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Army worms

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From:www.planetnatural.com

This destructive garden pest gets its name because it travels in small insect armies and consumes just about everything in its path. Here’s the natural, organic way to get rid of armyworms.

There’s a number of species of armyworm caterpillars, many with a distinct taste for a particular plant or vegetable. But some will eat anything green or red or yellow. They’re most active at night and hide in plants and under garden debris during the day.

In their larval stage, army worms attack a variety of crops as well as grasses, sometime moving en masse to new areas in a way that brings to mind, as its name suggests, an army on the march. The assault is mostly aerial, with the gray moths usually arriving under cover of darkness to lay eggs. The biggest invasion of army worms usually occurs after a cool, wet spring.

Markings on newly hatched caterpillars are usually hard to distinguish, older larvae have distinctive stripes that run the entire length of the body. Fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda) are brown with yellow stripes, beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) are green with light stripes. Adults are gray, mottled moths (1-1/2 inch wingspan) with a small white dot in the center of each forewing and dark margins on the hind wings.

Many areas are too cold to support overwintering army worms. But they’re often pushed north into these areas by strong spring winds and storms. Fall army worms cause serious defoliation to pastures and turf grasses in the southeast. Some of these army worms, as moths, migrate from as far away as the Caribbean.

Life Cycle

Armyworms are prolific and responsive to favorable conditions. Their eggs are laid in fluffy masses on crowns of seedlings and on leaves of older plants. In 5-10 days tiny caterpillars hatch and feed for several weeks. They then pupate and emerge as adults 10 days later. Three and more generations are commonly produced each season — just as you’re ridding worms from the leaves of your garden plants, another generation is preparing to leave the soil to replace them — but some species of army worms will lay up to six times. In places with milder winters such as the deep south, armyworms will overwinter as eggs and pupae beneath the soil. In warm climates, they may be active all year.

Damage

In spring, larvae stay close to the ground, feeding on grasses and other low-growing plants. Later in the season, they move up to feed on plant leaves and fruit. Army worms “skeletonize” leaves of lettuce, cabbage, beans and corn. In tomatoes, they make shallow gouges in fruit. Corn is their favorite target. They feed on leaf whorls and burrow into the ears. Sometimes pulling back the husk from an ear in an infested field will reveal several worms drilling through kernels. Young, early-season corn is especially vulnerable to worm attacks. The damage from grass-loving fall army worms includes reduction of graze-able pasture for feed animals and unsightly lawns for homeowners.

Armyworm Control

If you don’t suffer army worm outbreaks, thank its natural predators, including birds, beneficial insects, and other larvae predators. If pest numbers are high, it suggests these natural predators have been done in by the very pesticides applied to kill the army worms. The absence of predators gives the re-generating pest a decided edge in your garden. So, to manage armyworms…

  • Avoid using harmful pesticides or practices that would inadvertently destroy beneficial insects, your first line of natural defense.
  • Use pheromone traps to monitor the arrival of moths. When you first notice them — look for the distinctive white dot on their forewings — it’s time to start closer inspection of your plants.
  • Look for larvae and signs of damage beginning in early spring. Caterpillars will often be found feeding on the undersides of leaves and on new growth. Handpick the worms you discover and don’t be tempted to crush them between your thumbs. Instead drop them in a bucket of soapy water.
  • Release trichogramma wasps to parasitize any newly laid eggs. These tiny beneficial insects — 1mm or less — insert their eggs inside of pest eggs, killing them before they enter the plant-eating larval stage.
  • Other beneficial insects, such as lacewingladybugs and minute pirate bugs feed on armyworm eggs as well as the young larval stage. Remember: beneficial insects help control other harmful pests, including aphids, earworms, cutworms, cabbage loopers, a variety of mite and insect eggs.
  • Plant to attract birds and beneficial insects. Birds are especially fond of the moths and will pull larvae from lawns and plants. In the fall, uncover and turn your soil before putting it to bed, giving birds a chance to pick off the exposed pupae.
  • If you’ve had an infestation or are otherwise worried that conditions, including a cool, wet spring, will encourage the worms, release beneficial nematodes into your soil. These microscopic soil creatures feed on the eggs, pupae, and larvae of some 200 pests. They will not harm vertebrates, whether human or amphibians, will not harm plants, honey bees or earthworms and won’t threaten beneficial insects who, like the trichogramma wasp, lay eggs in something, not just anywhere in the dirt. Yet beneficial nematodes are murder on army worm eggs and pupae found in the soil.
  • Applications of Garden Dust (Bt-kurstaki) or OMRI-listed Monterey Garden Insect Spray(spinosad) will kill caterpillars.
  • After the season has advanced, natural horticultural oil sprays can be used on plants showing signs of worm infestations. Multi-purpose neem oil spray is effective on various stages of the larvae as well as mites. It also prevents fungus growth. Complete coverage, including undersides of leaves and junctions with stems, is critical.
  • Use fast-acting organic insecticides if pest levels become intolerable.

DA-ACPC APPROVES LOAN PROGRAM FOR FARM EQUIPMENT, MACHINERIES

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By Manny Piñol

The Department of Agriculture through its agency, the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), has opened a new loaning window which offers funds so farmers’ cooperatives and associations could buy the equipment and machineries they need.

The Farm Equipment and Machineries Loaning Program which was approved by the ACPC Executive Board last week offers an initial P400-M fund which could be accessed by the farmers with a 6% interest every year payable in eight years.

I proposed the new loaning program to the ACPC board, which I chair with representatives of the Central Bank, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget Management and farmers groups, as part of the effort to improve the implementation of the farm mechanization program of the country.

Under the current set up, it is the Dept. of Agriculture, through its regional offices, which buys farm equipment and machineries which are then distributed to farmers groups.

In the previous administration, farmers groups were required to put up a 10% counterpart before they could get tractors, planters and harvesters.

This prevented many farmers from acquiring machineries and equipment which they needed to lower the post harvest losses which according to the data amount to 16% of the harvest.

When I assumed office as Secretary, I found farm machineries and equipment amounting to billions of pesos which were not distributed.

President Rody Duterte ordered the distribution of the machineries and equipment and issued the directive that farmers should not be required to put up counterparts.

The reformed Farm Mechanization Program which now offers loans instead of grants is expected to achieve the following:

  1. End the torturous government bidding process where machineries and equipment are bought not based on the choice of the farmers but on lowest bid. This resulted in the acquisition of poor quality machineries and equipment and suspicion of corruption;
  2. Allow the farmers to choose their own brand and own as many equipment and machineries as they need to serve their members or their communities;
  3. Fasttrack the implementation of the Farm Mechanization Program to effectively make farming more efficient and prevent post harvest losses;
  1. Start a sustainable Farm Mechanization Program where recipients will have a sense of ownership thus take care of the equipment and machineries that they need.

The Farm Machineries and Equipment Loaning Program will mark the start of a new approach in extending support to Filipino farmers which will be done through a sustainable loaning program.

This time, farmers will no longer complain that they were neglected and deprived of farm machineries by government.

Those who would like to avail of this program are asked to send your letter of intent to the Secretary of Agriculture so this could be deliberated on by the ACPC board.

(Photos downloaded from public websites.)

10 Reasons Why you Should NOT LAUGH at Agriculture Courses

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One of the top 10 Philippine exports came from Agricultural commodities.

In 2016, the Philippines exported agricultural products worth $3 Billion.

The Food you eat everyday are from plants or animals.

100% of the food we eat are products of our hard-working farmers.

Agriculture happens to be one of the top 10 hardest board exam.

Agriculture students learn new innovative way to enhance food production.

Agriculture students happen to answer some questions from ordinary farmers.

Agriculture graduates can be self-sufficient without having a job.

Agriculture is business.

Agriculturist are business people.

Agriculturist can grow food and raise animals organically.

