The Department of Agriculture Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) led by its executive director, Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, launched the “Buck to Bucks” (B2B) Paiwi System on 9 July 2020 in San Jose, Nueva Ecija to help livestock farmers augment their income.

The B2B Paiwi System is one of the components of DA-PCC’s Creating Opportunities through Value Innovations and Development project under the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 program of the Department of Agriculture.

In partnership with the city government of San Jose, the project will benefit farmer-members of the Tayabo Agro-Entrepreneur Natures Innovators Movement and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries in Barangay Tayabo, San Jose, Nueva Ecija. Lolito Deloberjes, Jr., a progressive farmer, was chosen to initially model the B2B Paiwi System. He was entrusted with one male goat (buck) that will be used for breeding for meat production. Hence, earning bucks in the long run.

Under the said system, existing does from the herd of the partner farmer underwent ultrasonography to determine which were eligible for mating. Qualified does were injected with hormone to induce estrous. After three to five days, the does are expected manifest overt signs of estrus or ‘in heat’ and they will be bred naturally by the buck. Pregnancy diagnosis will be done after 30 days by ultrasonographic examination of the does. Once they are declared pregnant, the buck will be transferred to another adopted goat herd community identified by Edgardo G. Villamante, focal person San Jose city government.

The said buck is one of the kids born out of another DA-PCC project, “Utilization of Epididymal Sperm of Slaughtered Livestock for Basic Research Using Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ARTs),” led by Dr. Lerma Cajuigan-Ocampo of DA-PCC and funded by the DA Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

The BAR-funded project found that post mortem epididymal sperm (ES) remain physiologically functional as demonstrated by their ability to fertilize matured oocytes through in vitro fertilization technique (IVF). ES was preserved on -196 degrees Celsius for future utilization. Dr. Ocampo emphasized the importance of preserving animal genetic resources in the country for sustainable livestock production.

Following its success, another BAR-funded project was conducted to determine if the frozen (ES) sperm could still fertilize matured oocytes through in vivo fertilization; simply put, its ability to impregnate a doe.

The follow-up project proved that utilization of the frozen ES by Fixed Time Artificial Insemination technology in Boer goats at DA-PCC genepool produced kids on the ground called “Epid” bucks. These bucks were lent to the livestock farmers under the B2B Paiwi System.

Although nondescript goats may be smaller than their imported/foreign breed counterpart, village farmers still keep a handful in their locality due to their innate capability to graze with locally available fodder/grasses and their ability to multiply faster. The B2B Paiwi System will

surely help the farmers produce more goats that are better version of their female parent, thus augmenting their income faster. ### (Rena S. Hermoso)

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Mushroom-growing and production are not new in the Philippines. It has been known since the 1990s. However, due to limited resources available, its status and production were sparse enough for people to lose interest in it.

With its immense potentials and benefits, the only thing that discourages people to venture in this field is the lack of knowledge, access to trainings, and quality planting materials.

This sparked the initiative of the Department of Agriculture- Central Luzon Integrated Agricultural Research Center (DA-CLIARC) to pursue a study on mushroom propagation technology that involved three components to improve income, especially of rice farmers: research and development; production and gene bank establishment; and training and extension services.

Funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), these three components have respective sub-studies conducted to complete and ensure the project’s overall goal which is to generate and introduce low-cost mushroom production and postharvest technologies to farmers.

Research and Development 

Under this component, three sub-studies were successfully actualized by DA-CLIARC that aimed to generate a product line of mushroom- based products for additional income of farmers. These products have high nutritional content because mushrooms alone are already rich in vitamins and minerals. These are good alternatives especially for those who are monitoring their fat and sugar intake.

One of the studies is on “Product Development and Shelf-life Extension of Pleurotus-based Mushroom Frozen Products” which produced 10 frozen varieties of products for commercialization. This product line included ice cream, ice drop, kikiam, bola-bola, nuggets, veggie-balls, longganisa, tapa, dumpling, and lumpiang shanghai. Fresh mushroom fruits were harvested and added to these goods and then processed with the respective ingredients needed for each recipe.

 

Moreover, another study focused on producing consumable treats with oyster mushrooms as main ingredient. This study, however, centers more on sweets and pastries. The study titled “Product Development of Pleurotus Mushroom-Based Sweets and Pastries for Commercialization” generated 10 goods for this product line including waffle, cupcake, espasol, macaroons, pie tart, pandesal, brownies, sugar- coated mushroom, glazed mushroom, and maja.

Aside from these, nine mushroom-based condiments were also developed under this component. Through the study “Incorporation of Pleurotus Mushroom on The Processing and Development of Condiments, Mixes, And Sauces for Community-based Enterprises,” mushroom ketchup, pickle relish, gravy, chili paste, fish ball sauce, mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce were developed.

The researchers conducted a sensory evaluation for each of the products and have gained positive feedback from the public in terms of taste, color, texture, and flavor.

Meanwhile, on shelf-life testing, these projects have also successfully prolonged the shelf-life of mushroom and have lessened its perishability. With rancidity as its main determiner, the product lines can last for months when kept and stored properly..

