Why a Million Hectares

Why a Million Hectares

Angelito M. Sarmiento


MARID Editorial Board


In a recent talk with agri-practioners from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños (UPLB), I was told of their disappointment over the seemingly wholesale invasion of agricultural products in the local market from China. This was coupled with the government plan to open a million hectares of the agri-land for Chinese businessmen, despite of the existence or availability of local agri-talents recognized and hired by foreign governments and organizations.

To a large extent, I share their concern. UPLB enjoyed high international recognition as an educational institution producing top caliber agri-people. But the inability of the Philippines to elevate its agricultural productivity equal if not better than nearby countries somehow puts a dent in its image. Somewhere, somehow, the agriculture scenario seems not equal to the recognition anymore.

In retrospect, there are many things that could have been done but that is water under the bridge. A litany of “what could have been” is an input to the equation, but knowing where we are and where we want to go is a basic fundamental in planning. Not knowing where we are will not bring us anywhere.

Questions why agri-products from China and far-away lands are able to penetrate local markets at competitive levels must be answered outside of  the off-the-cuff reasons of government subsidies and price dumping. Real answers must be given to guide local producers in their investment ventures and activities.

Determination of the competitive areas, now and in the future, must be known so that government interventions and programs can be consistently pursued (and funded), and not be dependent on who heads the agri-bureacracy and other interim officials.

Unlike in the other government initiatives, agricultural programs require long term nurturing commitment and sustained attention to bring in the projected economic results. There is no other way. Continue reading “Why a Million Hectares”

Feed pea: Excellent protein source for juvenile shrimps

Feed pea: Excellent protein source for juvenile shrimps
by Junelyn S.de la Rosa

There is good news for shrimp farmers who are looking for an alternative protein-rich feed for juvenile shrimps (Penaeus monodon). Scientists have found that feed pea (Pisum sativum) can be a good substitute to the commonly used soybean meal.
Scientists from SEAFDEC in Tigbauan, Ilo-ilo reported that there were no significant differences in the weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ration (FCR), and protein efficiency ratio (PER) of juvenile shrimps that were fed with feed pea at different levels of replacement. Continue reading “Feed pea: Excellent protein source for juvenile shrimps”

Peanut Production – Mani Business


Technical Description
Peanut (anachis hypogea L.), locally known as “mani”, is a protein-rich and oil-laden legume. It is one of the oldest crop grown in the Philippines, but it has remained as a corn intercrop and has not gained prominence as a cash crop. It helps reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Peanut contains high quality protein (25-30%) and oil (46-50%) protein content of 1 kg. Peanut is equivalent to that of a kilogram of pork and exceeds that of an egg, and meat from fowl and beef.

Peanut is ideal as a food ingredient because of its aroma, flavor, crunchy texture, and high energy value. It requires less nitrogen fertilizer because of its nitrogen-fixing nodules.

About 95% of the peanut areas are planted with the low yielding “native” Spanish-type variety. The Philippine seed board recommended the CES-10 and BPI-E.B. which yield as high as 2.0-2.5 MT of shelled peanuts per hectare. These varieties contain 24-26% protein and 42-46% oil. Continue reading “Peanut Production – Mani Business”

Calamansi Production – Kalamansi


Calamansi Production – Kalamansi

Calamansi or calamondin (Citrofortunella microcarpa) is a fruit tree native to the Philippines. It is the most commonly grown backyard tree among the citrus species. It can thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions.

It is a small tree with a height ranging from 2 meters to 7 ½ meters at maturity. Its broad egg-shaped leaves are dark green in the upper surface and pale green underneath. The fruit is round, about 2 cm to 4.5 cm in diameter, and greenish – yellow in color.

Like its relatives, such as the mandarin, pomelo and sweet orange, the calamansi is rich in phosphorous, calcium, iron and Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. It is the most popular and most commonly used citrus fruit in the country. Its juice is nutritious and traditionally made into a fruit drink that helps prevent respiratory diseases. It also helps strengthen the bones and stimulate growth especially among growing children. It can be used as a flavoring ingredient in desserts, e.g. leche flan, or as an additive in various food preparations, such as fish steak. Its pulp is used as a major ingredient in beverages, syrups, concentrates, and purees. The peel is made into jams, candies, and marmalade. With its alkalinizing effect, on the body calamansi helps circulate blood evenly and facilitates normal digestion. Continue reading “Calamansi Production – Kalamansi”