Agriculture is not just a science, it is a way of life

How to Eliminate Fungi in your Plants Naturally

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Fungicide can be a useful preventative measure for gardeners with plants that are especially prone to rot and disease. If you’re concerned about adding chemicals to your garden, depending on the condition and the disease, there are some natural alternatives:

  • Milk is known as an effective treatment for powdery mildew. Mix a 50:50 milk to water solution in a spray bottle and apply to leaves of plants.
  • Sulfur in dust form can keep disease at bay. Be sure to apply while wearing a mask so the dust doesn’t irritate your eyes and mouth.
  • The “Cornell Formula” is a well known natural fungicide, which includes mixing 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon horticultural oil and 1 to 2 drops dishwashing liquid.

How to Dispose of a Diseased Plant

Many plant diseases can quickly return if the dead plant matter isn’t properly disposed of. In fact, most fungal, bacterial and viral plant diseases are spread naturally by wind currents, rain, soil seeds, insects and other animals. Others can survive on nearby dead plants or infected gardening tools. When you think you’ve collected all of the dead plant, follow these disposal tips:

  • Compost: For less persistent diseases like powdery mildew, simply removing from live plants and allow to die off in compost. If you don’t have a compost at home, check with your local government for a nearby green waster center.
  • Burial: For leaves or fruits with rot, burying the decay in a 1 foot deep hole will work.
  • Bonfires: Dry, woody material like branches can be disposed of by setting a small bonfire. Be sure to handle on a non-windy day to reduce the risk of the fire spreading.
  • Household trash: Infected bulbs, small wooden pruning and collapsed seedling can be tossed into your home garbage can.

Source: Proflower.com

Organic Crop Production

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Organic Crop Production

  • A holistic production management system aimed to promote and enhance the health of soils, ecosystems and people.
  • It gives emphasis to the utilization of locally adapted management practices and farm inputs.

Aims of Organic Crop Production

  • Enhancing biological diversity
  • Increasing soil biological activity
  • Maintaining long-term fertility
  • Management of pests
  • Recycling of plant wastes
  • Minimizing all forms of pollution from agricultural practices

Strategies for Crop Production

  • Organic Soil Management. Soil management shall encourage nutrient cycling while mitigating soil and nutrient losses. The fertility and biological activity of the soil should be maintained or increased through the following:

o   Cultivation of legumes or green manures in appropriate crop rotation program

o   Recycling of nutrients through composting

o   Incorporation of organic materials

o   Protection of soil from erosion

  • Promotion of genetic diversity and ensuring that the seeds used are not contaminated.

How Do We Choose the Crops to Plant?

  • For a beginner, it’s good to start with vegetables that you like to eat and at the same time are easy to grow.
  • Nothing is more rewarding than eating the production of your own sweat.
  • And more specifically so, having the peace of mind that you and your family are eating safe food.

Families of Vegetables

  • Leafy Vegetables. These are crops mainly used for their leaves whether eaten raw or cooked. It is usually grown for salad and it requires full sunlight. It can also be grown in container/pots and it has shallow roots. It has minimal pests and no need for trellis. It is ideal for backyard gardening. Here are some examples of leafy vegetables:

o   Lettuce

o   Kale

o   Mustard

o   Spinach

o   Arugula

o   Pechay

  • Cucurbits. The cucumber and squash family belongs to this family. They are vine crops and it requires trellis. It grows from 30 to 90 days and has it has deep roots. It requires full sunlight and can be grown in bigger containers. Here are some examples of cucurbits:

o   Cucumbers

o   Squash

o   Watermelon

o   Melons

o   Gourds

  • Solanaceous. It includes many common garden vegetables although the part of the plant usually eaten is the fruit (the potato is an exception – here the underground tuber is eaten.) It is better grown in summer or hotter regions. It has deep roots but can be grown in bigger pots. It requires trellis. Here are some example of solanaceous:

o   Tomato

o   Pepper

o   Eggplant

o   Potato

  • Root Crops. These are crops that produce edible and enlarge roots or stem. It has deep roots and requires sandy-loam soil. Minimum of 12 inch-deep plots but can be grown in bigger pots. Full sunlight is required and it is direct seeding. Here are some example of root crops:

o   Carrot

o   Radish

o   Turnip

o   Beet

o   Sweet Potato

  • Legumes. These are the bean and pea family. These crops require trellis and very minimal organic input is required. It can be intercropped with other smaller plants. It is green manure.
  • Crucifers. These are vegetables belonging to the brassica family such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.
  • Herbs. These are plants with savory or aromatic properties that are used for flavoring food, in medicine, or as fragrances. It can be planted in pots and can tolerate partly shaded areas. Here are some of the herbs:

o   Parsley

o   Basil

o   Rosemary

o   Mint

o   Thyme

o   Tarragon

o   Chives

Crop Production Processes

Seedling

Characteristics of a good seedling medium

  • Porous enough to provide good air circulation and root development
  • Rich in plant nutrients
  • Pathogen-free
  • Has good water holding capacity
  • Have a lot of microbial activity to keep plants healthy, robust and higher resistance from pests and diseases.

Seedling medium

  • Composed of vermicast/vermicompost and carbonized rice hull mix thoroughly.
  • Ratio is 1:1

Seed Sowing

  • Sowing seeds in seedling trays or seedling cups is recommended to protect seeds from predators like ants or birds.
  • Seedlings in trays and cups are also protected from stress during transplanting.

Seed Sowing Procedures

  • Fill the tray with seedling medium
  • Punch holes using an empty tray
  • Sow seeds, one per hole
  • Cover the holes by leveling the medium
  • Water the seeds with diluted EMAS
  • Apply markings

Land Preparation

A set of procedures done to make the soil conducive for planting.

  • Weeding and debris clearing
  • Cultivating
  • Pulverizing
  • Plot forming
  • Organic matter application
  • Mulching

Plot Dimension

  • Width: 1 meter
  • Length: 10 meters
  • Distance between plots: 30 cm

Organic Matter Application

Surface Application. Apply organic matter at a rate of 100 grams per square meter.

Beneath the soil application. Make a canal at the middle of the plot and fill with organic matter. Make sure organic matter are scattered evenly. Sprinkle EMAS and cover with soil.

Mulching. The process of covering the topsoil with plant material such as leaves, grass, twigs, crop residues or straw. Mulching helps create a soil structure with plenty of smaller and larger pores through which rainwater can easily infiltrate into the soil, thus reducing surface runoff. As the mulch material decomposes, it increases the content of organic matter in the soil. Soil organic matter helps create a good soil with stable crumb structure.

Application of mulch.

  • If the layer of mulch is not too thick, seeds or seedlings can be directly sown or planted in between the mulching material.
  • On vegetable plots, it is best to apply mulch only after the young plants have become somewhat hardier, as they may be harmed by the products of decomposition from fresh mulch material.
  • If mulch is applied prior to sowing or planting, the mulch layer should not be too thick in order to allow seedlings to penetrate it and wait for two (2) weeks before transplanting.
  • Mulch can also be applied in established crops, best directly after digging the soil. It can be applied between the rows, directly around single plants or evenly spread on the field.
  • The process of planting the seedlings from the nursery to the field.
  • Rule of Thumb: Seedlings should have 2-3 true leaves before transplanting
  • Drench with EMAS after transplanting watering only the root system.

Maintenance

  • Spray a cocktail of concoctions twice a week
  • Side dress bokashi once every two weeks after transplanting at a rate of 100 grams per square meter.
  • Maintain safe distance of 5-6 inches between bokashi and the stem of plants.

Pest Management

Organic pest management involves the adaptation of scientifically based and ecologically sound strategies that follow the standards set for organic agriculture.

Build Soil Health

  • Good plant nutrition is the key to prevention of plant diseases
  • Improving soil health enables plants to grow well and develop tolerance or resistance to pests and pathogens.

Agro biodiversity

  • Crop Rotation. This involves planting different crop type in sequence on the same piece of land. The system breaks the life cycle of pests.
  • Mixed Cropping. This involves planting several different crop types in one unit area. The idea is one crop can help other crop repel their own pests.
  • Trap cropping. Takes advantage of the fact that certain plants are more preferred by other pests over another.

