MALAKI ang potensyal na maging isa sa solusyon para sa suliranin sa pagkain ngayong pandemya ang mabilis na nakikilalang pagkahilig ng marami sa Urban Gardening at Urban Agriculture.

 Sa nakaraang webinar na pinangunahan ng Rotary International kung saan kanilang naging resource persons ay mga taga Department of Agriculture, tahasang isinusulong ng mga nakibahagi ang nasabing mga pamamaraan ng pagsasaka sa kalunsuran, anila ay malaki ang maitutulong nito sa katiyakan sa pagkain at maging sa ekonomiya.

Binanggit rin ang mga kahalagahan ng pagtatanim ng sariling mga gulay sa bakura bilang pantanggal ng stress at pagsulong sa organikong pagsasaka na kabilang naman rin sa mga isinusulong ng kagawaran ng agrikltura lalo ngayong panahon ng Kalihim William Dar.

Ang mga makabago at maka agham na pamamaraan gaya ng “Hydroponics” atbp. Pati na rin ang mga dumaraming vertical farms sa kalunsuran ay isa rin sa nakikitang kinagigiliwan ng mga residenteng naninirahan sa mga “high rises” na may limitado lamang na espasyo ng pagtataniman.

Kabilang sa mga dumalo sa nasabing Rotary Agripreneurship Program webinar ay sina Ms. Majella Tumangan-Villaroman, DS Edwin Chiu, Ms. Myrna Dacanay, RI District 3810 Gov. Robert Koa, LCP Dr. Heal Dineros RC Manila Cosmopolitan, LCP Darwin Andrey RCDM,  Mr. Mike Caballes, RC MNL 101 Lady Chris Leonardo,  Ms. Beverly Salviejo, Mr. Gerald Glenn Panganiban,  PP Mark Tan, CP Teresita Tumangan, DOH ASec. Dr. Enrique Tayag at Mr. Glenn Villaroman.///Michael Balaguer, +639333816694, konekted@diaryongtagalog.net and michaelbalaguer@yahoo.co.uk


NextGen’ rice varieties yield high, study says

Newly released rice varieties yield high and perform well based on the Department of Agriculture Cordillera Region (DA-CAR) study.

This was through the study conducted by Senior Science Research Specialist Veronica Fangasan, Science Research Specialist II Jeremias Modesto, Agriculturist I Sylvia Onse, together with Agricultural Technologists’ II Joel Laggui and Marlon Menor who conducted a Participatory Performance Testing and Validation trial through the NextGen Plus project, a collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) entitled “ Participatory Performance Testing and Validation on rice in the Major Ecosystems in the Cordillera Region for 2020.”

The NextGen project seeks to use the modern breeding tools and other attendant technologies that will help make the next generation of high-yielding varieties available.

In the study, researchers stated the trial provides a quick delivery of newly released varieties to farmers and an opportunity to select the high yielding and adaptable varieties suitable to their specific locations for dry and wet season.

It was found out that the NextGen’ rice varieties high yields. For inbred ecosystems specifically in the dry season, National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) Rc514 performed well in Rizal, Kalinga, NSIC Rc506 in Tabuk City, Kalinga and Luna, Apayao and FV-NSIC Rc300 in Flora, Apayao and for the wet season, FV-NSIC Rc222 performed well in Rizal, Kalinga, NSIC Rc442 in Flora, Apayao, NSIC Rc508 in Luna, Apayao and NSIC Rc222 in Tabuk City, Kalinga.

For rainfed ecosystems, varieties NSIC Rc480 performed well in Rizal, Kalinga, FV-NSIC Rc222 in Luna, Apayao, NSIC Rc416 in Buluan, Conner, Apayao and FV-PSB Rc82 in Banban, Conner, Apayao in dry season while in wet season, NSIC Rc480 performed well in Rizal, Kalinga, NSIC Rc418 in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, Luna and Conner both in Apayao and IR 64 (check) in Flora, Apayao.

In terms of preference analysis, NSIC Rc418 was the preferred variety in Rizal, and Conner while NSIC Rc480 in Alfonso Lista and FV-NSIC Rc440 in Luna for rainfed ecosystem and for inbred ecosystem, NSIC Rc506 was the preferred variety in Rizal, and NSIC Rc506 in Flora.

Likewise, sensory evaluations were also conducted to evaluate the cooking and eating quality of the varieties.

