Garlic blues

FILIPINO staples include rice and garlic. Foreigners find it incomprehensible that almost every Filipino use ginisa (fried) garlic for cooking our food.

In Negros Occidental, we either have plain or garlic rice. Our chicken inasals go well with sinamaks that have garlic to go with vinegar, chilis, and ginger. Garlic (Allium sativum L) is an important food seasoning globally. However, because of its many other uses, demand of this crop is continuously increasing.

Aside from being an indispensable recado (ingredient), garlic is also a plant-based medicine to cure athlete’s foot, hypertension, or for heart conditions. Garlic is often used in organic farming as insecticide or repellants for insect pests.

Attaining food security in the Philippines is incomprehensible without rice and garlic – and yes, even onions. You would think that of a staple, there should be enough farmers producing garlic. All of a sudden, garlic suddenly is all over the news. Price have skyrocketed. Garlic as a political commodity becomes stark clear.

When I do the groceries, I go for the native varieties. Nowadays, I’m hard put to find the native varieties grown in Negros Island, especially from Kanlaon City.

Now I have to buy the imported garlic. Whenever I’m in Northern Luzon, I make it a point to buy the native varieties. Last year, however, I found that even in Nueva Viscaya the venders sell the imported ones we buy in Negros Occidental.

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DA 7 tells farmers to go organic

By Jeandie O. Galolo

WITH a growing health-conscious market in Cebu, officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 encouraged farmers to venture into organic farming.

DA 7 Director Angel Enriquez and regional crop protection center chief Wilberto Castillo said the high value placed on organic products in supermarkets should encourage farmers to consider organic farming.

“There is a high demand for organic food. There is money in natural farming (because the products) command a premium price. We need to maximize this opportunity,” Enriquez said. He said medical professionals, particularly doctors, are the major markets for organic goods. Some doctors she knows have started growing their food organically, and even others, turned them into businesses.

Organic goods are yields from farming practices that are not dependent on synthetic agro-chemicals. Advocates believe that crops grown organically are healthier and safer to eat, unlike products of conventional farming that make use of chemicals to grow and protect crops.

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N. Vizcaya pushes onions and citrus

By Jessica M. Bacud

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan—-Agriculture experts in Nueva Vizcaya are pushing indigenous onion and citrus raised organically to be among the province’s primary products for the common market of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Governor Ruth Padilla said the country has been preparing ground to make producers competitive in the exchange of commodities and services in an emerging Asean economic community.

“The preparation of a feasibility study will be undertaken while the Department of Agriculture will provide the assessment and evaluation for funding,” she said.

Acting provincial agriculturist Alexander Domingo said farmers are expected to boost their income with the endorsement of their products.

“They will be provided with assistance from the DA to improve their quality and quantity based on the demand of the market,” he said.

The Nueva Vizcaya State University conducted a Value Chain Analysis to guide the Provincial Program Management and Implementing Unit in submitting its project proposal to the DA “to further strengthen the productivity and marketability of local onion and mandarin products.”

According to Domingo, mandarin varieties are grown in Kasibu town which is acknowledged as citrus capital of the Philippines.

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DA plants cacao and coffee in IP Women’s Organic Village

QUEZON CITY, Jan. 4 — The Department of Agriculture (DA) 11 Gender and Development (GAD) Program recently led the soft launching and ceremonial cacao and coffee planting of more than 1000 seedlings to the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Women’s Organic Village in Malamboon Elementary School at Sitio Malamboon, Brgy. Malabog, Davao City.

More than 300 persons from   the Ata-Manobo tribe benefited from the program wherein 1000 hills were prepared to be planted with seedlings of Café Arabica variet, DA said in a press report.

Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Director for DA’s GAD Bernadette Romulo-Puyat inaugurates the Soft Launching Ceremonial Planting together with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Usec. Puyat, told the IP’s that they will continue to monitor the projects in the area as well as provide interventions for the village.

Meanwhile, Mayor Duterte promised to allocate P 10M pesos for coffee plantation and production in Brgy. Malabog for the year 2015.

DA XI Regional Coordinator for GAD Mr. Bong Año said that the event was a jumpstart for several projects from the agriculture sector including the plan for inland aquaculture and establishment of demo farm in Brgy. Malabog.

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