Sanitation

  • Refers to removal of breeding sites, food sources and alternate host plants where pests can thrive.
  • Remove damaged fruits, shoots and leaves immediately and make sure not to throw damaged plant parts within the farm so as not to infect other plants.
  • It also includes handpicking the insect pests, larva and egg mass usually found in the underside of the leaves.

Physical Barriers

  • Net bagging
  • Net tunnel

Other Methods

  • Yellow sticky traps
  • Mulching

From: ATIng Gulayan Seminar, Agricultural Training Institute, Philippines

How to Make Organic Fertilizers: Compost, Vermicompost, Bokashi, FPJ, FFJ, FAA

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Organic fertilizers refer to any product in solid or liquid form of plant or animal origin that has undergone substantial decomposition that can supply available nutrients to plants.

Composting

It is a process which allows a mixture of organic raw materials to decompose under controlled conditions to produce a stable end-product which is the organic fertilizer or soil conditioner.

Composting Process

  • Select a shaded area that will provide protection from heavy rains which will cause excessive wetting and subsequent washing away of nutrients.
  • Gather raw materials and pile up in alternate layers.

Layer1: Livestock manure

Layer 2: Plant residues

Layer 3: Livestock manure

Layer 4: Plant residues

Layer 5: Livestock manure

  • Water every layer with EMAS to enhance the composting process. Dilution rate: 20ml EMAS for every liter of water.
  • Cover the pile to retain moisture and to build heat in the compost pile. This is important to build heat in the composst pile. This is important to kill disease-causing organisms and pathogens.
  • Turnover or mix the pile after one month to aerate the pile.
  • Mix the pile again 2 weeks after the first turning.
  • After 2 weeks, harvest and use the compost.

Vermicomposting

  • Another method of composting which makes use of earthworm.
  • Instead of manually turning the pile, earthworms, particularly African Night Crawler, are introduced in the pile to eat semi-decomposed raw materials.
  • The worms’ excreta is called “vermicast”.
  • It is normally found on the surface of the pile and looks like rough coffee ground.
  • Vermicompost is the remaining decomposed materials containing some of the vermicast, earthworm cocoons and small earthworms.

Guidelines: Site Selection

  • Area should be near the source of substrates or compost materials
  • It should not be prone to flooding
  • Accessible to water source
  • Shaded preferably with roofing

Guidelines: Bin Preparation

  • Use hollow or any barrier like fallen tree trunks, banana  trunks or bamboo to enclose a rectangular area.
  • Line the flooring with woven sack.

Guidelines: Raw Materials Selection

  • Select materials accordingly

o   Identify materials rich in nitrogen.

  • Animal manure except dog and cat
  • leguminous plants

o   Identify materials rich in carbon such as grass, corn stalks, rice straw, saw dust.

o   Farm waste, market waste, kitchen waste

  • Consider the size and kind of materials.

o   Small and shredded materials decompose easily

o   Choose materials that are easily composted like banana leaves, stalks and vegetable or fruit peelings.

  • Remove unwanted materials

o   Meat scraps

o   Fats, oil and grease

o   Human waste

o   Dog and cat waste

o   Diseased plants

Guidelines: Substrate Preparation

  • Place substrate in alternate layers

o   Layer 1: Livestock manure

o   Layer 2: Plant residues

o   Layer 3: Livestock manure

o   Layer 4: Plant residues

o   Layer 5: Livestock manure

  • Water every layer with EMAS to enhance the composting process. Dilution rate: 20ml EMAS for every liter of water.
  • Cover the pile to retain moisture and to build heat in the compost pile and leave for 2 weeks. This is important to kill disease causing organism or pathogens.

Guidelines: Deploying Worms

  • After 2 weeks, place worm in the semi-decomposed substrate at a ratio of 1 kg per square meter and cover with net or leaves.
  • Prevent the substrate from drying up. Water whenever necessary.
  • Protect worms from natural predators.

Guidelines: Harvesting

  • Harvesting is subject to the size of the bin, quantity of worms, kind of materials and maintenance of substrate. On an average, 30 – 40 days after placing the worms in the bin, you will observe vermicast forming on the top layer.
  • Harvesting methods:

o   Manual pick. Pick the worms by hand and transfer to new worm bed.

o   Migration. Move the contents of the whole bed to one side. Fill the empty half with new substrate. Worms will move freely to the new feed. Harvest the castings left by the worms.

o   Top harvest. Scrape from the top of bed.

  • Air dry for 2 days
  • Strain the vermicompost to separate remaining substrate.

Guidelines: Production Sustainability

  • On the day when the worms are placed in the first bin, prepare a new substrate and place on the second bin.
  • One the last day of harvesting from the first bin, the worms can be transferred to the second bin.
  • With this scheme, there will be a continuous supply and the number of worms increases.

Bokashi

An organic fertilizer that makes use of microbial inoculant to hasten the decomposition of animal manure mixed with other solid ingredients.

Materials

  • Solid ingredients

o   Carbon materials (80% of the total volume)

  • Rice bran (darak)
  • Rice husk (ipa)
  • Chopped rice straw (dayami)
  • Corn stalk (catawan ng mais)

o   Nitrogen materials (20% of the total volume)

  • Copra meal
  • Fish meal
  • Ipil ipil
  • Kakawate
  • Liquid Ingredients

o   EMAS

o   Molasses

o   Water

Recommended Mix

  • D3 (Gaspang) – 10 kilo
  • Carbonized rice hull – 10 kilo
  • Copra meal – 5 kilo
  • EMAS – 100 ml
  • Molasses – 100ml
  • Water – 10 liter

Procedures

  • Dilute EMAS and molasses in water.
  • Mix all the solid ingredients in watering with the diluted solution until fully mixed.
  • Check for 30% – 40% moisture content.
  • Place in an airtight container and ferment for 2-3 weeks.
  • Bokashi is ready to use when it has a sweet-sour fermented smell.

Usage

  • Feed additive for poultry and livestock
  • Soil fertilizer
  • Composting Agent
  • Treatment of kitchen garbage
  • Key ingredient to mud balls for the treatment of pond, lakes, rivers, sewage systems
  • Treatment of manures

Fermented Plant Juice (growth enhancer)

Materials

  • Fresh plants (20%  of container volume)

o   Kangkong

o   Leguminous plants

o   Grasses

o   Herbs

o   Young shoots

o   Banana stalks

  • Water (70% of container volume)
  • EMAS (3% of water volume)
  • Molasses (3% of water volume)

Recommended Mix

Based on a 20-liter container

  • Fresh plants – 2 kilos
  • Water – 14 liters
  • EMAS – 420 ml
  • Molasses – 420 ml

Procedures

  • Clean and wash palnts. Drain for 5 minutes
  • Chop raw materials and place inside a net.
  • Add EMAS and molasses into the water.
  • Dip the net with the chopped materials into the liquid solution.
  • Lay a nylon screen on top and place stones to prevent the net from floating.
  • Cover the pail tightly and apply markings.
  • Ferment for 7 days.

Points of consideration

  • Properly fermented FPJ has a sweet-sour smell and a light brown color.
  • Plants used will turn into brown.
  • After fermentation, strain the concoction and keep in air-tight container
  • Store in a dark, cool place.
  • Shelf-life is 3 months.

Usage

  • Dilute 10ml of FPJ per liter of water to be used for drenching or spraying.
  • Diluted FPJ should be used within the day
  • Apply twice a week.