Rice varieties such as NSIC Rc442 were the preferred rice variety in Rizal, Kalinga and NSIC Rc506 in Flora, Apayao both for inbred ecosystem while for the rainfed drought ecosystem, NSIC Rc480 was the preferred variety in Rizal (Kalinga), Alfonso Lista (Ifugao), and Conner (Apayao), NSIC Rc418 was the preferred variety in Flora (Apayao) and FV-NSIC Rc440 in Luna (Apayao).

The team seeks for the continuous implementation of the project to disseminate and evaluate the performance of the newly released rice varieties and also encourage the farmers particularly seed growers to produce the top preferred rice varieties. //

Photos courtesy of DA-CAR Research. # # # (DA-RFO CAR, RAFIS)

Alicia Tadifa, 69, proves that age is no barrier to community service

Senior Citizens are among the most vulnerable groups in this time of Covid-19 pandemic as they face a significant risk of developing serious complications if exposed to the virus. This is the reason why they were confined to their homes and were restricted to go out during the pandemic making them less productive.

But for Mrs. Alicia Tadifa, 69, a senior citizen of Brgy. Bato, San Fernando City, La Union, limitations set by the pandemic due to her age did not in any way hinder her ability to serve others and her community. At her age, she is still an active farmer producing organic vegetables.

A former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Singapore, Aling Alicia discovered her passion for community service in 1983 when she started as a volunteer Barangay Health Worker (BHW) in their area.

Other than being a BHW, she held other positions in the barangay such as Barangay Nutrition Scholar, and Barangay Service Point Officer, all of which gave her no monetary compensation as these are all volunteer works. Despite this, she served wholeheartedly her community looking at opportunities where she can be of help to her neighbors and fellow farmers. In CY 2002, she was elected as Barangay Councilor and served for two consecutive terms.

With her passionate and sincere commitment to serving her community, her dedicated contributions to the welfare of others did not go unnoticed. She was awarded as Outstanding Barangay Health Worker during her time and received a P16,000 cash award from the City Government of San Fernando.

Refusing to be just an ordinary citizen as she is driven to give more of herself in the service of others, she joined various organizations so she can be part of worthwhile programs and projects in the locality. She joined the Bato Farmers Association; City of San Fernando Vegetable Growers Credit Cooperative; Province of La Union Vegetable Growers Association; and the Organic Agriculture Cooperative, all of which have appointed her the position of treasurer. At the time that she joined these groups, she is already a senior citizen.

A natural-born leader, Aling Alicia did an excellent job being the treasurer of their association as she helped their group increase their investments and resources. By actively participating in trainings, seminars, and other activities conducted by the Department of Agriculture, she was instrumental in several grants and interventions provided by the DA to their association. She has likewise unselfishly shared the knowledge she acquired about farming in the trainings and seminars she has attended.

As of date, Aling Alicia’s groups are recipients of various farm machinery and equipment such as 4-wheel drive tractor, cultivator, brown rice mill, and water pumps from the Department of Agriculture and the City Local Government Unit of San Fernando, La Union. Her group is also a recipient of vermiculture project, free-range chicken as well as an incubator from the AMIA program of DA.

As a farmer, one of her most significant contributions during the pandemic is sharing her harvest of vegetables to DA’s KADIWA Community pantry. She shared for free volumes of her harvested vegetables so that other less fortunate families would have food on their table during the pandemic.

She likewise helped other farmer coops and associations in marketing their produce during the pandemic. A beneficiary of the KADIWA Agri-Kart project of DA-RFO I providing free stall for organic agri products at the CSI City Mall of San Fernando City, La Union, Aling Alicia shared space at her stall to sell products from other farmers.

At the height of the pandemic when farmers in La Union could not bring their produce to intended markets region-wide, Aling Alicia served as a consolidator for various commodities produced by farmers from nearby barangays and other municipalities in the province.

Having established familiarity and rapport with staff from the City Agriculture Office and at the DA Regional Office, she helped link farmers with said offices for programs and activities that would provide marketing assistance for them. Through the DA-RFO I’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), a stall was provided for her fellow farmers where they could sell their naturally grown vegetable produce.

With her good example of kindness and servitude, she has influenced others to share their blessings during the pandemic.

Having mastered her role as a treasurer of the four associations she joined, Aling Alicia also unselfishly shares her services to other newly established associations by volunteering to assist in processing their BIR and certificate of registration as associations.

Indeed a “Jack of all Trade” kind of woman, a senior citizen at that, Aling Alicia continue to inspire others especially individuals that seem to look at their senior age as an excuse to be idle and unproductive citizens just allowing time to consume their God-given abilities.

For Aling Alicia, she firmly believes that one should never put an age limit to service, though no one can avoid aging, but aging productively certainly has its rewards. # # # (DA-RFO I, RAFIS)