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by Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol
Chairman, MinDA

Tigbauan, Iloilo - Zamboanga Sibugay will soon have hatcheries for the production of Oyster Spots, crablets of King Crabs and Lapulapu fingerlings to boost the province's high value aqua-marine production.

The South East Asia Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) yesterday forged an agreement which would transfer modern fisheries and aqua-marine technologies to the fishing communities of Mindanao.

In simple ceremonies held at the SEAFDEC Headquarters in Tigabauan town yesterday, SEAFDEC Chief Dan Baliao and I, representing MinDA, signed the Memorandum of Agreement on Technical Cooperation for Aqua-Marine Technology Transfer.

The MOA signing was witnessed by MinDA Fisheries consultant Dr. Fathma Idris and SEAFDEC Research Division chief Dr. Leobert dela Peña.

The Technical Cooperation Agreement would lead to the establishment of hatcheries to produce crablets of King Crabs, Oyster Spots and Lapulapu or Grouper fingerlings which the fisherfolk communities in Zamboanga Sibugay need to increase their production.

The need for hatcheries was relayed to MinDA by fisherfolk leader Roberto Magbanua Ballon on July 20 during a visit which I made to the mangrove park of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Ballon, also known as Ka Dodoy, was recently named as one of the winners of the coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award, joined the MinDA team in the trip to Iloilo and witnessed the signing of the MOA yesterday.

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Photo courtesy of Mindanews

by Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol
Chairman, MinDA

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has named the members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) to lead the efforts to revive and rehabilitate the mothballed wood processing facility in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, the Paper Industries Development Corp. (PICOP).

The TWG is headed by Director Joey Recimilla with seven members, including MinDA Legal Officer Kristine Quibod, and six alternate members.

The TWG will conduct a thorough study and submit recommendations on the steps to be undertaken to revive and rehabilitate what was once Asia's biggest and most modern pulp and paper mill.

The development was the result of the virtual conference arranged by MinDA which involved key players in the project, the Court-appointed Rehabilitation Receiver Francisco Buencamino, and officials of Bislig City two weeks ago.

Among the salient points reached during the virtual conference were:

1. The facilities of PICOP, while these had been raided and pilfered by groups identified with the workers' union, could still be made operational with the installation of modern equipment;

2. Court-Appointed Receiver Francisco Buenacamino said the owners of PICOP are willing to make additional investments to re-operate the facility now that the Total Log Ban Policy implemented during the previous administration had been lifted;

3. The Supreme Court case which stemmed from the petition for foreclosure filed by the Land Bank of the Philippines who had granted the corporation over P2-B in loans must be addressed as this is the remaining stumbling block in the move to start the rehabilitation;

4. The LGU of Bislig has pledged its support for the rehabilitation and revival of the facility which at one time was the biggest pulp and paper mill in Asia which employed 20,000.

LGU officials who attended thr virtual conference emphasized that the people of Bislig City, especially the Tree Farmers, would greatly benefit from the rehabilitation and re-operation of PICOP.

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by Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol
Chairman, MinDA

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has invited a Texas-based Sorghum Seed Production Company to support the agency's Sorghum Development Program by establishing a nursery in Mindanao.

Scott Seed Company, which in 2019 donated 25 metric tons of Sorghum Seeds to MinDA through the Davao del Norte Provincial Government, was asked to consider the setting up of a seed production nursery following successful field trials conducted last year.

The progress of MinDA's Sorghum Development Program, however, has been stunted by the difficulty and expense in shipping Sorghum seeds from Texas to Mindanao, especially during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Coby Kriegshauser, chief executive officer of Scott Seeds, a family company established by his grandfather, Ira Scott, in Hereford, Texas in 1946, has earlier invited the MinDA Chairman to witness the introduction of its new hybrid Sorghum seeds during the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the company.

In response, MinDA proposed to Scott Seed the establishment of a seed production nursery in Mindanao to boost the Sorghum Development Program of the agency to support its livestock and poultry industry.

MinDA emphasized that a Seed Production Nursery established right next to the production area would greatly reduce the cost of the Sorghum Seeds which are now brought into the country from the US and other countries by seed distribution companies.

Kriegshauser said his company would be interested to discuss the prospects of investing in a Seed Nursery in Mindanao adding that it could become the source of waxy Sorghum which China needs.

MinDA Sorghum Development Program was crafted in support of the Livestock and Poultry Industry Development initiatives of the agency to complement the corn produced in Mindanao for animal feeds.

An additional benefit from Sorghum is the production of green stalks even after harvest which would be used as silage for both large and small ruminants, especially in Cattle Fattening, another project being pushed by MinDA.