Fermented Fruit Juice

Materials

  • Fresh fruits such as banana fruit, papaya, squash
  • Molasses
  • EMAS

Recommended mix

  • Banana fruit – 1 kilo
  • Papaya – 1 kilo
  • Squash – 1 kilo
  • Molasses – 3 kilos
  • EMAS – 60 ml

Procedures

  • Clean and wash fruits. Drain for 5 minutes.
  • Slice fruits to an inch size.
  • Mix fruits thoroughly in a plastic pail.
  • Mix EMAS and molasses with fruits thoroughly.
  • Lay a nylon screen on top and place stones to present the net from floating.
  • Cover the pail tightly and apply markings.
  • Ferment for 7 days

Points of Consideration

  • Properly fermented FFJ has a sweet-sour smell and a light brown color.
  • After fermentation, strain the concoction and keep in air-tight container.
  • Store in a dark, cool place
  • Shelf-life is 3 months

Usage

  • Dilute 10 ml of FFJ per liter of water to be used for drenching or spraying
  • Diluted FFJ should be used within the day
  • Apply twice a week.

Fish Amino Acid (Protein Supplement)

Materials

  • Fresh fish, fish scraps, gills or innards
  • Molasses
  • EMAS

Recommended Mix

  • Fish/fish parts – 3 kilos
  • Molasses – 3 kilos
  • EMAS – 60 ml

Procedures

  • Clean and wash fish and fish parts. Drain for 5 minutes
  • Slice to an inch size.
  • Mix all parts thoroughly in a plastic pail.
  • Mix EMAS and molasses with fish and fish parts
  • Lay a nylon screen on top and place stones to prevent the net from floating.
  • Cover the pail tightly and apply markings
  • Ferment for 15 days.

Points of consideration

  • Properly fermented FAA has a sweet-hour smell.
  • After fermentation, strain the concoction and keep in air-tight container.
  • Store in a dark, cool place.
  • Shelf-life is 3 months.

Usage

  • Dilute 10ml of FAA per liter of water to be used for drenching or spraying.
  • Diluted FFJ should be used within the day.
  • Apply twice a week.

Organic Fertilizers and Concoctions: Effective Microorganism (EM-1)

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What is Effective Microorganism (EM-1)?

Effective Microorganism (EM-1) is a microbial inoculant that uses beneficial microbes to promote soil and plant health.

Microbial Inoculant. These are biologically active products containing an optimum amount of population of one or a combination of active strains of beneficial bacteria, algae or fungi that are useful in different biological activities such as decomposition or organic residues, nitrogen fixation and enhancement of nutrient availability to plants.

EM Activated Solution (EMAS)

  • Extended form of EM-1
  • Use the same way as EM-1
  • Cheaper compared to EM-1
  • Mixed in the drinking water of farm animals and for watering plants to improve their immune system
  • Also used as a spray to farm animals to remove the foul odor.
  • Source of beneficial microorganisms used for making organic fertilizers faster, better potency and no fould odor

Materials for Making EMAS

  1. EM-1 (Genuine)
  2. Molasses (Clean and uncontaminated)
  3. Non-Chlorinated water
  4. Plastic container with cap

Proportion

  • EM-1 – 5%
  • Molasses – 5%
  • Non-chlorinated water – 90%
  • For 1 liter: 900 ml water, 50ml molasses, and 50ml EM-1

Fermantation:

Fermantion is 7 days.

  • Place container in a cool and shaded area.
  • Loosen cap everyday to release gas formed inside the container during the fermentation period.

Points to consider

  1. Good quality and properly fermented EMAS has a sweet and sour smell and light brown color
  2. The shelf life of EMAS is one (1) month
  3. EMAS can still be diluted with water to maximize usage and consumption
  4. Diluted EMAS is good for one (1) day only

Usage: PLANTS

  1. Dilute 1 tablesppon of EMAS with 1 liter of non-chlorinated water.
  2. Spray or water to plants once or twice a week in the morning or in the afternoon

Usage: ANIMALS

  1. Dilute 1 tablespoon of EMAS with 1 liter of non-chlorinated water.
  2. Spray inside and outside the pen once or twice a week to remove foul odoor
  3. It can also be used for bathing farm animals like pigs to remove the foul odor.
  4. It can also be used as drinking water to prevent illnesses.

New law provides free irrigation to farmers with 8-hectare land

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IN A BID TO provide support to poor farmers, the President has signed into law a measure pushing for free irrigation to farmers who own up to eight hectare of land.

The President on February 2 inked Republic Act (RA) 10969 or Free Irrigation Service Act, which exempts farmers who own eight hectares of land or below from paying irrigation service fees. RA 10969 also condones all unpaid irrigation fees and corresponding penalities of farmers who have the same size of land to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), a government-owned and -controlled corporation responsible for irrigation development. According to NIA website, irrigation fees are pegged at the price of two cavans of palay per hectare during the wet season, and three cavans during dry months for diversion scheme.

For storage system, irrigation fees’ rate are at 2.5 cavans per hectare and 3.5 cavans per hectare during wet and dry seasons, respectively. The NIA also collected fees with a rate of five to 10 cavans per hectare (wet season) and six to 12 cavans per hectare (dry season) for pumps procedure.

The newly-signed law, however, does not waive irrigation service fees for farmers with more than 8 hectares of land. Corporate farms, plantations, fishponds, and those drawing water for non-agricultural process are also not covered by free irrigation service. The Free Irrigation Service Act is a consolidation of Senate Bill 1465 and House Bill 5670 approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives on October 11, 2017 and November 20, 2017, respectively. (SunStar Philippines)

10 Brilliant Reasons You Should Grow Comfrey In Your Garden

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By Lynda Parker

Comfrey plants are considered as important herbs for organic gardening. Comfrey is grown in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America and produces clusters of blue, purple, and white flowers. You can recognize it for its slender, long, leaves and black-skinned roots.

People have been using its leaves as traditional medicine for many years in areas around the world. Japanese people harvested for more than 2,000 years to help ease joint inflammation and heal burns, bruises, and muscle sprains. Europeans, on the other hand, used it to treat inflammation including arthritis and gout. It is very effective because it contains chemical compounds like allantoin (helps boost the growth of new cells) and rosmarinic acid (helps in soothing pain and reducing inflammation).

When it comes to the garden, comfrey is very easy to be grown. This is because the foliage is at its best if cut before it blooms, so you don’t even have to wait for the flowers to harvest it. It can reach height of over 2 feet and spreads to more than a yard across but it is remarkably non-invasive.

Here are 10 reasons why you should grow comfrey:

1. Activate a compost heap
Comfrey leaves can help activate compost heap because they’re high in nitrogen. If you have a large amount of fall leaves or other dried brown material, you can do a  layering it with comfrey leaves and balance the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio.

To do this, gather your comfrey leaves and crush them. Add some water and crush them again for a minute or two until you get a paste. Add more water and pour this mix to your compost pile. You will get a compost with a higher nutrient content.

2. Boost seedlings
Comfrey can boost an extra nutritions to young perennials like  berry bushes, fruit trees, asparagus, herbs, etc., and fruiting vegetable seedlings like squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers. Just bury a few leaves of comfrey in each planting spot.

3. Support the health of your established plants
You can make a compost tea to provide an instant nutrient boost to your established plants too.

To make it, fill a container of any size about halfway with fresh comfrey leaves. Add water to fill to the top, cover and allow it to steep for 3 to 6 weeks. Note: The smell is not pleasant! Strain off the liquid and then dilute it by half.

4. Make comfrey oil
You can make comfrey oil at home, as it is kind of pricey in the markets. Use freshly dried herbs, and use both the roots and leaves.To harvest and dry the leaves, pick them, gently wipe the dirt off with a towel and allow them to dry whole overnight. Dig the comfrey root out when the weather is dry. Chop it up finely and then lay it out on a paper bag overnight.

Follow this recipe to make your comfrey oil.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz comfrey leaf
  • 4 oz comfrey root
  • About 16 oz extra-virgin olive oil, enough to cover the roots and leaves.

Instructions:

Once you chopped up your roots, place everything into a 16-ounce glass jar and cover it with olive oil. Place the lid on the jar and shake well. Allow it to steep for 28 days. After this period strain out the oil by using a clean old shirt lined in a strainer and pour the mix in a bowl. Squeeze the shirt with the herbs in it. This liquid will be your comfrey oil, you can store it and use it whenever you want.

