Slew Of Agri Summer News
The scorching heat of summer is on! But the rains of sunnier are something we did not expect. Although PAGASA recently warned us about the upcoming La Nina phenomenon.
I remember when the big narra tree in my house bore flowers, it is January, and it has been so for decades. The narra tree flowered first week of April this year. What does it mean? Is this the climate change everybody is talking about?
Honoring NAFC (National Food Agricultural Council) PILLARS Recently, Messrs. Vicente Lim, Renato Florencio and Ms. Basilisa Ho were honored in a joint Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC) -NAFC meeting.
It is a beautiful way to express our thanks to these trailblazers. Those who left behind footprints in the sands of time for us to follow.
To me, Mr. Vicente Lim is a hero in agriculture. The one who initiated the idea that agriculture is not all production. Marketing assumes more importance. Farmers earn more when they sell their products. Quality control from the time the good seeds are sown. It ends in the shelf or on the table when it is finally consumed or eaten. From seeds to shelf to the dining table-that is the chain which we all owe to the farmers. Food security feeds the nation.
As an individual, Mr. Lim’s hobby includes taking pictures. His pictures taken in Africa, reveals the artist in him. The book containing his photos which was done bv his children reveals this hidden facet of his personality.
As part of Ting’s angels as Mrs. Agbayani and myself are called, he is a great friend and adviser. He usually closes his eyes when listening. You think he is sleeping. But he is listening carefully because when you are through, he picks your brains with the ideas you shared. lie says he only closes his eyes so he can concentrate on what you are saying.
His response to us all is a one sentence advice “develop your sense of analysis. Repeat analysis so you can help solve the problem of yourself and the world”.
Mr. Renato Florencio is a mango man – a jeweler and management guru. He ventured into mango, organizing the National Mango Growers, the National Mango Action Team (NMAT) and this group is now very active in bringing forward the mango industry to its international prominence.
Mrs. BasiTisa Ho is a rubber industry practitioner. She made a difference during the Asean Rubber Industry Conference held in the Philippines. She will continue to work with us as she brings the Philippine rubber industry to higher grounds.
The Php10-million bridge funded by BUTIL Party-List Leonila V. Chavez was finally inaugurated last March 21, 2009. This is located in Barangay San Roque in the town of Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. The hundreds of farmers who are directly benefited by this bridge were all there to give thanks. It all took five years to complete this infrastructure because the partner of BUTIL who promised to co-fund the bridge did not deliver. But Ms. Chavez committed as she is, again drew from her countryside development fund (CDF) to finish the bridge.
Now the farmers will no longer get their feet wet (hindi na mapapasma ang kanilang mga paa), their farm-inputs like fertilizers will no longer get wet and their onion produce will be easily transported to the market. The happy faces of farmers belonging to National Onion Growers Cooperative Marketing Association (NOGROCOMA) who initiated the project with the help of Congresswoman Nelly Chavez are mute testimony of how government reaches to the farmers in the countryside.
Buhayin: Industriya ng Sibuyas (BINS)
It was a very successful farmers’ field day last March 13, 2009. We saw the effects of technology applied to the farmers’ field and farmer practice. In short, lowering cost of production was done with a simple, doable technology.
We also organized a Focused Group Discussion (FGD). All the 150 farmers attended and the 20 or 30 scientists and their students and guests participated. Lessons learned: when everybody is participating, interest is aroused. The activity from 9:00 in the morning to 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon held the interest of all. The lectures by the UPLB scientists Dr. Renato Mabesa and Dr. Bonifacio Cayabyab and others held our farmers in awe. The highlight on “Kaibigang Kulisap” or friendly insect focused on the laws of nature which is balance. Everybody has a role to play.
The FGD tackled two topics : Why do we need to export onions? and why do we need to share in the profit of importation?
The exercise brought hope to all the farmers who were there. It was truly a successful meeting. It was also an eye-opener to the organizers.
The Giant Balete Tree in Bongabon Did you know that what rests in the mountains of Sierra Madre is a giant balete tree? Its circumference is around 25 meters. It reaches up to the sky. I saw it myself and my eyes could not see the top of the tree. I am thinking that maybe this balete tree is house to the monkey-eating eagle or kalaw that are now on the endangered species list. To see the wonder of nature during Holy Saturday as we ate lechon in the cool breeze of the virgin forest capped our vacation! We even bathed in the healing waters from the mini-waterfalls after the climb. Truly refreshing! Truly inspiring!