Known for its ivory translucent shell, kapis or window-pane shell (Placuna placenta) is mainly processed into lanterns, candle holders, window panes, lamp shades, flower vases, chandeliers, among other decorative items. Indigenous to various parts of our country, kapis is a very promising fishery commodity given the local and global demand for it either as a raw material or as a processed product. However, unbeknownst to many, kapis is also an edible marine bivalve mollusk like tahong, talaba, kuhol, and tulya.

Samal, Bataan is one of the municipalities in the country that has a rich resource of kapis. Thus, most locals usually engage in kapis craft making. The knowledge of processing kapis shells into exquisite decorative and gift items has been passed down from one generation to another.

Aside from this, they also utilize the kapis meat by cooking it into delectable Filipino dishes such as adobo, afritada, shanghai and by processing it into finger foods such as chips and kropek.

The idea of kapis chips came from one of the members of the KALIWANAG Rural Improvement Club (RIC), a cooperative in Samal that engages in the development of kapis-based products. According to Dr. Lilian C. Garcia, regional director of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 3, by processing the kapis meat into chips, an opportunity for additional source of income has opened and at the same time maximum utilization of kapis was made possible.

Smaller than the commercially available chips such as tahong chips, the kapis chips is very rich in protein making it a healthier option for finger food. If properly stored, it can last up to six months. Currently, the available flavors of kapis chips are original and sweet and spicy. Kapis chips are available in 75g, 150g, and 250g pouches and sold at Php 100, Php 200 and Php 300, respectively. It can be bought at the municipal and provincial tourism offices in Bataan and at the pasalubong center in Samal, Bataan, as well.

Six years after its inception, the kapis chips with its palatable taste have continued to spark and attract the attention of the buyers according to Ms. Gladys T. Resubal, aquaculturist from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Balanga City, Bataan. Aside from the income generated through making wonderful decorative and gift items from kapis, they are also now earning an additional estimated annual income of Php 200,000 from the profits of selling kapis chips.

To ensure that they would have sufficient stock of kapis and to avoid its exploitation, Ms. Resubal said that per sanctuary they “stock more than a ton of kapis breeders, yon ang nanganganak to increase production.” She also added, “We regulate harvesting of small kapis and breeders. Bawal kunin iyong less than two inches na kapis and iyong breeders.”

KALIWANAG RIC is one of the cooperatives in Samal that was supported through the project, “Technology Promotion and Utilization of Window Pane Oyster (Placuna placenta) Products,” funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research and implemented by BFAR Region 3, provincial government of Bataan, and local government unit of Balanga.

Dr. Lilian C. Garcia, project leader, and Ms. Resubal, co-project leader, realized the potential of the kapis industry in Bataan. They saw that the “maximum utilization of fishery products through application of appropriate technologies increases productivity and income, and generates jobs.” With this, the project was aimed to: improve the existing kapis based products and develop new ones; develop the packaging of the products; capacitate cooperators/ beneficiaries in the production of kapis products; improve production facilities; and assist in the promotion and marketing of the kapis products. ###

-----------------

For more information: Ms. Gladys Resubal

Aquaculturist Office of the Provincial Agriculturist Balanga City, Bataan | Mobile: 0918 298 9814 | email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Native chicken plays an important contribution to the economic wellbeing of rural farming communities in the country. In spite of being inferior in terms of productivity compared with commercial chicken breeds, majority of smallhold farmers opt to raise native chicken as a source of food and additional income as it does not require special care and management. It can thrive on locally-available feedstock, resist major pests and diseases, adapt to new surroundings, and withstand climatic changes.

 

The demand for native chicken in the market has also steadily increased because of its unique taste and suitability to many local dishes. Local restaurants and catering services are looking for regular and stable supply of native chicken meat in the market.