5. Treat poison ivy blisters
You can either rub the raw comfrey leaves onto poison ivy blisters, or use the oil in the same way.

6. Prevent scar tissue and speed wound healing
If you have a wound, once it’s begun to heal and is no longer open, you can use comfrey to prevent scar tissue from forming around it. Crush up the leaves and rub them onto the area.

7. Heal skin rashes
Comfrey can help you heal skin rashes, which is why comfrey creams, balms and salves have been around for centuries. However, have in mind that this remedy should only be used when the skin is not broken.

8. Make a poultice to soothe pain and inflammation
Comfrey can help with soothing pain and inflammation. Just mix 4 cups of chopped comfrey leaves and stems with a quarter cup of carrier oil like olive oil or almond oil. Now, wrap the comfrey oil paste using a cotton cloth. Freeze it and then apply to affected areas for 30 minutes.

9. Relieve sore feet
Here’s how to create a herbal bath using comfrey to relieve sore feet:

In a large pot heat a gallon of water and bring it to a boil. Add 1 cup of fresh dried comfrey leaves and simmer for 5 minutes. Then, turn of heat and allow it to stand for 10 minutes, or longer. Strain the leaves into a 1 quart container and discard the used leaves. Add 3 quarts of water to your cooking pot. Bring it to a bathwater (140 degrees) temperature and pour the herbal liquid and the warm water into a foot basin or tub.Make sure it’s not too hot before you go in and then enjoy as long as you like. If you like, add a calming essential oil like lavender.

10. Torn muscles and fractures
Promote faster healing by applying comfrey oil or leaves on the affected area or fracture or torn muscle.

Source: www.naturallivingideas.com

Magna Carta for Small Farmers

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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7607

AN ACT PROVIDING A MAGNA CARTA OF SMALL FARMERS

Section 1. Title. — This Act shall be known as the “Magna Carta of Small Farmers.”
CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. — It is the declared policy of the State to give the highest priority to the development of agriculture such that equitable distribution of benefits and opportunities is realized through the empowerment of small farmers. While the State recognizes the fact that the welfare and development of the small farmers is their primordial responsibility, the State shall provide the necessary support mechanism towards the attainment of their socioeconomic endeavors.chan robles virtual law library

Recognizing that rural development based on growth and equity requires full integration of women and youth in the mainstream of development, the State shall ensure that these sectors are provided ample opportunity to develop their skills, acquire productive employment and contribute to their communities to the fullest of their capabilities.

To ensure the efficient use and sustainability of land, water and other productive resources, the State shall ensure that ecological balance and environmental protection are maintained and observed in its pursuit of rural development goals.

In pursuance of this policy, the State shall recognize the right of small farmers and farmworkers, as well as cooperatives and independent farmers’ organizations, to participate in the planning, organization, management and implementation of agricultural programs and projects especially through the bayanihan spirit. It shall support agriculture through appropriate policies, research, technology and training, and adequate financial, production, marketing and other support services to enhance agricultural productivity. In addition, it shall provide incentives and reward systems to small farmers so as to accelerate agricultural productivity and to promote self-sufficiency and full development of agricultural potentials.

Sec. 3. Scope of application. — This Act shall cover all small farmers and, to the extent herein provided, the departments, offices, agencies, subdivisions or instrumentalities of the National Government.

Sec. 4. Definition of Terms. — For purposes of this Act, the term:

(1) “Small farmer” refers to natural persons dependent on small-scale subsistence farming as their primary source of income and whose sale, barter or exchange of agricultural products do not exceed a gross value of One hundred eighty thousand pesos (P180,000) per annum based on 1992 constant prices. An inter-agency committee composed of the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority and headed by the Department of Agriculture may conduct periodic review and adjustments of the income level to take into account the effects of changes in inflation, devaluation and consumer price index;
chan robles virtual law library

(2) “Farmers’ organization” refers to farmers’ cooperatives, associations, or corporations duly registered with appropriate government agencies and which are composed primarily of small agricultural producers, farmers, farmworkers, and other agrarian reform beneficiaries who voluntarily join together to form business enterprises which they themselves own, control and patronize;

(3) “Small agricultural producer” refers to any self-employed individual who, by himself or with his family, provides the primary labor requirement of his business enterprise or one who earns at least fifty percent (50%) of his gross income from the payment, proceeds or income of the labor he provides;

(4) “Production Infrastructure” refers to farm-to-market roads, irrigation, rural electrification, ports, drying areas, public sites, warehouses and other physical facilities used for productivity enhancing services, extension management assistance, training, research and development;

(5) “Pre-harvest activities” include, but are not limited to, seedbed and land preparation, planting, weeding, pest and disease control, fertilizer application, water management and harvesting;

(6) “Postharvest activities” include, but are not limited to, threshing drying, milling, storing and handling of produce and such other activities as shelling, stripping, winnowing, chipping and washing;

(7) “Extension services” refers to the technology transfer provided by the Government and non-government organizations to the agricultural sector such as training of farmers, credit assistance and the like;

(8) “Transportation infrastructure” includes roads, bridges, ports, airports, and the different modes of transportation using these infrastructure;

(9) “Pre-harvest facilities” include, but are not limited to, plows, harrows, tractors, rotavators and sprayers;

(10) “Postharvest facilities” include, but are not limited to, threshers, moisture meters, dryers, weighing scales, milling equipment, storage facilities, buying stations, market infrastructure and transportation facilities;

(11) “Market infrastructure” refers to facilities such as market buildings, slaughterhouses, holding pens and cold storage used by the farmers in marketing their produce;chan robles virtual law library

(12) “Input subsidy” refers to assistance extended by the Government to the farmers in terms of discounted prices of farm inputs such as fertilizer, pesticide and seed;

(13) “Agrarian reform credit” includes production or other types of loans used for the acquisition of work animals, farm equipment and machinery, seeds, fertilizers, poultry and livestock feeds and other similar items; acquisition of lands authorized under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL); construction or acquisition of facilities for the production and effective merchandising of agricultural commodities;

(14) “Price subsidy” refers to the payment of Government of an additional amount for every unit of output sold by the farmers in the open market;

(15) “Farmworker” is a natural person who renders service value as an employee or laborer in an agricultural enterprise or farm regardless of whether his compensation is paid on a daily, weekly, monthly or pakyaw basis;

(16) “Upland farming” refers to planting of upland crops which usually require less water than other crops, as in non-irrigated and elevated farm areas;

(17) “Rural bank” refers to banks duly organized under Republic Act Numbered Seven hundred twenty with authority to operate under existing laws;

(18) “Cooperative bank” refers to banks whose owners are farmer’s associations or cooperatives;

(19) “Private development bank” refers to the banks duly organized under Republic Act Numbered Four thousand ninety-three with authority to operate under existing laws;

(20) “Banks” collectively used, means the rural banks, cooperative banks, and private development banks as defined in paragraphs 17, 18 and 19, Section 3 of this Act;

(21) “Irrigated lands” are agricultural lands which are supported by irrigation services;

(22) “Non-irrigated lands” are agricultural lands which lack irrigation systems and are usually rainfed;

(23) “Certified seed” refers to seeds that passed the seed certification standards of the Bureau of Plant Industry and which are the progeny of foundation, registered or certified seeds that are so handled as to maintain satisfactory genetic identity and varietal purity;

(24) “Good seed” refers to seeds that are the progeny of certified seeds so handled as to maintain a minimum acceptable level of genetic purity and identity and which is selected at the farm level;

(25) “Cooperative” refers to a duly registered association of persons, with a common bond of interest, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve a lawful common social economic end, making equitable contributions to the capital required and accepting a fair share of the risks and benefits of the undertaking in accordance with universally accepted cooperative principles;

(26) “Integrated Pest Management (IPM)” refers to a pest management system which utilizes all suitable methods and techniques in as compatible a manner as possible to maintain the pest population at a level below that causing economically unacceptable damage or loss without endangering the environment; andchan robles virtual law library

(27) “Locally available materials” refers to form lumber, gravel and sand, nipa, sawali, old G.I. sheets and other low-cost, indigenous or used materials that could be used as inputs in small infrastructure projects.

