Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Agriculture Education in Philippines

The Philippines is an agrarian economy with agriculture being the main occupation of its people. Most of its citizens live in the rural areas and follow various livelihood options in the agricultural sector. The total land area in the country is 30 million hectares, out of which 47% is under agriculture. Prime agricultural lands are located around the main urban and high population density areas.

The agricultural sector in Philippines is divided into four sub-sectors comprising of farming, fisheries, livestock and forestry. Rice and corn account for nearly 50% of the agricultural produce in the country. This has led to the increased awareness about agricultural studies.

Besides rice and corn, the other important crop yields in the country are coconut, bananas, pineapple, coffee, mangoes and abaca (a banana type plant). Apart from these, the secondary agriculture produce include peanut, cassava, garlic, onion, egg-plant, cabbage, rubber, cotton and calamansi (type of lemon).

The agricultural land in the country is a mixture of small, medium and large farms. An average farm size is about 2 hectares which are usually owned and managed by single family units and range from the subsistence to the commercial production. The typical farming system constitutes of crop yields like rice, corn and coconut as common base and also includes a few heads of livestock and poultry.

Due to all these prevailing conditions, a need was felt to impart knowledge about the various agricultural practices and the latest trends being followed around the globe. This gave birth to the Agriculture Colleges in Philippines, some of which are owned by the state.

The following colleges in the country are considered to be the best in terms of infrastructure, the faculty and the quality of education.

Pampanga Agriculture College: Primarily established as an agricultural school, Pampanga Agriculture College became a state college in September 1974. Originally started in 1885, this century old institution is located on the foothills of the Majestic Mt. Arayat in the town of Magalang, province of Pampanga. It is spread out on an area of 700 hectares of government agricultural lands. The main focus of the college is on Instruction, Research & Development, Extension Training and Production.

Presently the college offers 13 under-graduate courses, 2-year computer course, 2-year course in agricultural technology, agricultural science high school, and graduate schools for three masters and three doctoral degrees.

Xavier University - College of Agriculture: This prestigious institution was founded in 1953 by the late Fr. William F. Masterson and is the second oldest amongst the colleges of agriculture in Mindanao and also has the proud position of being the only Catholic College of Agriculture in the entire country. It is also the founding member of the Association of Colleges of Agriculture of the Philippines (ACAP).

The curriculum of Xavier University - College of Agriculture is a distinctive combination of active field work and the liberal arts formation. The main thrust of the college is on Instruction, Research, Extension and Production.
Apart from the above two educational institutions, there are also many other state sponsored Universities which provide education on the different facets of agriculture. Most of the colleges are affiliated with some overseas faculty and organizations which provide valuable inputs on a regular basis.
For more information on University of Philippines and Agriculture Education Philippines please visit our website.

Article from

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Bokashi Composting System

I am sure you have heard about the latest idea in composting, the Bokashi system, but what is Bokashi composting. Well it is not a real composting system at all but it is a way of treating your food waste before you compost it.

I have been composting for yours and in the summer can produce rich sweet smelling compost in a couple of months using a custom built hotbox composting system I have come up with. This just works with normal composting materials but now I am putting all the things I would have avoided in there. Have you ever composted a chicken carcass or uncooked fish skins. I know where I live this would attract vermin from the local farms. They would be attracted by the smell of the food I had put into the hot compost box. I do not think I would have been happy with the smell either.

Now I have a bokashi composting system and all this goes in. You name it; I compost it, well all the normal waste from my kitchen. I also add waste cooked food, bread, raw meat and fat and even things like duck carcasses left behind after a meal.

Yep, I can hear your brain working with questions like. “What do you do about the smell”; “How far from the house do you have to keep the bin” and “What about the neighbors. Are they trying to run you out of town because you stink the neighborhood up”?

There is none of that – no bad smells and I would be happy to keep my bokashi composting system in my house. I do not do this because there is a slight bran smell from the main ingredient you have to add so I just keep my bokashi system by my back door. I do not mind this smell but my wife does not like it, so I keep things outdoors.

image from

A bokashi system comprises of a minimum of 2 special bokashi bins and you can leave one to work while you are filling the other up and just keep this process going. This is what I bought but a friend gave me a third bin so I now use 3 bins. It allows the first one to work that little bit longer. The bins are airtight and have a close fitting lid as the bokashi system works aerobically with a lack of oxygen. All the bins have a sump on them and a tap while the system is working a liquid is produced and this needs drain off. Even this is not wasted though you can do two things with it and they both work.

The first one is to water it into your soil. Dilute it about 1 to 10 with water and water it on to your soil and it will help develop the soil food web which leads to better, stronger and healthier plants. I tried an experiment by watering a couple of square yards of my lawn every week with a diluted solution of this liquid and the grass is greener, healthier, stronger and longer after a couple of months so it must have done some good.

The other thing you can do with the liquid is just to pour it down your drains undiluted. I had a slight smell coming from the outlet of one of the baths in my house after a build up of gunge in it. One treatment with the bokashi fluid and it was gone.