 

However, low productivity remains a problem for the backyard raisers due to the relatively small body size and low egg production performance of native chicken. Thus, Dr. Francisco B. Geromo of Zamboanga Peninsula Integrated Agricultural Research Center (ZAMPIARC) of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 9 (DA-RFO 9) led the conduct of a project titled, “Community-based Native Chicken Project.” Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), the project aimed to help in packaging and commercializing the technologies related to community-based native chicken production in Zamboanga Peninsula.

 

Through the project, the following interrelated studies were conducted: 1) profiling of native chicken; 2) growing and selection of upgraded breeder stocks; 3) crossbreeding of native chicken with four upgraded roosters; 4) growth performance of upgraded chicken; 5) egg production and hatchability performance of upgraded chicken; 6) profitability assessment; 7) sensory evaluation and acceptability testing of four upgraded chickens; and 8) mass production of upgraded chickens for dispersal in the community.

 

Results of the project

The study elicited significant findings regarding crossbreeding of the native chicken with four upgraded roosters. It was found that the offspring (F1) of the four upgraded roosters namely Kabir, Sasso, Jolojano, and Plymouthrock crossed to native chicken has no significant difference in terms of weight. However, the Jolojano breed crossed with native chicken was found more resistant to pests and diseases with good mothering ability. All the crosses reached maturity in 4-5 months. Likewise, when the four upgraded roosters (F1) were crossed again with native chicken in the farmers’ field, egg production and weight of eggs were not affected by any of the four upgraded breeds of chicken.

 

In terms of hatchability performance, it was observed that natural incubation gave higher percentage of hatchability as compared with those subjected in artificial incubation for four upgraded breeds crossed with native chicken, with hatchability performance ranging from 81-83 percent and 61-63 percent, respectively.

 

The upgraded Kabir crossed with native chicken has significantly higher weight of about 1.81 kg as compared with other upgraded chickens. The offspring of native chickens showed the lowest gain in weight of about 1.48 kg. Likewise, offspring of upgraded Kabir and native chicken was more efficient among other upgraded chickens, which required only 8.36 kg of feed in producing a kilo of meat. An on-farm study revealed that Kabir crossed with native chicken got the highest Return on Investment (ROI) of about 17 percent and net return of Php 882.84 compared with rest of upgraded chickens and the native. Native chicken crossed with native chicken got the lowest ROI of about 0.38 percent and net return of Php 19.47. Thus, it is recommended to go for upgraded Kabir as it was found superior in terms of weight and efficiency in feed conversion.

 

For egg and chick production, it was observed that the average egg production and mean weight of eggs were significantly higher in four upgraded chickens crossed with native as compared with native crossed with native. The four upgraded chickens produced on a average 12-14 pieces of eggs at 45-47 grams, in which the upgraded Jolojano has the highest egg production at 14 pieces, while the native crossed with native has an average egg production of 11 pieces and mean weight of eggs of about 45 grams.

 

Evaluation was also conducted during the production of upgraded native chickens (F2) for massive distribution in support to DA dispersal program. During the test done on farmer-cooperator’s farm, it was revealed that the number of egg produced by upgraded Jolojano crossed with native was noted significantly higher of about 14 percent comparable with upgraded Plymouthrock crossed native of about 13 percent. Likewise, the same trend was noted in the mean percentage hatchability which was about 94 percent. However, weight of eggs and percent mortality were not influenced by four upgraded chickens. ROI and net return were noted highest in upgraded Jolojano crossed native of about 91 percent and Php 56,480.00 respectively.

 

In terms of marketing, whether it is live chicken, dressed, or cooked, both the raisers and traders preferred to sell the chicken as live. Then, the most preferred recipes for the chicken by two eatery owners surveyed in the study were the grilled and chicken stew “tinibuok”.

