Hybrid Squash Is Resistant to Different Viruses
The vegetable farmers in Rizal harvested Jupiter 208 hybrid squash developed by breeders of Allied Botanical Corporation which has an experiment station in Tayug, Pangasinan. The plant is claimed to be highly resistant to different kinds of virus that attack the squash family. It has strong vines that produce a lot of fruits. The fruits are 5 to 7 kilos each and are uniformly ribbed so that they are stackable. They can be conveniently stacked on top of one another during transport (see left photo). The flesh is best described in Tagalog as “maligat” which is preferred by most consumers.
The club could also organize farm tours and meetings for both Taiwan and the Philippines to open the eyes of farmers in both countries to the potentials of a closer working relationship. It could also initiate investment forums, particularly Philippine investment policies on agricultural projects that could be undertaken by Taiwanese, and come up with investor-friendly services to facilitate the process of setting up farming operations here. The Board of Investments, Department of Trade and Industry, local government units, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Immigration and the Departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform can provide a cohesive and clear cut policy to attract investors in various crops and farm animals, fisheries, agro-forestry, food processing and marketing for both local and export markets.
Formosa Filipina can initiate an exchange program for students and professors in state universities to expose them to new technologies which could be adopted right on the farms rather than just in the classroom or library. It can also establish an apprentice program with farming groups in Taiwan for Filipino agriculturists and technicians. It can also encourage sisterhood relationships between farmers’ cooperatives in the Philippines and Taiwan.
Toto also observes that there are many NGOs that are involved in agricultural development. They can also be encouraged to establish linkages with Taiwanese NGOs that will enhance the livelihood of Filipino farmers through technology transfers and training program. They can also provide transportation funding and scholarships for promising agriculturists to train in Taiwan.
Formosa Filipina could also tap Taiwanese grants for local research in agricultural technology such as in the fields of entomology, plant breeding, biotechnology, nanotechnology, farm mechanization and others. It could also organize symposiums for LGU executives on policy formulation that will attract investors in agricultural projects considering their geographic and climatic advantages. Toto cites an example Nueva Vizcaya’s potential as a growing area for Taiwanese semi-temperate fruits. The Philippine’s long coastline and protective coves can be ideal for fish cage culture, oyster culture and fish hatcheries. Because the northern provinces are near Taiwan, these could be a vegetable production base for big Taiwanese packers and exporters of organic and hydroponics vegetables, as well as greenhouse-grown crops. Mushroom production can be developed in many provinces. Oh yes, there are so many possibilities with the establishment of Formosa Filipina.
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