So how does it all work? You need to use the special bran which should come with your system. Sprinkle some of this on the drain plate at the bottom of your bin and start adding food. Each time you add food sprinkle some more bran in. You do not need a lot of bran, certainly not enough to cover the food. Just keep going until the bin is full. Remember to keep the lid on all the time unless you are adding food. You also need to keep pressing the food down to get rid of air pockets. Keep going until the bin is full then start on the next one.

What happens next is that the effective microorganisms which the bran has been treated with start to work on the food and ferment it. Your waste comes out looking like it has been pickled. Just dig this into your soil about a foot deep. It seems to disappear within a couple of months. Any bones you put in there will not disappear though and I try not to add these but you can. You can also put it in your compost heap and it seems to disappear very quickly. As long as you keep draining the fluid off and keep the lid sealed the system works. If any air does get in, the food starts to rot and the system stinks so watch out.

Once you have bought the bins you will need to keep a supply of bran in and there is a company near to where I live where I can order the bran to be delivered every two months. I just order it and forget about it until it turns up. If you use too much bran though, you will need to order some in-between the normal delivery as it is the activated bran that makes the system work.

Article from

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Effects of Global Warming on Agriculture and Food Supply

For a long time it has been believed that the effects of global warming on agriculture and food supply is going to be a positive one. This is because the rising level of carbon-dioxide resulted for global warming will help the greeneries for photosynthesis.

Thus there will be a rise of agricultural production and food supply. The theorem received a boost after the evidence of a sharp rise of barley production as one of the effects of global warming in Iceland which was quite impossible even few years ago.

But more recent experiments and researches have revealed that the effects of global warming on agriculture and food supply are not that good after all. AN UNEP 2001 report on the global warming has predicted that USA is going to have more droughts, floods, landslides and storms.

Winter will gradually be shortened and sobered down, while summer will rise in expansion and severity. Along with this heavy rain, big storm, heavy snowfall, high sea level, increasing coastal erosion and other problems will occur.

Though as one of the effects of global warming, the overall food supply and production level is supposed to rise in USA, but the Great Plains will suffer with more droughts resulting for global warming.

Even now many effects of global warming on agriculture and food supply have been perceived. The popular maple syrup production of North east USA has diminished by 10%, moving its production zone to farther north for shorter and warmer winter.

On the other hand as one of the effects of global warming the south west USA is suffering from a water shortage which will increase in coming days. The zone has become dry for any standard agricultural production with an apprehension of resettling Dust Bowl of 1930s’ by the year 2030 for global warming.

Following a report of IPCC on the global warming, California’s snow covered Sierra Mountains can reduce in near future by up to 60-90%. This will create dire water shortage in summer, making the Central Valley area unsuitable for agricultural production for global warming. The State University of Colorado has declared that the area is going to be less productive due to effects of global warming on agriculture and food supply.

As the effects of global warming, the food supply production in Florida is going to suffer a lot due to frequent and large scale floods. Also one of the most profitable agricultural products of USA – corn will suffer a bad condition due to dry and hot atmosphere for global warming.

As another example of the effects of global warming on agriculture and food supply - with the rise of temperature by 3 to 11 degrees in this century, the production rate of the main crops – the rice, corn, wheat, barley, soybeans and sorghum – will be cut down by 3-5% for each point rise of temperature for global warming.

However with all these effects of global warming on agriculture and food supply, new attempts have been made to adjust the agricultural and food production method according to the changing atmosphere. So to fight the effects of global warming, the researchers have established new methods of production with continuous revision of models. But still the best possible process to reduce the effects of global warming on agriculture and food supply is to be established.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kaedah Penternakan Lembu

MELALUI kaedah fidlot, lembu-lembu pembiak berada di dalam kandang sehingga menjadi cukup gemuk untuk dipasarkan.

Cara pengurusan lembu daging adalah lebih mudah jika dibandingkan dengan lembu tenusu. Ada empat cara pengurusan yang boleh dilakukan untuk pembiakan lembu daging iaitu:

1. Meragut Lepas Bebas
Lembu-lembu dibiarkan bebas meragut di kawasan rumput, sama ada di kawasan sendiri atau bukan. Cara ini amat sesuai bagi penternak/ pengusaha yang mempunyai keluasan padang ragut sendiri yang mencukupi. Ini memudahkan lembu-lembu membiak kerana lembu betina bebas bergaul dengan lembu-lembu jantan.

2. Berkurung atau Fidlot
Memelihara lembu secara intensif dalam kandang atau kurungan untuk pengeluaran lembu daging melalui peningkatan berat badan atau menggemukkan lembu dengan memberi makanan bermutu, air bersih, mineral dan vitamin yang secukupnya dalam tempoh tertentu. Dengan cara ini, lembu-lembu pembiak sentiasa berada di dalam kandang. Makanan yang diberikan sama ada rumput atau dedak atau campuran kedua-duanya diberikan pada kadar berat kering 3 - 5% daripada berat badan lembu setiap hari. Biasanya, rumput potong diberikan pada waktu pagi dan dedak diberikan pada waktu petang. Ruang lantai yang diperlukan ialah kira-kira 30 kaki persegi bagi setiap ekor ternakan. Usaha yang lebih adalah diperlukan bagi mencuci kandang dan menjaga kebersihan persekitaran.