 

The odor, color, taste and over all acceptability of the quality of raw meat were not influenced by the four upgraded chickens crossed with native during the sensory evaluation. Likewise, when the upgraded chickens were subjected to different menus such as oven-roasted and grilled, the consumers’ preference was not also affected. ###

With seaweeds’ wide range of uses from food and fertilizer to cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, seaweed farming has rapidly grown into an industry that offers sustainable income and employment to fishers. The Philippines, one of the world’s biggest producers of the semiprocessed seaweed product called Carageenan, cites seaweeds as its top aquaculture commodity, followed by milkfish and tilapia.

 

Seaweed farming has been generating livelihood for many coastal communities in the country since the 1970s. With seaweed farming not entirely limited to men, the industry has also opened livelihood opportunities for women, with some becoming economically active for only the first time.

 

Women Winning at Seaweeds

This has been the case for the members of the women’s organizations tapped by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)- Region V in the implementation of the project, “Product Development/Improvement and Commercialization of Seaweeds in Bicol Region”.

 

Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) under the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP), the project tapped existing organizations such as the Tabaco Faith International Church (TFIC) Ladies Association, Tobaco, Albay and Rural Improvement Club of Layog, Barcelona, Sorsogon, Through the seminars and trainings that the team of BFAR V Research Manager Aida Andayog conducted, the members of these organizations were taught how to formulate, produce, develop, package and market food products processed from seaweeds.

 

“We also conducted trainings and held seminars to educate farmers and the organizations’ members on the principles of good manufacturing practices (GMP) and sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOP),” says Andayog. GMP and SSOP are prerequisites of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Program (HACCP), an internationally recognized guarantee of the quality of food products.

 

Aside from these, Andayog takes pride in the tests that the group successfully conducted to really ensure the quality of their seaweed products. “Our products underwent sensory evaluation to assess the products’ appearance, odor, flavor and textures, and, more importantly, their nutritional value through nutritional evaluation. We also conducted microbiological analysis of our products, such as seaweed juice, pickled seaweeds and nata de seaweeds, as well as nutritional analysis of various seaweed-finished food products,” Andayog adds.

 

According to Nimfa B. Moreno, a seaweed processor and member of the TFIC Ladies Association, not only has the project provided the seaweed processors with additional knowledge on the processing of seaweed for food, thus increasing their income opportunities, but has also taught the people in the communities to use their time well by taking part in seaweed-related ventures. She says the biggest benefit of the project was that it made the people realize that they can help themselves through entrepreneurship, and this helps make sure that the purpose of the project will continue even after the project is concluded.

 

Seaweed-based products expand into enterprises

Aside from the commercialization of seaweeds and processed seaweed products in Bicol, the project also aimed to establish village-level seaweed production and processing enterprises, providing greater chances for Bicolano fisherfolk and seaweed processors to engage in agribusiness. Thus, to further pursue this goal, the project, “Commercialization of Seaweed Products and Other Fishery Value-Added products in Bicol Region,” was implemented by BFAR-Region V.

 

The demand for seaweedbased products can be easily met by the six Bicol provinces now actively engaged in seaweed farming: Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and Masbate, with Sorsogon being the top producer due to its vast coastal waters. To encourage even more fisherfolk and coastal communities to engage in seaweed farming and product development, various techno-demo and training activities were conducted by the projects.

 

The uniqueness, taste, and nutritional value of Bicolmade seaweed products, which Andayog noted as their competitive advantage, play a significant role in commercializing and marketing them. According to her, “Seaweeds are nutritious. They can help build and sustain the broad nutritional requirements and balance of vitamins, minerals and vital nutrients on which optimum health and vitality depend.”

 

In 2012, the TFIC Ladies group produced about two tons of pancit fortified with seaweeds which were marketed and sold in Manila and Cebu, even reaching as far as South Korea. Developed and packaged seaweed products were also displayed and marketed by the organization in various trade fairs and exhibits for product promotion and marketmatching.

 

Seaweed pancit and nata de seaweed have both give the project beneficiaries return-oninvestment (ROI) of 65 percent on the average, with annual net income hitting P93,600 and P15,360, respectively. Seaweed pickles yielded a net income of P34,512 with a 70 percent ROI.

