units who have shown their invaluable contributions to the realization of the Department’s vision of a food-secured and food-sufficient nation, according to Cahiles. 

The APC head made the announcement of the Boholano awardees during the World Food Day commemoration which Bohol authorities held at the BQ Atrium. 

Cahiles also revealed that the commemoration was the only one of such in the region. 

This only shows how serious we are in impressing the importance of food for our daily sustenance, Cahiles said. 

At the same time, Cahiles pointed out that the day celebrates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. 

World Food Day was first done in 1980, after the Food and Agriculture Organization member nations adopted it during their 20th General Conference in Nov. 1979, he said. 

With its first theme: Food comes first, the annual celebration was aimed is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem, world hunger and in being one with the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty, the World Food Day celebration began. 

Since then, World Food Day has adopted different themes, highlighting areas needing action and providing a common focus to interventions. 

Most of the themes revolve around agriculture because this sector is very important to provide the food requirement and also serve as the driving force in the economy of the developing countries like the Philippines, Cahiles added. 

This year, WFD adopts “Agricultural Cooperatives- Key to Feeding the World” to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and eradication of hunger. (30/HD)

BFAR seeds 5,000 abalones 
at Jagna marine sanctuary 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 22, 2012, (PIA) –Further enhancing sustainability in marine harvests within Bohol seas, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) seeds around 5,000 pieces of abalone shells within the Naatang Marine Sanctuary in Jagna, October 15. 

Locally called “kapinan”, these abalone shells seeding is BFAR’s new strategy to enhance marine sanctuaries, 172 of them legislated marine protected areas all over Bohol. 

The seeding coincided with the opening of the Fish Conservation Week from October 15-21, which Bohol, through the Bohol Coastal Resource Management Task Force (BCRMTF) formally launched in Jagna town Monday. 

Abalone, or sea ear shells are edible gastropod mollusks in a bivalve which have a characteristic open respiratory pores in its shells and were widely distributed in Bohol shallow waters until unregulated harvesting critically reduced their numbers, according to Gloria Olavides, a technician at the local BFAR office. 

BFAR Bohol chief Cresencio Pahamutang, prior to the week-long launching ceremony in Jagna, in explaining the Fish Conservation Week “maunlad na pangisdaan sa matatag na balikatan,” said enhancing marine productivity so that alternate food sources other than fish can also fill up the protein needs of people is one of the BFAR’s key strategies. 

This, however should be complemented by a community who shall be convinced that keeping few areas where fish and other marine resources can grow undisturbed is another key to sustainability in fisheries. 

Released in Naatang Marine Sanctuary in Jagna, some four kilometers from the Poblacion are the abalones, which were sourced out from a BFAR hatchery in Panggangan Calape. 

The juvenile abalones, nestled inside plastic bottles as their temporary protection from predators would then need about 6-10 months to mature and be productive. 

Naating marine sanctuary guards however believe that the pristine condition and the presence of food, currents and the protection offered by the marine sanctuary located in a tiny gulf in the barangay would make the abalones grow fast. 

Seeded at the average size of 5 centimeters, these abalones, when harvested could be sold at around P200 to P300 per kilo, and its shells, which bear nacre or mother of pearl, has been a favorite material for fashion accessories, according to Olavides. 

An abalone, she said wastes almost nothing as the meat including the offal which composes about two thirds of the entire piece, is mostly edible. The other third is the shell, which is again sold to traders for their iridescent nacre, the same material that comprises pearls. 

The seeding is also BFAR’s first activity to enhance the marine sanctuary environment where the abalones have not been seen after they were over harvested. (30/ed) 

Two long weekends 
in next two weeks 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, BOHOL, October 22, 2012 (PIA) –Expect a spike in tourism activity here as two long week-ends await Filipinos next week. 

This as President Benigno Simeon Aquino III issued Proclamation 488 declaring Friday, October 26 as a holiday, which is a week before the country again remembers All Saints and All Soul’s Day. 

Proclamation 488 declares Friday as regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid’l Adha, a muslim holiday now celebrated nationwide. 

Eidl’l Adha is the Christian equivalent of the Feast of the sacrifice, or than incident when God called Abraham to set his son, Isaac in a sacrifice. 

Earlier on, Republic Act 0849 provides that Eidul Adha shall be celebrated as a regular holiday in the country. 

But, as the Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar, the dates move annually. 

This year, the date, October 26, is based according to the declaration made by Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, according to Paquito Ochoa, who signed the proclamation for the President. 

By this, the long weekend starts Friday and workers are not expected back until Monday, October 22. 

The long-weekends have been traditionally picked as opportune time for local travel and local tourism has been historically cashing in on these moments of travel and leisure. 

On the other hand, by Proclamation 295, which declares the regular holidays, special (non-working) days and special holidays for all school for 2012, the President has declared November 2 (Friday) as a special non-working holiday. 

November 2, which falls between November 1 (Thursday) and November 3 (Saturday) has been traditionally declared a special non working day throughout the country, this is according to the proclamation. 

The proclamation is to give full opportunity to our people to properly observe All Saints Day with all its religious fervor, which invariably requires them to travel to and from different regions in the country. 

The proclamation also affords a four-day holiday for the Filipinos, a holiday that starts on Thursday, November 1 and runs through November 4. 

In Bohol, should the local government decide to request for a special proclamation from Malacanang for November 3, a traditional holiday in Bohol, when granted, the long holiday can stretch to five days. 

November 4, traditionally Carlos P. Garcia Day is a holiday to allow Boholanos to commemorate the birth of its most illustrious son. (30)

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