CHAPTER II
FARMER’S ORGANIZATION

Sec. 5. Right to Organize. — The State recognizes the right of farmers to organize themselves to promote their welfare and advance or safeguard their interests. Towards these end, the Government shall assist small farmers in establishing such self-help organizations such as farmers’ cooperatives and associations.

In particular, the Government shall encourage the formation of existing cooperatives among farmers in order to enable them to purchase inputs at lower cost and obtain fair prices for their produce.

Sec. 6. Farmer’s Representation in Government. — After voluntarily organizing themselves on the barangay, municipal, provincial and regional levels, the farmers who have been elected through all levels shall elect from among themselves their national officials who, notwithstanding existing laws to the contrary, shall occupy a seat in the boards of concerned government agencies such as, but not limited to, the Philippine Coconut Authority, the National Food Authority, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, the National Irrigation Administration and others.

On all other levels, the farmer representatives shall serve as members of planning and implementing units of the local governments and shall act as the official representatives of the farmers with whom the Government shall coordinate with: Provided, That all farmer representatives are members of primary farmers’ organizations preferably cooperatives and have been elected in all preceding levels.

CHAPTER III
EMPOWERMENT OF THE SMALL FARMERS

Sec. 7. General Provisions. — Empowerment of small farmers refers to provision of opportunities whereby farmers can have access to ownership or management of production resources. To achieve this, small farmers’ rights and obligations that specifically promote such empowerment are hereby given a legislative mantle. Through these provisions, the farmers’ rights to participate in the charting of their political, economic and social development are made inviolable. Likewise, the corresponding obligations of the farmers to initiate, or undertake patriotic and nationalistic endeavors must be fulfilled.

Sec. 8. Farmers’ Rights. — The farmers have the right to:

(1) Conduct their activities in an atmosphere guaranteed by a support price program for certain agricultural commodities such as rice and corn;

(2) Participate in a market free from monopoly, cartel or any other situation which may suppress prices to their disadvantage;

(3) Be covered by social security to serve as protection from event such as calamities, death, sickness and disability;

(4) Avail of credit at minimal interest rates and with a minimum of collateral requirements for their farm and basic household needs;

(5) Avail of and distribute farm inputs and services;

(6) Be heard and represented in the Government;

(7) Be regularly informed of such vital information as market prices, government agricultural policies, market demands and farming practices;

(8) Benefit from our country’s natural resources under existing laws; chan robles virtual law library

(9) Pursue any appropriate education and skills development towards the improvement of the quality of life;

(10) Eventually assume certain processing and marketing functions of government agencies; and

(11) Avail of technical assistance from the appropriate government agency in the preparation of project feasibility studies in availing loans and other forms of government economic assistance.

Sec. 9. Farmers’ Obligations. — The farmers shall:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

(1) Make use of their farmers’ organizations preferably cooperatives in order to enhance their capabilities in production, processing, marketing and financing towards self-reliance;

(2) Aim for increased productivity through the use of recommended farm practices and quality inputs;

(3) Comply with the terms and conditions stipulated in the availment of any form of assistance from the Government, financial institutions and non-government organizations to enable others to usually benefit from such assistance;

(4) Adopt production and marketing strategies to avail of economies of scale, soil and climatic conditions, idle farm labor and innovative agricultural technology through crop zonification, diversification, home and backyard industries, farming systems and similar activities;

(5) Through their cooperative, share with the consuming public the benefits derived from economies of scale, integration of processing and marketing activities and the application of better technology in the form of reasonable prices and superior quality of products;

(6) Share in the delivery of public services by contributing available labor and material resources to activities such as the maintenance of irrigation canals, the construction of small water impounding projects, the establishment of buying stations and public markets, and the establishment of plant nurseries and seed-banks;

(7) Exert efforts to meet local demand requirements to avert any shortage that may necessitate importation;

(8) Participate in the conservation, protection and development of the national patrimony;

(9) Promptly pay all applicable fees, license fees and taxes to the appropriate government agencies;

(10) Participate in and contribute to government insurance and social security programs; and

(11) Undertake self-help community development projects such as cottage industries, backyard farming and other economic-enhancement projects.

CHAPTER IV
INFRASTRUCTURE AND FARM INPUTS

Sec. 10. Provision of Infrastructure Support Inputs and Services. — Consistent with the country’s thrust for social entity and increased agricultural productivity, the Government shall provide infrastructure support, access to farm inputs and services to the agriculture sector, particularly to small farmers based on their absorptive capacity. In the construction and maintenance of infrastructure projects, the Government shall undertake this with the farmers’ organizations for the purpose of utilizing locally available manpower and materials.

Every farmer shall be assisted in gaining access to, obtaining, owning or opening facilities necessary for pre- and postharvest activities, for support services, and for procurement and distribution of inputs through their farmers’ organizations. Each city or municipality which is predominantly agriculture-based shall ensure that appropriate linkages with component barangays, non-government organizations and concerned government agencies are established to ensure that such assistance is made available to local farmers.

Sec. 11. Transportation Infrastructure. — The Government shall provide farm-to-market roads, feeder roads and bridges which will link the farms to the market. Priority shall be given to areas predominantly populated by small farmers and where agricultural productivity is relatively low.chan robles virtual law library

To ensure accessibility of markets to farmers and thereby minimize product wastage, the Government shall also provide for the construction of additional piers or wharves and airports and the improvement of such existing facilities especially in areas having surplus agricultural production and in other strategic areas in the country. It shall devise schemes to allow farmers to operate and eventually obtain their own transport equipment.

The Department of Public Works and Highways shall, in coordination with other agencies or subdivisions of the National Government, implement the provisions of this section. Farmers’ organizations shall participate in site identification, preparation, actual execution and maintenance of infrastructure projects especially in tapping available local manpower and materials.

Sec. 12. Communications Infrastructure. — To facilitate farmers’ access to vital information, the Government shall make available at least one (1) communication facility in each municipality for this purpose. This facility is to be operated by the Department of Agriculture or by a designated viable farmers’ organization.

Sec. 13. Postharvest Facilities/Services. — Every barangay which is predominantly agriculture-based shall be entitled to at least one (1) storage facility and a multipurpose pavement/plaza which can be used for various purposes including drying of agricultural produce.

These shall be located in the chosen barangay site or in any area to be approved by the sangguniang barangay in consultation with the small farmers and farmers’ organizations who shall provide the labor and other locally available materials for the construction and maintenance of the facilities. Priority shall be given to areas where no such facilities are available and predominantly populated by small farmers. The selected site shall, as much as practicable, be accessible by transportation and communication facilities and must be near the center of the barangay.

The farmers’ organizations may collect reasonable fees for services rendered in connection with the use of such facilities; Provided, That the collections therefrom shall be used only for the maintenance, improvement and expansion of these facilities: Provided, further, That an amount representing rental fees for the land shall be remitted to the barangay, where applicable.

Sec. 14. Postharvest Facilities. — The National Food Authority (NFA) shall establish the necessary postharvest facilities such as rice mills, dryers, threshers, warehouses, cold storage and other facilities which are needed in the area. Such postharvest facilities shall be leased to farmers’ organizations. Viable cooperatives shall have the option to buy such facilities from the NFA. Underutilized or non-operational postharvest facilities of the Government shall be made available to farmers’ organizations through lease or sale.

Sec. 15. Market Infrastructure. — To assure farmers of markets for their produce, the Government shall assist farmers’ organizations in establishing and operating market infrastructure, facilities and equipment.

Sec. 16. Use of Good Seeds and Planting Materials. — The State shall ensure that every farmer has the equal opportunity to avail of, to produce and to market good seeds and planting materials recommended by the Department of Agriculture as capable of producing high-yielding, pest-and-disease resistant, and widely-adapted crops for irrigated, rainfed and upland areas. Farmers’ organizations shall coordinate with the field offices of the Department of Agriculture and other concerned government agencies in ensuring that seeds and the means necessary to engage in the production and marketing of seeds suited to prevailing conditions in their respective communities are made available to small farmers.