 

Other food products derived from seaweed also posted high ROIs: seaweed marmalade (89%), candied dried seaweed (86%), seaweed chips (79%), seaweed cracknels (67%), seaweed chocolate (85%), seaweed tart (71%), seaweed morcon (94%), seaweed longanisa (66%), fish lumpia with seaweeds (76%) and yema with seaweeds (55%).

 

Seaweed products continue to provide extra income, not only to the women of the TFIC, but also to other organizations that BFAR Region V has trained. And, as these and other products to be developed improve in taste and quality, it will not be long before these become national and international hits, and good sources of health and wellness, income, and pride for the Bicolanos. ### Mara Shyn M. Valdeabella

 

In the early 19th century, Western Visayas was a center for fashion for both colonizer and colonized. Piña fiber, which is the raw material used in making barong Tagalog was mainly sourced out from Aklan and brought down south to Iloilo where the fabric was designed and weaved into sophisticated pieces of clothing worn only by the elite. The climate in Aklan and its soil is a sweet spot for the mass production of Red Spanish pineapple whose leaves contain the fiber to make Piña cloth.

 

The Red Spanish pineapple is the first pineapple variety to flourish in the Philippines. It wasn’t just known for its fiber but locals also grew to love eating its fruit. It eventually lost its appeal when the Hawaiian variety was introduced in the country.

 

Compared to the Red Spanish variety, Queen Formosa has a larger fruit size by average, and has fruit that’s juicier and sweeter. With the introduction of these newer varieties to the market, Red Spanish production focused on leaf harvesting that supplies for the demand for piña fabric and at the same time overlooked the declining market potential of its fruits.

 

In March 2017, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol visited Western Visayas for his Biyaheng Bukid television program. There, he saw that the pineapple fiber industry is facing an economic slump. “In recent years…the industry has suffered from very low supply of the fiber and the dwindling number of weavers who only earn as much as P300 a day for the difficult work which strains the eyes,” Sec. Piñol mentioned in his Facebook post.

 

With the Red Spanish pineapple being the only source for piña fiber, Sec. Piñol saw an urgent need to support the industry by providing more quality planting materials and sound protocols that can maximize the growth of Red Spanish, both its leaves and its fruits.

 

Yung tanginess ng bunga ng Red Spanish, medyo may kati at parang matabang sabi ng iba, varietal characteristic niya it, ibig-sabihin iyon talaga ang kanyang bunga,” said Mr. Innocencio Obredo, pineapple expert and chair of the Bicol Pineapple Board for the Province of Camarines Norte. When asked about why Red Spanish pineapple no longer appeals to consumer preferences, Obredo mentioned that, “siguro mas lalo siya hindi sumasarap kasi yung practice sa Aklan ay inaalisan ang kanyang mga dahoon bago pa siya maging hinog. So lumalaki ang prutas na walang na siyang ‘lutuan’ ng itinanim.”

 

Secretary Piñol further instructed the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to come up with research projects geared towards revitalizing the economic value of the crop.

 

In response, BAR, as the lead agency for research and development (R&D) in agriculture, immediately convened concerned stakeholders along with its pool of experts, particularly, representatives from the Aklan State University (ASU), DA-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 5, DA-RFO 6, and the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) to discuss and finalize the R&D component studies to improve the size and quality of the Red Spanish pineapple.

 

According to BAR Director Nicomedes Eleazar, the group was able to come up with a concept and an action plan showing specific R&D activities to be implemented by concerned agencies specifically on how to improve the fruit size without compromising the quality of its fiber. He added that initial discussion was also facilitated on the issues and concerns of the textile fiber production from the Red Spanish pineapple as this is the main use of the plant.

 

The R&D component of the program titled, “Fruit Size and Quality Enhancement of Spanish Red Pineapple through Cultural Management Practices,” includes the profiling and marketing research of Red Spanish pineapple production and looking into the cultural management studies for production of large and sweet variety, including cost-benefit analysis of processing products.

