Goat raising is a practical livestockbased enterprise that requires minimal investment but guarantees a good return in a short period of time. However, the lack of quality breeder stock and the high cost of breeding activities are some of the constraints that cause the low rate of local goat production in the country.

 

The price of goat is mainly determined by its genetic size and weight. When it reaches its marketable age, usually at eight months, a native goat, weighing 16 kilos can be sold at Php 1,600 while an upgraded goat or a goat of good breed, weighing 30 kilos is double the price.

 

To improve the genes of goats, Rita T. dela Cruz AI in goat: a farmer needs guaranteed goat breeders. Unfortunately, bucks cost a lot more and are difficult to find. But with artificial insemination (AI), the same benefit is within reach of farmer-entrepreneurs.

 

AI is one of the best technologies being used today as an alternative to natural breeding. It is used to fast track the dissemination of genetic materials from quality breeders to improve the blood composition of farm animals.

 

Although AI is more widelyused for cattle and swine, its use for goat breeding is yet to be fully explored. Many goat raisers are still hesitant in adopting AI in goat due to: 1) unavailability of processed semen, 2) lack of trained inseminators, and 3) absence of a viable industry to support the commercialization of the technology.

 

To address these constraints, the Cagayan Valley Small Ruminants Research Center (CVSRRC) of the Isabela State University implemented the project “Commercialization and Institutionalization of Artificial Insemination for Goats Delivery System in Cagayan Valley.”

 

Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), the project is headed by Dr. Jonathan Nayga of CVSRRC with the hope of upgrading local stocks that will make the technology accessible to target clients. Specifically, the project aimed to increase the production of processed goat semen intended for AI and to train more technicians who will facilitate the delivery of insemination services to intended clients.

 

After the project was initiated in 2012, it is now producing benefits not only to direct beneficiaries but to the goat industry as a whole. After the development of AI protocols, the project was able to sustain the upgrading of stocks for the production of quality slaughter goats in the Cagayan Valley region through technology commercialization and institutionalization activities.

 

Increasing availability of frozen semen

Through the AI technology, frozen semen from a buck is thawed and then inserted or deposited into the cervix of a doe in heat. If the necessary equipment is available, the use of frozen semen is much less expensive than paying a breeding fee.

 

For this project, the ISU-AI Goat Semen Processing Laboratory was tapped for semen processing. Part of the project activities was the purchase of breeder bucks of pure breed to increase the production of processed frozen semen.

 

As part of the commercialization initiative, the laboratory at ISU is selling frozen semen of Boer, Anglo-Nubian, and Toggenburg breeds to private raisers and commercial farms. Much of these genetic materials have already reached parts of Northern Luzon and even Central Visayas.

 

Training inseminators

Capacity-building activities for AI service providers are important components of the project. These come in the forms of trainings and implementation of a technology orientation program. Participants were provided with start-up kits for insemination. Sixty-seven AI service providers in Cagayan Valley underwent the training on AI and conducted 1,211 inseminations.

 

Today, the technicians are continuously providing insemination services to qualified does. Provision of AI services has become an additional source of income for them. It also provides the means to sustain the upgrading of stocks for the production of quality slaughter to pigs because it influences average daily gain negatively, and increases feed conversion. Soybean feed meals prepared for native livestock are the by-products from oil extraction or soy sauce production, otherwise known as whole soybean. Whether or not whole soybean is fermented is one of the variables studied by Dr. Sanchez and her team. Initial results have successfully proven that fermented soybean leads to positive effects on native pig’s gastrointestinal and respiratory systems.

 

Study three and four of Dr. Sanchez’s research project looked into the effect of soybean feed formulations to the reproductive performance of female native pigs. Soybean contains compounds called phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens have a similar make-up of human estrogens, the compound released in a woman’s body that regulates her menstrual cycle.

 

Foreign studies conducted with rodents have shown that high dietary intakes of soy isoflavones (phytoestrogens in soybean) resulted in the increase of uterine and ovarian weight as well as higher levels of follicle stimulating hormones. Even Dr. Sanchez herself has conducted similar tests on rodents at the Nutraceutical Research Laboratory, a BARfunded research facility in PSAU.

 

Dr. Sanchez and her colleagues are now analyzing initial data of the changes in a native pig’s reproductive cycle under various soybean feed formulations. The research tested the hypotheses of Dr. Sanchez that if fed with soybean, female native pigs will have prolonged estrus or “heat period” therefore increasing gilt’s potential for pregnancy.

 

During one of the bureau’s monitoring activities in Region 3, Jacob Sanchez who is a member of the project team expressed the need for studying the pig’s reproductive performance because Philippine native breeds have irregular estrus. Developing an enhanced and all-natural soybean feed meal can potentially be useful in improving the reproductive performance of native pig.