3. Separa Intensif
Cara ini lebih sempurna dan praktikal di negara ini. Lembu yang dipelihara dibenarkan bebas meragut sama ada di kawasan rumput yang berpagar atau di kawasan ragutan awam dalam tempoh masa yang dihadkan. Lembu-lembu dihalau balik ke kandang untuk makanan tambahan dan berteduh di sebelah malam. Ini bermakna penternak perlu menyediakan kandang malam dan kawasan meragut yang mencukupi.

4. Integrasi Dengan Tanaman Utama
Di negara kita, kawasan tanaman utama seperti kelapa sawit, getah, kelapa dan dusun adalah sangat luas. Di bawah tanaman ini, biasanya terdapat banyak rumput-rumpai yang subur. Pada kebiasaannya, racun rumpai digunakan bagi mengawal tanaman itu. Integrasi dengan ternakan akan menjimatkan wang untuk meracun, di samping mengurangkan kos pembajaan ladang.

Sumber: Perkhidmatan Veterinar Negeri Terengganu

Monday, November 17, 2008

Can You Justify the Cost of Organic Produce?

Maybe, maybe not. Buying organic produce selectively makes perfect sense to some people. Take the banana, for instance, which has a peel that is thick and is thrown away. It absorbs fewer pesticides than thin-skinned fruit, like the strawberry, which is a veritable sponge for pesticides.

Laboratory tests performed by the United States Department of Agriculture have proven that certain fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of pesticides, even after being washed.

Vegetables and fruits that retain the highest levels of pesticides are among the following: apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries. For these items, it would be very beneficial to go to the extra expense of buying organic. The ones with the lowest concentration are: asparagus, avocado, banana, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, mango, onion, papaya, pineapple, and sweet peas.

Whenever you buy organic produce, you're supporting a reduction in the use of pesticides and herbicides, as well as any other chemicals that can be released into the environment, particularly the ground water. But that may not always be sufficient cause for a family to spend the extra money in these difficult economic times. Some people believe organic foods to be healthier, and this is their justification for the extra expense of buying organic.

People can be overwhelmed by the data on the harmful effects of different chemicals, particularly because it will often contradicts itself. We know that over time, some potentially carcinogenic pesticides and chemicals accumulate in our bodies as we ingest them, but practically no studies exist that examine the long term consequences of this. Be that as it may, in 1996 a new federal law was passed, making it a requirement for pesticides to adhere to safety standards for children. Since that time, more than twelve pesticides that had been in broad use have been banned, restricted, or withdrawn voluntarily by the manufacturers.

The developing immune, central-nervous, and hormonal systems of children are particularly susceptible to damage from chemical toxins. Although the scientific community previously believed otherwise, a 2005 study found that if a woman has pesticides in her bloodstream they can be passed to a fetus in utero. When the umbilical-cord blood of fetuses was tested for pollutants by the Red Cross, 21 pesticides were discovered. It seems to be a good idea for children and pregnant women to eat organic, thereby controlling their chemical intake.

Right now in America, there are continuous drawn out fights over banning additional pesticides that are known to be harmful and that have been banned by the European Union. But there are several other countries, like Mexico, that are far worse. Chemicals banned in America, and water from the sewage, are frequently used to irrigate and treat crops in Mexico. It would be wise to buy locally-grown fruits and vegetables when purchasing produce that is non-organic. For both conventional and organic products, locally grown produce will be fresher and better tasting. Going to a farmer's market to shop for vegetables is a terrific means of supporting your local produce farmers and saving big bucks on organic produce. In-season produce, which is fresher and more flavorful, is the only kind sold at farmers markets.

Aside from their reduced amount of exposure to chemicals, it has recently been discovered that organic produce is higher in nutrients and antioxidants. In the largest study of its kind in the European Union, organically grown produce was shown to be 40% higher in antioxidants than regular produce -- another clear benefit to buying organic produce. Scientists think this may be due to the fact that plants grown organically experience more stress and, lacking the chemicals that help to reduce this stress, they produce antioxidants as a means of defense.

The decision of whether or not to buy organic produce, or how much to buy, is entirely up to the individual. Evidence indicates that the switch to organic produce would be especially beneficial for children and for pregnant women. Another reason for buying organic is to support local farmer's markets. You should seek the organic alternatives for the types of produce that are the most easily contaminated and retain the most pesticides even after washing. Finally, it can be a good idea when you do purchase conventional produce, to avoid things from third world countries that have lax regulations regarding the use of pesticides and chemicals.

About the Author
Ethan Mantle is an accomplished chef who uses organic produce and fresh, seasonal ingredients both at home with his family and at work. He currently owns Componere Fine Catering, a gourmet San Francisco catering business for those looking for spectacular Napa wedding caterers or San Francisco corporate caterers.