 

Gene bank establishment and training services  

The remaining two components of the project focused on increasing the awareness of growers on mushroom varieties and production. The gene bank aimed to serve as a source of starter cultures for individuals and institutions who have expressed their interest in mushroom growing, while the provision of training services intended to expand the know-hows and skills of the growers.

With that, the extension and training component, that originally intended to cater 1,000 individuals, has expanded its training to 1,042 participants through a total of 31 training services provided.

When it comes to the gene bank establishment, researchers surpassed the target number to be produced and have reached 3,055 quality culture and 38,000 mushroom fruiting bags. Also, 18 edible mushroom varieties were cultured for continuous storage and maintenance.

At present, in response to DA’s Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 program, mushroom fruiting bags have been distributed by DA-CLIARC Upland in Magalang, Pampanga for free. In addition, vegetable seeds and seedlings as well as grain spawns were also given to the members of Mushroom and High-Value Crops Producers Association in Tarlac. The institution is also preparing for the launching of their online seminar on mushroom production.

Following the same initiative, another mushroom project also funded by DA-BAR titled “Establishment of Mushroom Development Center at DA-RCPC, City of Ilagan, Isabela,” has also produced spawns which were recently allocated to community members who attended an on-site training on mushroom production in Cauayan City, Isabela.

As the country gears towards the New Normal post-pandemic, mushroom production and its by- products truly are seen as one of the most feasible sources of income because of its economic opportunities and advantages. ### Chantale T. Francisco

  

For more information:

Dr. Emily A. Soriano

Project Leader

DA-Central Luzon

(0906) 245 0622

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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            With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic heavily affecting the country, and the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon paralyzing the operations of most economic activities of the state, our farmers, fishers, and rural agriculture workers are undeniably far among the most distressed in this ill-fated situation. Luckily, with the Agriculture Department focused on bringing prosperity to farmers and fishers, programs like the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) got their backs.

 

            For more than two decades now, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) has been continuously dedicated to the development and improvement of the implementation of CPAR as a program which merges the efforts of farmer- and fisher-cooperators and research.

 

            In trying times like the current health crisis, CPAR has empowered and somehow prepared thousands of farmers and fishers across the country by capacitating them in various different agricultural techniques tailored based on their locations, resources, and needs which enabled them to increase their yields and profits.

 

            A remarkable example would be the story of barangays Gov. E. Jaro and Bagong Silang in Babatngon, Leyte.

 

            The two are primarily agricultural barangays; hence, communities rely heavily on agriculture for income. However, they used to suffer from low productivity issues and income because of mono-cropping (rice only), high cost of production inputs and labor, and lack of interest in venturing to value-adding options.

 

             Thus, the project titled “CPAR on Rainfed Lowland Rice-based Integrated Farming Systems in Brgys. Gov. E. Jaro and Bagong Silang, Babatngon, Leyte” was conceptualized in collaboration with DA-Eastern Visayas.

 

            The project mainly looked at the intensification and diversification of farming systems of the communities.

 

            Rice-duck integration was first introduced to the barangays as it was then gaining popularity in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Ducks were grown along with rice to promote an environment where the soil is aerated, weeds and controlled, and pests are eradicated.

 

Ducks act as yield-enhancing agents which, at the same time, reduces production technology for both. This makes it a sustainable enterprise because additional income can be derived from duck meat, egg, and other by-products.

 

            For the rice-duck integration alone, significant increases were recorded. Bagong Silang reached 3.80 t/ha from 2.54 t/ha, and 2.78 t/ha from 2.76 t/ha during the wet and dry season, respectively. On the other hand, Gov. E. Jaro reached 3.99 t/ha from 3.62 t/ha, and 4.16 t/ha from 3.88 t/ha during the wet and dry season, respectively.

 

            Meanwhile, duck eggs provided up to PhP 2,000 of additional income to farmers monthly.

 

            Edible landscaping was also introduced to 40 farmer-cooperators. Farmers planted various vegetable crops such as eggplant, okra, lettuce, upland kangkong, patola, bitter gourd, pechay, bottle gourd, bell pepper, tomato, pole sitao, alugbati, and squash. Container gardening using recycled materials like empty bottles of softdrinks, cans, plastic bags, used water jugs, and used sacks were among the encouraged materials to promote environmental conservation and management in the process.

 

Moreover, members were subjected to various different trainings, including climate-smart agriculture, organic agriculture, edible landscaping, vermicomposting, mushroom culture, business planning, and enterprise development.

 

Two years after the intervention, the initiative continues to thrive and gain attention among members of the community.

 

This proved true for farmer-cooperators when their rice-duck-vegetable farming system cum edible landscaping provided the communities with abundant harvest with what better timing than during the height of the pandemic crisis.

 

“Our ongoing CPAR project in Babatngon came out to be the perfect solution in this time of crisis. We are glad that our 40 farmer-cooperators have enough food for their families and more to share to their neighbors,” Rufelie Gula, project lead, shared.

 

With success stories from both cooperators and partner-implementers, CPAR has proven to be an effective way of securing food security, sustainability, availability, and affordability, especially for farmer- and fisher-cooperators.

 

            CPAR is one of the banner programs of the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research which focuses on the enhancement of the role of research for development in the process of hastening the transfer of various technologies to farmers and fishers in the field. ### Jhon Marvin R. Surio

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