 

The projects that are being conducted by DA RFO 5 and ASU have now plotted Red Spanish pineapple in their own experimental fields. Each plot was treated differently, varying in planting density, leaf harvesting, and fertilizer management.

 

The initial data results that were collected one year after the project started showed the nuances on leaf sizes depending on the fertilizer management and planting distance. Fertilizer treatments were based on the recommendations of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management and PhilFIDA. ### Ephraim Joseph J. Gestupa

 

-----------

 

For more information:

Maria Christina F. Campita

Camarines Norte Lowland Rainfed Research Station

Calasgasan, Daet, Camarines Norte

Mobile: +63 09395668973

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

or

Dr. Lelisa J. Teodosio 

College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Environmental Sciences 

Tel/Fax: (+036) 267.6780

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

 

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.)  is a high-value tropical fruit that is widely-grown in the Philippines due to its well-regarded, unique taste and reputed health benefits. The fruit is covered in a perfectly round and dark purple rind that peels away and stains the fingers when opened, revealing a segment of soft, milky white flesh that practically dissolves in the mouth. 

Mangosteen is mostly produced in Mindanao particularly in the Sulu archipelago, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Davao City, and Agusan Del Sur. 

Unlike other tropical fruits that can be enjoyed all throughout the year, mangosteen is abundant from August to September only, just as the rainy season begins. During regular season, where there is an abundance supply of mangosteen, a kilo costs Php25-35. During off-season, the price skyrockets to as much as Php250-300 for a kilo of mangosteen. 

Looking at this great opportunity to boost the earnings of farmers, Agapito Regulacion, researcher and chief of the Davao Agricultural Research Central Experiment Station (DARCES) of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 11, developed a technology that will enable farmers to produce off-season mangosteen and earned as much as ten times its in-season price. 

Initiated in 2015, the research project titled, “Development of Package of Technologies for Off-Season Production Mangosteen” was funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research. 

“Developing an off-season technology for mangosteen has the potential of bringing high profit to the farmers. With this technology, farmers can schedule the off-peak months wherein they can harvest mangosteen,” said Regulacion. 

Off-season mangosteen technology

“The seed of mangosteen is apomictic, a form of asexual reproduction involving the development of an embryo without the occurrence of fertilization. It may be grown from seeds or asexually through grafting,” explained Regulacion. 

In mangosteen, the flowering process is crucial in its fruit production. Attempts to induce its flowering process showed significant results in regulating the off-season production of mangosteen. 

In the study, Regulacion used several research interventions to determine their efficacy in inducing fruit flowering in mangosteen. These included: pruning, plastic mulching, bark ringing, application of a chemical flower inducer (Paclobutrazol), and installing rain shelther. 

Pruning involves cutting off one foot from the top of every lateral branch of the mangosteen tree while the plastic mulching involves installing 3.5 meters of UV plastic mulch at the base of the mangosteen trees. 

According to Regulacion, bark ringing is an established technology, which he learned from Thailand. It is used for off-season rambutan but he tried it in this study to test if it will work with mangosteen. It involves scraping the bark, two feet from the base at one inch wide and on cambium layer deep. The scraped part is covered with transparent plastic to avoid fungal contamination. 

The application of a chemical flower inducer (Paclobutrazol) was also tried in the study. It was applied at a rate 500ppm to five-week old leaves (from flushing) and to fully mature leaves. 

Another intervention was the use of rain shelter (200 microns UV protected plastic sheet) as roofing material installed in a bamboo frame. Result of the study showed that this particular research intervention proved effective in inducing fruit flowering in mangosteen. 

“It was observed that among the treatments tested, only the trees with rain shelter have induced flowering two months (60 days) after establishment. The other treatments have initiated leaf flushing,” explained Regulacion.  