To ensure the constant availability of appropriate and affordable seeds of recommended varieties, the Department of Agriculture, through the Bureau of Plant Industry, and in cooperation with the private seed producers’ associations, the farmers’ organizations, the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, and other state universities, colleges, and other institutions, shall extend all the necessary support needed to give the farmers the capability to undertake seed production and distribution services.

The Department of Agriculture shall conduct information campaigns and accelerate dissemination of technology on the use, production and storage of quality seeds. It shall also provide seed quality control services to discourage the use of inferior seeds and other varieties.

Sec. 17. Use of Fertilizers and Pesticides. — The Government together with the small farmers shall encourage the use of fertilizers and pesticides which have an acceptable level of deleterious effects on the health and the environment. They shall also promote the use of organic fertilizer and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In addition, they shall promote efficient and proper usage of fertilizer and pesticide taking into consideration the characteristics of the soil and crop and thereby eliminate losses due to wasteful and improper application. The Government shall support farmers’ organizations in the trading of fertilizers and pesticides.chan robles virtual law library

The Department of Agriculture shall formulate policies and implement programs regulating the use of fertilizers and pesticides. It shall conduct an extensive information campaign on the nature and consequences of using highly toxic pesticides. It shall monitor and regulate the sale of pesticides to ensure that banned pesticides are not sold in the market. It shall conduct thorough evaluation to check the data submitted by pesticide companies.

The Department of Agriculture shall likewise ensure adequate supply of fertilizers at reasonable prices. To eliminate added cost passed on by traders to the farmers, farmers’ organizations shall be encouraged to undertake the distribution of fertilizers to their members.

CHAPTER V
FARM MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT

Sec. 18. Availability of Farm Machinery and Equipment. — The Department of Agriculture, through the barangay or municipal governments and farmers’ organizations, shall support activities to ensure the availability of farm machinery and equipment for the use of small farmers in both pre- and postharvest operations. For purposes of monitoring, all farm machinery and equipment must be registered with the municipal government. The Department shall devise a program to increase the population of draft animals in the area. Local agricultural officers shall, in coordination with farmers’ organizations, devise schemes in the sharing, pooling, leasing or acquiring draft animals, equipment or machinery needed by the farmers.

The Government shall support the farmers in acquiring their inventory of farm equipment. With the use of grants-in-aid, as well as other domestic and foreign funds, the Government shall acquire and distribute to farmers’ organizations farm equipment and machinery so as to increase their productive capabilities. The funding requirement for this undertaking shall be included in the annual budget of the Department of Agriculture.

CHAPTER VI
WATER MANAGEMENT AND IRRIGATION FACILITIES

Sec. 19. Water Management. — The Government shall provide adequate support services that will address the development, management and conservation of water resources. The Department of Public Works and Highways, through the National Irrigation Administration and the Department of Agriculture, and with the participation of farmers’ organizations, shall undertake the implementation of small water impounding projects which can provide supplemental irrigation and additional income from fish and duck raising, and at the same time minimize soil erosion, siltation and flooding. Training programs for small farmers on these subjects shall be provided.

Focus shall also be made on small irrigation systems which are more efficient, cost-effective and cheaper to establish. The design and construction of irrigation systems shall be based not only on economic rate of return but also on the sustainable use of these systems. Inefficient and underutilized irrigation systems shall be rehabilitated, improved and maintained.

To enhance the compatibility of environmental protection with sustained agricultural productivity, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall adopt measures to promote conservation practices such as reforestation, watershed management, antipollution programs and other similar measures. In addition, the Department of Agriculture shall implement specific measures to ensure that farming practices are not detrimental to the environment.

To ensure the protection of watersheds and availability of irrigation services in rainfed and upland farms, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall, in collaboration with local government units, strictly enforce conservation measures and provide for the restoration of the protective forest cover and stability of the country’s critical watersheds. Farmer-beneficiaries shall be organized into irrigators’ associations which shall be tapped by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to implement its community-based reforestation projects, particularly the development and management of watershed of the irrigation projects. To ensure the integration of irrigation delivery systems with other agriculture support services, there shall be close coordination among the National Irrigation Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the local development councils.

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management shall prepare for each barangay, municipality or city which is predominantly agriculture-based parcellary maps identifying agricultural lands which can be reached by irrigation systems. In order to ensure the availability of irrigation services in areas with production potential, the Government shall implement irrigation pump distribution programs particularly in areas predominantly populated by small farmers.chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 20. Access to Irrigation Services. — While the Government, through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and other concerned offices, continues to provide irrigation services, farmers’ organizations shall be encouraged to spearhead the construction of irrigation systems. Towards this end, the Government shall encourage small farmers to join or form irrigators’ associations. In addition, it shall promote participation of farmers to develop their capabilities to eventually assume the operation and maintenance of irrigation systems and the responsibility of collecting fees from the individual members and remitting an amount to the NIA.

The NIA shall undertake the development and institutionalization of second-crop irrigation facilities in support of multi-crop farming. It shall also devise schemes for small farmers to avail of electric pumps or diesel-powered deep well irrigation systems in barangays or communities where water is scarce.

CHAPTER VII
AGRICULTURAL CREDIT

Sec. 21. Rural Credit Delivery System. — An efficient credit delivery system guided by a sound rural credit policy geared towards the needs of small farmers shall be established. The features of the credit delivery system for small farmers shall include, among others, a maximum rate of interest not to exceed seventy-five percent (75%) of commercial rate per annum inclusive all service, penalty and other charges. It shall also include minimum collateral requirements, accessibility, reasonable repayment terms, expeditious loan documentation and processing procedures. Services shall be expanded to include not only loans for procurement of production inputs but also for other needs and purposes of small farmers such as education and health needs.

The Department of Agriculture, through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and other concerned agencies, shall give subsidies for the education and training of small farmers on credit awareness, loan acquisition and loan repayment. It shall conduct an intensive information drive that will promote the establishment of strong and viable farmers’ organizations such as cooperatives, credit unions, rotating savings, and credit associations and non-government organizations (NGO’s) which play a major role in increasing small farmers’ access to credit. Likewise, the Government shall also set up a system which will provide information on the credit worthiness of potential borrowers.

In order to reduce the risks and administrative costs of lending institutions, the Government shall expand its loan guarantee coverage under the Comprehensive Agricultural Loan Fund to be administered by the ACPC and crop insurance programs to cover not only rice and corn but other crops, livestock, poultry, fishery, and agro-forestry as well. The ACPC shall conduct special projects to promote innovative financing schemes for small farmers. Payments under such insurance program shall be prompt and any delay without just cause shall entitle the beneficiary to reasonable interest rate on the amount due.

In addition, the Government shall promote the development of farmers’ organizations. Toward this end, the Government, through the ACPC and other concerned agencies, shall subsidize costs of information dissemination, monitoring, training and registration. The farmers’ organizations may serve as conduits of rural banks, private development banks and other banks for effective agricultural credit delivery. An amount shall be earmarked for lending exclusively farmers’ cooperatives at subsidized interest rates.

All agricultural lending programs of the Government are hereby consolidated and placed under the administration of the Land Bank of the Philippines. The funds shall be augmented by annual budgetary allocations which shall be managed as a self-sustaining fund base by the Land Bank of the Philippines in coordination with the ACPC.

A portion of all loanable agricultural funds shall be utilized for direct lending to small farmers for their production, processing, postharvest and marketing requirements.

To be able to generate funds that will be used to cover for the administrative costs of the agricultural funds being handled by the Land Bank of the Philippines, all government agencies that are involved in the development of the small farmers shall be allowed the option to deposit their funds in the Land Bank of the Philippines.chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 22. Cooperative Banks. — Small farmers shall have access to reasonable credit/loan package. The Government shall promote the establishment of cooperative banks and promote the growth of networks of cooperative banks.