 

This component of the study can be attributed as research efforts towards genetic conservation of native animals. According to Dr. Sanchez, raisers of native pigs crossbreed their stock with commercial breeds in order to produce bigger livestock. While this is more profitable, it puts at risk the genetic diversity of native pigs which can potentially lead to extinction. But studies like that of Dr. Sanchez aimed to conserve biodiversity while at the same time, address the needs of farmers who want to augment their income through native pig raising. ### Rita T. dela Cruz

 

For more information:

Dr. Geraldine C. Sanchez

Project Leader

Pampanga State Agricultural University

(045) 866 0800

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Still reeling from typhoons and drought that hit the country, smallhold rice farmers face a new hurdle. The nationwide preventive lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 restricted the movement of food and goods. Thus, bringing food from the farm to tables have become more challenging. Rice farmers’ lives and means of living are at risk thereby threatening food security and sustainability.

 

This major problem requires an innovative solution through relevant research for development (R4D) interventions. As the lead rice R4D institution, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) initiated the RiceBIS project to improve the competitiveness of rice and rice-based farming communities in select provinces in the country.

 

About the project

 

Funded by DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research, the RiceBIS Phase II involves 15 RiceBIS communities with ten clusters of farmer organizations each to cover 400 farmer-beneficiaries per site. This includes twelve major rice-producing provinces: Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Quirino, Tarlac, Zambales, Quezon, Masbate, Aklan, Negros Oriental, Cotabato, and Agusan del Norte.

 

Anchored on the clustering approach, the RiceBIS Community Program aimed to address low productivity and income among local farmers through a modern approach in line with DA’s twin goals.

 

To promote rice farming modernization and rice-based enterprises improvement through the distribution of matured technologies, RiceBIS project merges production and marketing strategies to transform farming communities to become market-driven and participatory through the promotion of livelihood programs and climate-smart farm technologies.

 

The technologies under the RiceBIS project include yield-enhancing and cost-reducing technologies anchored on the PalayCheck system, Palayamanan, and clustering approach. Through which series of training, promotion, and demonstration are conducted through Farmers’ Field School (FFS) including organizational development and agripreneurship.

 

RiceBIS technologies

 

The clustering approach primarily aims to facilitate community collective action such as synchronous crop establishment and harvesting using farm machines, mobilization of farmer leaders, and group marketing. This approach will serve as a strategy to enhance the adoption of yield-enhancing and cost-reducing technologies.

 

To improve resiliency and achieve sustainable agro-enterprise, the RiceBIS program conducted clustering activities this year across all selected project sites in the country.

 

PalayCheck for production technologies contributed significantly in the increase of production and profitability of rice farming in the country. It has been proven to help farmers achieve high yield through proper rice crop and technology management as long as key check recommendations (e.g. high-quality seeds, proper water, nutrient, and pest management practices, land preparation, among others) are ensured. Such developed practices opened opportunities, improved the livelihood, and increased the income of smallholder rice farmers.

 

Meanwhile, farm diversification and integration are being promoted especially in rainfed areas through the Palayamanan technology platform. Cropping patterns, ecosystems, and resources play a big role in the implementation of this technology. It solved concerns on monocropping by having other sources of livelihood such as planting vegetables and fruits while raising livestock and fishpond for continuous food supply, increased farm productivity, and improved ecological balance or diversity. Hence, achieving food security and economic stability.

 

As of writing, the PalayCheck for production technologies is further being disseminated to RiceBIS farmers through various FFS and establishment of technology-demonstration sites. These rice technologies, which the farmers can adopt in their community, will be showcased in learning fields.

 

RiceBIS and other initiatives

 

Different project implementers conducted various initiatives in selected RiceBIS sites in the country. Other activities held through the said project included project briefing, focus group discussion, site validation through aerial mapping and geotagging, cooperative inspection, and establishment of more techno-demo sites. Further, a ceremonial seed distribution of bags of certified seeds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program for the farmer-beneficiaries was also launched.

 

Turning the pandemic into an opportunity to identify and address vulnerabilities in the country’s food systems while improving the competitiveness of farming communities to a sustainable agro-enterprise, DA-PhilRice through the technologies under the RiceBIS Community Program aims to make rice farmers resilient and bring transformation to society in line with the New Normal for a much better post-pandemic scenario.

 

Further, PhilRice further added that its plans for the second semester include the conduct of postharvest losses data gathering, establishment of technology demonstration sites and RiceBIS communities, and partnership-building with rice stakeholders. ### Jireh Alodia R. Laxamana

 

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For more information:

Dr. Aurora M. Corales

Chief Science Research Specialist

DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute

(044) 456 0277 local 511

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

Jayca Y. Siddayao

Senior Science Research Specialist

DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute

(044) 456 0277

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In our goal to continually improve the services we provide, we would like to get your insights on the second part of the online seminar on Production System and Meat Processing from Organically Grown Native Pig you attended. Your views and comments will really help us make our upcoming online seminars and events even more useful and relevant. Please let us know what you think. You can say as little or as much as you'd like.