The availability of Sorghum Seeds for farmers in Mindanao could provide additional income opportunities from a new agricultural product needed by the poultry and livestock industry.

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by Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol
Chairman, MinDA

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will recognize and give awards to outstanding Bangsamoro vegetable farmers and their corporate partners during the 2nd Mindanao Vegetable Derby in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the second week of November in Maguindanao.

The awarding ceremonies will be conducted during the harvest period of high value vegetables which the farmers and their corporate partners are planting in a demonstration area in Barangay Layog, Pagalungan town.

At the end of the Derby, Outstanding Farmers will be cited and given awards, while Companies whose seeds performed well during the Derby will also be given citations.

Pagalungan Mayor Salik Mamasabulod volunteered to host the BARMM Vegetable Derby, saying the farmers in his town needed the correct farming technology to fully utilize the potentials of their rich soil.

MinDA assisted the site establishment from July 15 to August 15 for the planting and growing of vegetables while training and mentoring of vegetable farmers were slated from August 23 to October 30.

The program aims to improve the quality of vegetables and productivity of farmers and the high-value crop area of Mindanao, particularly in the BARMM.

In the coming weeks, a series of mentoring between the technicians of seed companies and vegetable farmers of Pagalungan on proper techniques in pest management, nutrient management, and other protocols in maintaining the growth of vegetables and ensuring a bountiful harvest will be conducted while training on vegetable processing, value-adding, and marketing, as well as collectivization of vegetable farmers into cooperative will also be undertaken, MinDA team leaders Jun Buhat and Silvester Sales reported.

Four seed companies, Kaneko, Eastwest, Seedworks, and Condor, with the local government of Pagalungan and MinDA, will mentor vegetable farmers on proper land preparation and transplanting of vegetable seedlings.

Before this, seed companies mentored the vegetable farmers on new techniques in growing vegetable seedlings, maintaining the seedlings, and preparing them for transplanting in the field.

A farmer's field day, wherein farmers from neighboring municipalities, would also be invited to showcase the farm and technology in the first week of November, the week before the actual vegetable festival.

The Mindanao Vegetable aims to address poverty, improve productivity, and initiate the economic recovery of Mindanao.

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by Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol
Chairman, MinDA

A 2-hour five weeks short course on Water Management and Conservation for Mindanao Governors and Mayors will be conducted by the Mashav Agricultural Training Center of Israel starting 6 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 17.

The on-line lectures will be conducted for 2-hours on Aug. 17, Aug. 24, Aug. 31, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12 with Israeli experts on Water Management and Conservation.

The webinar on Water Conservation and Management: The Israeli Model is a joint project of the Mashav of Israel, the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

It was requested by MinDA as part of its advocacy to increase awareness of local leaders of Mindanao on the importance of water conservation and management for sustainable agriculture and economic growth.

Here are the experts who will deliver the lectures on specific subjects:

- 17 Aug, 6:15pm

Dr. Amir Givati, Chief Scientific Officer, Asgard Systems

Topic: The Climate Crisis in the World, in South-East Asia and in the Philippines

- 17 Aug, 7pm

Adv. Omer Vardi, Commissioner of Water and Sewage Corporations Unit, Israel Water Authority

Topic: The Water Sector in Israel and Urban Water Management

- 24 Aug, 6pm

Mr. Uri Shor, Head of Education, Campaigns and Information Dept., Israel Water Authority

Topic: Water Conservation: From Awareness to Action - The Israeli Experience

- 24 Aug, 7pm

Dr. Lior Asaf, MASHAV Water Expert

Topic: Sustainable Water Management for Agriculture

- 31 Aug, 6pm

Mr. Roy Peleg, Agricultural Consultant and Irrigation Expert

Topic: Modern Irrigation Technologies

- 14 Sept, 6pm

Adv. Omer Vardi, Commissioner of Water and Sewage CorporationsUnit, Israel Water Authority

Topic: Legislation and Policy for Managing the Water Sector in Israel

- 14 Sept, 6:45pm

Topic: Showcase of Israeli Water Technologies/Water Engineering Companies - with the Israel Export Institute

- 12 Oct, 7:45pm

Mr. Hezi Bilik, Expert on Water Management and Conservation, Water Technoplogies and Innovation

Topic: Urban Water Supply - Master Plan, Water Loss Reduction & Implementation of New Technologies

Participants who will complete the five sessions will receive Certificates of Completion of the Course from the Mashav of Israel.

While this program is intended for Mindanao Governors and Mayors only, special accommodation could be given to Governors and Mayors outside of Mindanao whose areas face serious water management and conservation issues.

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