DA-12 denies rice shortage, blames higher prices on prod’n costs, imports

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/31 March) – High production costs and importation not shortage in supply have caused the prices of rice in the local markets to soar, the Department of Agriculture in Region 12 on Monday said.

NFA Cotabato manager relieved from post

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/29 March) -- The manager of the National Food Authority (NFA) in Cotabato province, Anthony Mariano Bernad, has been relieved of his post effective Friday after top officials of the NFA in Central Mindanao discovered his possible involvement in the withdrawal of some 21,000 bags of rice at their warehouse here.

Fisherfolk to gov’t: help us against commercial fishers

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 March) -- Commercial fishing within municipal waters is still the biggest issue faced by the Davao Gulf Management Council (DGMC).

Black bugs infest SouthCot rice farms

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/5 March) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has created a special task force that will look into the continuing onslaught of the rice black bug pest in various parts of South Cotabato.

GenSan avails of DA grant to construct abattoir

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / February 29) – The city government here has formally signified its interest to avail of a grant from the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the construction of a modern abattoir in the area.

GenSan mayor warns of bleak fishing industry future

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 Feb) -- Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. on Tuesday said residents and businessmen should explore the possibilities of opening up new industries as decline in tuna catch continues and ties with neighboring countries sharing fishing grounds with the Philippines remain uncertain.

Region 9’s first barangay food terminal launched next week

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay (MindaNews/18 February) – Senior agriculture executives will lead the launching of the region’s first Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) in Barangay Sanito here on February 24 to make prime goods more accessible and affordable to low-income families.

DA to distribute livestock in Sarangani

ALABEL, Sarangani (MindaNews/2 Feb.) – The Department of Agriculture Region 12 will distribute for free goats and chicken to the “poorest of the poor” living in Sarangani’s less developed barangays to mitigate hunger and provide additional income for the beneficiaries.

Bills on rubber research arm filed

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay (MindaNews/19 January) – Efforts to improve the quality and quantity of rubber produced in the country got a big boost with the filing of a bill in both houses of Congress creating the Philippine Rubber Research Institute.

Abaca stages a comeback

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 Jan) -- Interest in abaca, a favorite crop long ago, is regaining with the new surge in demand abroad.

Mango growers told to cut back on chemical use

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/14 Jan) – Locally-produced mangoes may end up without viable markets locally and abroad if local mango farmers or producers would not cut down on their use of chemicals and other inorganic substances, an agriculture official here warned.

SouthCot prepares for massive planting of cassava, rubber, oil palm

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews14 Jan) – Agriculture officials here have consolidated at least 70,000 hectares of land in South Cotabato as potential production areas for cassava, rubber and oil palm.

Banana firm to set up growership scheme in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/January 5) -- A subsidiary of Japanese-owned Sumitomo Corp is expanding its operation in Banga, South Cotabato through a growership scheme with landowners there, company officials confirmed late this week.

Region 12 is second highest in RP corn production

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/26 Dec) -- Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao is expected to maintain its second rank in terms of corn production as production for the whole year is projected to reach 1.123 million metric tons, according to data gathered by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).

Bleak Christmas for workers in tuna industry

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 December) – It’s a bleak Christmas for workers in the tuna industry.

Some tuna canning plants here have cut production time by 16 hours due to scarcity of stock,  affecting about half of their labor force,  Mariano Fernandez, president of the Tuna Canners Association of the Philippines – General Santos, said.

Canned tuna production drops

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 December) - Philippine canned tuna production for the export  market has gone down over the last six months according to the Tuna Canners Association of the Philippines (TCAP).

TCAP president Mariano Fernandez of Ocean Canning on Wednesday said most of the country's tuna canning plants are now operating way below their full production capacity.

Global warming, competition blamed for drop in tuna catch

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 December)- Admitting that there has been a steep decline of tuna catch over the last few years, one of the city's biggest tuna producers on Wednesday blamed global warming as one of the major reasons for the drop in tuna production.

Pay attention to GMOs, biofuels to alleviate poverty, WB exec tells RP

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / December 7) – A World Bank executive has recommended that the Philippines pay attention to the issues of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), intellectual property rights (IPRs), biofuels, and climate change to alleviate its poor.

Four agri-firms avail of DA’s zero-interest loans; poor farmers didn’t know

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/06 December) --  Only four agri-based firms managed to avail of a multi-million government credit line through the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) while hundreds of farmers did not even know they could borrow from half a million pesos to P30 million at zero interest.

Sibugay mayorvows to stop illegal fishing

KABASALAN, Zamboanga Sibugay (MindaNews/04 Dec) -- -“Illegal fishers are definitely not allowed in this town,” Mayor Freddie Chu declared during the opening of the 2nd Sibugay Coastal Resource Management Summit in Barangay Concepcion, the region’s “talaba (oyster) capital.”

Agri regional chief absolved of malversation; faces falsification case

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/04 December) -- The Office of the Ombudsman has affirmed the dismissal of the charges of malversation of public funds filed against Agriculture regional director Abusama Alid but recommended the filing of falsification of public documents at the Sandiganbayan against him.

Davao City to appeal CA’s 60-day TRO vs aerial spraying

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 Nov) --  The City Government here is expected to appeal the Court of Appeal's 60-day temporary restraining order, banning it from implementing its ban on aerial spraying in banana plantations.

Sibugay Unified Fisheries Ordinance up for adoption

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay – (MindaNews/19 Nov) -- A unified ordinance for “the management, conservation, utilization and protection of the coastal and marine resources” of nine coastal towns of the province is up for review and adoption by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan before the year ends.

NFA ups buying price of palay

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / November 16) -- The National Food Authority announced that it has increased its buying price for palay to help farmers cope with rising cost of living.