For those who wish to obtain a certificate of participation, kindly also provide us your email address, where we will send the certificate, through the online evaluation form.

In our goal to continually improve the services we provide, we would like to get your insights on the second part of the online seminar on Commercialization & Promotion of Processing Potato Varieties Thru Rapid Multiplication Technique you attended. Your views and comments will really help us make our upcoming online seminars and events even more useful and relevant. Please let us know what you think. You can say as little or as much as you'd like.

For those who wish to obtain a certificate of participation, kindly also provide us your email address, where we will send the certificate, through the online evaluation form.

            The agro-climatic condition of a place is often associated with a particular fruit that is abundantly growing in that locality. For instance, the mere mention of the Cordilleras, with its highlands and cold weather, one of the first few things that immediately come into mind are strawberries and citrus.

 

            “Fruit production is presently one of the major sources of income in the Cordillera and strawberry and citrus are among the high-value fruit crops in the region,” affirmed Maritess A. Alimurung, researcher and project leader from the Bureau of Plant Industry-Baguio National Crop Research Development and Production Support Center (BPI-BNCRDPSC).

 

            Strawberries are mostly grown in Benguet and part of Baguio City and some farmers are now starting to grow in other municipalities of Benguet (Atok, Buguias, Kibungan, and Mankayan) and Mountain Province (Bauko and Sagada). Meanwhile, citrus with its wider cultivation, can be seen in the Cordillera and other regions in the country.

 

            “Varieties which are mostly National Seed Industry Council (NSIC)-registered are being mass propagated at BPI-BNCRDPSC and different growers are getting planting materials for rehabilitation and establishment of new citrus orchards both under backyard and commercial scale,” Alimurung said.

 

            Farmers are reaping the fruits of good income because of the favorable climate and established good cultural management practices but due to pest infestation coming, quality and volume of produced fruits are being compromised.

 

            “Infestation of different pests like mites, whiteflies, thrips, aphids, fruitflies and fruit bugs is presently a major problem on both strawberries and citrus. High infestation occurs during the dry months which are also the period of flowering and fruit development of both fruit crops,” Alimurung explained.

 

            Thus farmers resort to the use of synthetic pesticides because of high pest infestation especially during the flowering and fruit development stage. “With the present pest problem affecting strawberry and citrus production and the different factors contributing to the continuous or permanent infestation and severe damage of the pests, different strategies are needed for better management of the different pests. At present organic crop production is being promoted and practices to promote organic fruit production must be evaluated,” she added.

 

            With this premise, a team of researchers from BPI- BNCRDPSC conducted a project to identify effective pest management strategies for organic production of strawberry and citrus in the Cordillera. The initiative was funded and supported by the Bureau of Agricultural Research.

 

            Four studies were conducted to manage population and damage of white grubs of snoutbeetle (Metapocyrtus (Trachycyrtus) spp.) attacking both strawberry and citrus, two spotted mites (Tetranychus urticae Koch) on strawberry and citrus red mites (Panonychus citri). Effect of fungal biological control agents Metarrhizium anisopliae and Beauvaria bassiana, agricultural oil sprays, wood vinegar and botanical extracts were evaluated on mites. Beauveria and Metarrhizium isolates MA-RB and MA-RBB were founf more effective among the isolates tested.

 

            It was found that soil application of these fungi, one week before transplanting and follow-up application one month after transplanting, significantly reduced population and damage of white grubs that were feeding on the roots. Spraying of the fungus late in the afternoon using 300 to 400 g fungus grown in cracked corn mixed in 16 li water also reduced population of mites and application at early pest population are more effective.

 

            Spray oils, wood vinegar and plant extracts evaluated against two spotted mites on strawberry and red mites on citrus significantly reduced population and damage. Mineral oil at 1-1.5 percent rate of application, hot pepper and ginger extract at 30 to 40 ml per li water applied every 1-2 weeks were more effective. Application during late afternoon controlled build-up of mite’s population and resulted to lower degree of damage and higher marketable yield on strawberry and better growth of citrus seedlings.

 

            Evaluated products/practices that were considered compatible with organic production are now being promoted through developed IEC, during trainings on organic production in the region and also to individuals or groups who are availing of fruit planting materials at BPI-BNCRDPSC. Results of the project were also presented in different scientific conferences for wider technology dissemination and promotion. ### Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino

 

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Contact details

Maritess Alimurung

Agriculturist/Project Leader

BPI-BNCRDPSC, Guisad, Baguio City

phone: (074) 445-9084, 445-9085 or 300-3584

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