He added that, the high temperature and water stress cause the mangosteen trees to induce flowers. The microclimate inside the rain shelter was controlled resulting in a drought and higher temperature condition that triggered the trees to induce flowers after 60 days of stress period. During this period, carbohydrates begin to accumulate at the apical part of the leaves forcing the bud to break which then initiates the flowering process. 

“Another important aspect of this technology is the establishment of a trench canal lined with plastic to enhance drainage of rain water and to avoid seepage,” he added. 

“If farmers are able to adopt and use this technology effectively, they can predict the schedule of their production and identify easily when to produce them the best, which is during off-season where the price of mangosteen is high. If they can program their production and harvest them from December to February wherein mangosteen is not available, then it will be very profitable for them. The price is 10 times more during the off-season,” explained Regulacion. 

Off-season versus in-season mangosteen

“As per data gathered, we found no difference on the fruit size and taste quality between off season and on season fruits. Although, season-produced mangosteen had more fruits with a yield of 58 kilos per tree while the off-season mangosteen had lesser yield of about 28 kilos per tree,” reported Regulacion. 

Mangosteen has a distinct taste and a wide appeal. Regulacion mentioned that, generally, the white fluffy fruit has the right mix of sweetness and sourness into it, enough to crave one more after the next. 

“The size of fruit is affected by the fertilization, climate, and the availability of water system in the growing area. These are essential elements to ensure that the mangostee trees will grow to its full potential,” Regulacion stressed. 

He added that, as observed, mangosteen that are grown in higher elevation bear more fruit because of the colder climate, hence the harvest time is relatively prolonged. The maturity of the mangosteen fruit is affected by cold environment, the higher the elevation, the lower is the temperature. “Here in Manambulan, the harvest season is until September only, but those mangosteen that are planted in higher elevation, they can still harvest fruits until October,” he claimed. 

Investing in off-season mangosteen

Initial investment of Php1M for off-season mangosteen technology will be costly but the returns are high as the year progresses. This is in addition to the income that a farmer gets from in-season mangosteen. 

Adopting the planting distance of 5 x 10 square meters, a hectare can be planted with 200 trees. With an average of 25 kilos harvested per tree, a hectare of farm can produce around 5,000 kilos or five metric tons of mangosteen. 

At an off-season price of Php250 per kilo, a farmer can have a gross sale of Php1.25 million. Minus the Php1M initial investment, this gives the farmer an initial net income of Php250,000. 

During the first two years, a farmer can earn Php1.5M but in the succeeding year, he will just invest Php100,000 for the replacement of the bamboo frame, since the it has to be replaced every two years. The rain shelter can be used up to 15 years. 

Farmer adopting the technology

Alfredo Mier manages a farm in Toril, Davao City was one of the first adoptors of the off-season mangosteen technology that was developed by DARCES. 

“The technology was introduced to us by Dr. Regulacion when we were at DARCES. He taught us how to do, including when to install the rain shelter, so I got interested. I told the technology to the owner of the farm and asked if we can try it with our mangosteen trees and he gladly agreed,” recalled Mier. 

“Our attempt in adopting the technology was a success. We tried it in our eight-year old mangosteen trees last August 2018. After two months, the trees produced flowers so by December they bore fruits already,” he happily reported. 

“We wanted to harvest from December to March where there is no mangosteen in the market so that we can take advantage of the high price. Also, we don’t need to compete with big farms during in-season where us an oversupply of mangosteen,” he added. 

He mentioned that the harvest during off-season is not as much as during in-season but with 10 times the price a kilo, the effort was worth it. “Kahit na mas kaunti yong bunga ng off-season mas bawi naman kami sa presyo nga off-season mangosteen,” he concluded. ### Rita T. dela Cruz

 

------

 

For more information, please contact:

Agapito Regulacion

Chief, Davao Agricultural Research Central Experiment Station

Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 11

Manambulan, Tugbok District, Davao City

mobile: 0916-5089696

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