CHAPTER VIII
WAGE, INCENTIVES AND PRICE SUPPORT

Sec. 23. Incentives. — Small farmers, including agricultural share tenants and lessees, regular and seasonal farmworkers and beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), shall be entitled to the following privileges or incentives:

(1) Financial and technical assistance shall be awarded to deserving farmers’ organizations implementing livelihood projects. Concerned national offices or agencies shall assist them in locating markets for their produce and by providing other support services necessary for the success of their projects;

(2) Barangay, municipal or provincial officials shall assist their respective communities to make the necessary representations before the appropriate government agencies in seeking assistance for agro-based projects. They shall be encouraged to support farmers to set up site specific agro-based projects that shall be operated in a business-like manner;

(3) The Department of Agriculture and other concerned agencies shall promote investment and financing programs designed to channel financial resources to livelihood projects in the countryside;

(4) Preferential tariff terms shall be extended on farm inputs and spare parts, farm machinery and equipment imported by farmers’ organizations provided that these are specifically for their projects;

(5) The Government shall give incentives and recognition to farmers and farmers’ organizations adopting more efficient farm technologies or equipment resulting in increased productivity and income;

(6) The Government shall widen the scope of the existing crop and livestock insurance programs by providing an insurance scheme that can accommodate major crops, livestock and other produce of small farmers;

(7) Study tours of short duration, local or overseas, shall be provided to deserving small farmers to improve their technological competence and knowledge;

(8) A system of certification of farm skills shall be instituted by the Department of Agriculture through duly authorized institutions to upgrade the skills of farmers and farmworkers;

(9) Farmers’ insurance coverage by the Social Security System subject to its charter shall be extended to small farmers and farmworkers; and

(10) Importations shall not be allowed on agricultural products that are produced locally in sufficient quantity. Importation policies should include the protection of new and developing crops such as soybean, ramie, sorghum and wheat. Importation policies shall be reviewed periodically by the Government in consultation with farmers’ organizations.

Sec. 24. Income-generating Activities. — Small farmers shall be encouraged to engage in other income-generating activities to supplement their farm income. National agencies, in collaboration with local government units, shall provide technical and skills training assistance through farmers’ organizations, and shall also be tasked to provide marketing assistance to small farmers.

Farmers’ organizations shall be the main conduits for funding livelihood projects. Assistance to livelihood projects shall include identification of specific markets and facilitating access to market facilities. The Government shall also provide other support services necessary for the success of livelihood projects. Priority shall be given to demand-pulled production activities.

Sec. 25. Price Support. — The Department of Agriculture, through its appropriate agencies, shall establish a price support system for certain agricultural products, especially rice and corn, taking into consideration the need to increase the real income of small farmers: Provided, however, That the price support established shall not result in the increase of the retail prices of such products beyond the paying capacity of the average consumer: Provided, further, That the Government shall also endeavor to set farmgate prices that respond to the changing economic conditions.

In addition, the Government shall minimize importation of farm inputs which are being developed locally, such as fertilizers and seeds, except at times of calamities or emergencies.chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 26. Minimum Wage. — Rural workers including regular farmworkers shall be entitled to wage levels prescribed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board pursuant to Republic Act Numbered Sixty-seven hundred and twenty-seven. Contract workers or seasonal farmworkers shall also be entitled to minimum wages unless they receive higher wages under the terms of their contracts.

Sec. 27. Procurement of Agricultural Produce. — The National Food Authority or any other appropriate agency of the Department of Agriculture which implements the government price support for agricultural produce, especially rice and corn, shall only procure and purchase palay, corn or other agricultural produce directly from small farmers or farmers’ organizations. Such agency shall devise an effective procurement scheme to ensure that small farmers can avail of this benefit.

Any official or employee of such agency who allows, consorts or connives with any trader or nonfarmer in the purchase of rice, corn or other agricultural produce or inputs subject to price support or any other government subsidy which is intended exclusively to benefit small farmers, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or by imprisonment for a term of not less than two (2) years but not more than four (4) years, or both at the discretion of the court, without prejudice to administrative sanctions imposed by the subject agency with perpetual disqualification to hold public office. The Probation Law shall not apply to penalties imposed under this Act.

Authentic copies of any evidence of procurement or purchase ofpalay, corn and other agricultural produce enjoying price support as provided in this section shall, within thirty (30) days from the issuance thereof, be furnished the Bureau of Internal Revenue by the National Food Authority or any other agency of the Government implementing price support therefor, subject to the penalties provided in the preceding paragraph for violation thereof.

The penalties provided under this section shall likewise apply to any official or employee of the National Food Authority or to any such similar agency of the Government who consorts or connives with any trader or nonfarmer in the sale of rice, corn or other agricultural produce sold under any government program.

CHAPTER IX
RESEARCH AND EXTENSION SERVICES

Sec. 28. Research and Development System. — The R and D System shall conduct mission-oriented or strategic research and adaptation trials taking into consideration specific needs of the intended beneficiaries. The results of these adaptation trials shall be verified under actual farm conditions to determine their performance in comparison with existing farming systems.

The R and D System shall complement national research centers by contributing studies or actual data to such studies. It shall concentrate on addressing the problems faced by farmers at the local level. The R and D System shall also tap the knowledge or experience of the farmers in the area and, through proper assessment and development, synthesize such with the present stock data.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research and Development shall be the lead agency to strengthen the existing R and D System in coordination with the Bureau of Agricultural Research, the Philippine Rice Research Institute and other government research institutions, private research institutions; state colleges and universities; and the farmers’ organizations in the area.

Sec. 29. Demonstration Farms. — Technology verification and piloting shall be conducted by the farmers’ organizations on the farmers’ fields under the supervision of the R and D personnel. These demonstration farms shall showcase technologies that have passed regional adaptability tests.

Emphasis shall be given on the ease of application of the concept/technique, the use of indigenous technology and materials, resource conservation, the increase in productivity and income of the farmers and other similar considerations;

Sec. 30. Focus on Research, Training and Extension. — Research, training and extension shall focus on the development and transfer of adaptive technologies that provide solutions to problems encountered by the small farmers in the areas of production, postharvest and processing, marketing, entrepreneurship and management, and community organizing and institutional development.

Sec. 31. Studies on Soil Types and Climatic Conditions. — The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) and other concerned agencies shall conduct studies in the municipalities and provinces in order to determine the best use of the land, the most profitable cropping mix, and the fertilizers needed for such areas and crops. The BSWM shall likewise determine the soil management practices suitable for the areas to ensure sustainability of farming in these areas.chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 32. Extension Services. — The extension workers of the Department of Agriculture shall serve as linkages between the small farmers and farmers’ organizations. Together, they shall identify on-farm problems to be referred to the research and development institutions. They shall likewise disseminate tested location-specific technologies to their farmer clientele. The farmers’ organization shall complement the extension program of the Department of Agriculture for more effective technology transfer and information dissemination.

Sec. 33. Agro-industrial Linkages. — The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture shall jointly devise a program that will increase the linkage between agriculture and industries, especially those in industrial estates, through the promotion of processing industries in order to develop a sound agri-based industrial development of rural communities.

CHAPTER X
FINAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 34. Appropriations. — The amounts necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act are hereby authorized to be appropriated in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law. Other funding sources like the Philippine Aid Plan may also be tapped for the purpose.

Sec. 35. Implementing Guidelines. — Within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act, the Department of Agriculture shall issue the necessary rules and regulations to implement this Act.

Sec. 36. Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees, executive orders, administrative orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly: Provided, however, That nothing in this Act shall amend, modify or repeal the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Seventy-one hundred sixty, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

Sec. 37. Separability Clause. — In case any provision of this Act or any portion thereof is declared unconstitutional by a competent court, other provisions shall not be affected thereby.

Sec. 38. Effectivity Clause. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: June 4, 1992

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