Antonio dela Cruz, NFA director for Southern Mindanao, said his agency has increased the buying price of palay to P11 per kilo, up by P1 from the previous buying rate.

Coco execs worried over entry of disease-laden oil palm

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/10 Nov) – Representatives from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Southwestern Mindanao have asked legislators in North Cotabato to regulate the entry of palm planting materials from outside the region following reports of the spread of an invasive pest called coconut leaf beetle.

Organic farming and ‘bayanihan’ help farmers conquer hunger

MALITBOG, Bukidnon (MindaNews/26 October) -- Eugenio “Eunie” Geraldo, a farmer with six children in a village called Tumigbong here fell into a depression when his wife Apolinaria died while giving birth to youngest child Lourdes three years ago.

Only a few farmers are going organic

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/16 October) -- Organic agriculture still remains a "speck in the dust" in Mindanao, with only around 7% to 8% of farmers adopting it, an advocate said.

Pinoy breeds new, drought-resistant corn

BANGA, South Cotabato (MindaNews/3 Oct) – For an ordinary farmer, only a miracle can make a corn plant survive for almost a month under an unusually intense heat and without a single drop of water.

DA working on standardization of corn industry

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/2 Oct) – The Department of Agriculture is currently conducting a series of consultations that would lead to a unified standard for the corn industry and thus strengthen it, reports said.

Farmlands in at least two SouthCot towns flooded

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 August) -  Hundreds of hectares of farmlands in South Cotabato were submerged in floodwaters due to sporadic heavy rains since last week.

1st Mindanao Jatropha forum in CDO on Aug 28

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/23 August) --  Farmers, entrepreneurs and representatives from the energy sector will gather here on August 28 for the 1st Mindanao Jatropha forum.

Insects destroy lanzones trees but growers urged against using pesticides

KIDAPAWAN CITY(MindaNews/23 August) -- Mussel scale insects are destroying lanzones trees in three towns of North Cotabato and this city.

1.5 M employed in R-12, mostly in agri sector

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/06 August) -- Some 1.5 million people out of the
estimated 2.45 million population aged 15 years and older in Region 12 (Southwestern Mindanao), are employed as of October 2006, with more than half in the agriculture sector.

Stem borer infestation hits M’lang rice fields

M’LANG, North Cotabato (MindaNws/6 Aug) -- Over 1,000 hectares of rice fields in 18 villages here have been damaged due to the infestation of stem borers, damaging P5-million worth of newly planted rice, the municipal agriculture office reported.

Mindanao hog growers want tighter border control amid cholera outbreak

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/1 Aug) -- The hog industry here is urging government to strengthen border control around Mindanao to avoid the spread of a cholera strain that affects pigs already reported in Central Luzon.

Vets looking into possible outbreak of Surra

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/31 July) -- Veterinary officials are wary over another possible outbreak of the deadly surra disease among four-legged farm animals here and several parts of South Cotabato due to the continuing rainy season.

Koronadal launches free vaccination vs hog cholera

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/30 July)--- The city government here has launched a free vaccination drive for hog cholera or swine fever  to wipe out the destructive animal disease in the city.

Erratic weather pattern worries SouthCot agri exec; another drought feared

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 July)– Farmlands in most parts of South Cotabato have been flourishing during the last two months due to the area's relatively favorable weather condition, but agriculture officials are worried over the possible changes in the area's weather pattern in the coming months.

DA opens postharvest facility in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 July) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to open another modern corn postharvest processing and trading center (PHPTC)in Sarangani province in a bid to further boost the area's corn industry.

Program for farmers launched in NorthCot’s 2nd district

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/19 July) – A Maguindanaon farmer from a remote village here is among the hundreds of beneficiaries of an agriculture-based program launched in the province’s 2nd district Tuesday.

Europeans cite feats in upland agriculture in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 July) --  The European Commission cited feats in sustainable upland development in Southern Mindanao in closing its nine year Upland Development Programme (UDP) with the Department of Agriculture.

Central Mindanao’s agri-aqua products good enough for export — official

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/5 Jul) -- Central Mindanao’s agriculture and aquaculture products have potentials to hit the export market, an agriculture official said.

Singapore requirements delay first Mindanao hog export

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / June 29) – Singapore imposed a score of “corrective measures”  for livestock products from Mindanao, forcing the island’s exporters to move by another month their target to ship its first exports earlier set this month, a government livestock official said.

RP upbeat on nego with Indonesia for new fishing pact

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 June) --  The government is upbeat on its ongoing negotiations with Indonesia for a new bilateral fishing agreement that will allow the re-entry of Philippine-registered fishing vessels to its tuna-rich fishing grounds.

DA assures enough grains supply in South Cot

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/22 June) -- Agriculture officials assured South Cotabato's 10 towns and lone city of enough food supply until the end of the year.


Agri sector tops list for hiring child labor

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 June) --  The agricultural sector, particularly the sugarcane industry, hires more child workers than any other sector in Southeastern Mindanao, an official of the International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) said.

DA urges setting up of mariculture parks in Sarangani Bay

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 May) --  The Department of Agriculture wants the resource-rich, 214,000-hectare Sarangani Bay included in the mariculture highway project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

British firm lures farmers to grow tuba-tuba

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MIndanews/21 May) – Pay upon harvest.

A British firm going around Mindanao to entice farmers to cultivate tuba-tuba (Jatropha curcas), is providing the farmers planting materials, technical assistance and a marketing agreement.

R-12?s exports soar to $390M in 2006

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 Feb) -- Region 12’s exports in 2006 increased by 18 percent, reaching a total of $390.5 million, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Group opposes genetically modified rice by German company

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/21 Feb) – The Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), a non-government organization, has urged the Bureau of Plant and Industry to turn down the application of a German company for its genetically modified rice varieties to be used for feed, food, and processing.