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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Fishermen in 12 Mindanao fishing communities will soon be marketing Spanish Sardines and vacuum-packed Dried Fish as the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) provides them with steam-powered fish dryers, retort machines and vacuum-packing equipment.

The project of providing poor fishing families with post-harvest equipment to add value to their catch is part of the Mindanao Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Program initiated by MinDA.

The Mayors of Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay and Nasipit, Agusan del Norte have already signed the Memorandum of Agreement with MinDA in simple ceremonies this week.

The Grant Fund coming from the meager resources of MinDA will be used to acquire a locally fabricated Mini-Boiler, Steam-Powered Fish Dryer and Retort Machine for Spanish Sardines-making of a women's group in Barangay Ata-Atahon in Nasipit.

The same amount of Grant Fund given to Olutanga will be used in acquiring a bio-mass powered Mini-Boiler, a Steam-Powered Fish Dryer and a vacuum packing equipment to produce sanitary and high quality dried fish from the island town of Zamboanga Sibugay.

The identification of the post-harvest facilities needed by the towns was made during the series of trips I made as early as last year when MinDA designed the MinFAD.

The MinFAD aims to establish post-harvest facilities in at least 22 Fishing Grounds of Mindanao, including Basilan, Sulu and Tawitawi to improve the productivity of poor fishing communities.

Many of these rich fishing grounds lack the basic post-harvest facilities such as Ice-Makers, Blast-Freezers and Cold Storage, including Dryers for dried fish making and Retort Machines for bottled Spanish Sardines-making.

The post-harvest facilities and equipment which the first 12 fishing villages will receive were fabricated locally by a multi-awarded inventor from Butuan City, Engr. Rudy Cane.

Cane designed the bio-mass powered Mini-Boiler to produce steam for the Dryers which could be used even during rainy days and nighttime thus improving the productivity of the fishermen.

The Mini-Boiler also powers a mini-Retort Machine capable of steaming 500 bottles every 3 hours for Spanish Sardines-making.

The Vacuum-Packing Machine which will come in the package to be sourced from the commercial market.

All of these interventions will only cost P424,000 per location instead of millions if the facilities and equipment were to be acquired commercially.

Other towns which will soon receive the same equipment are Jabonga, Agusan del Norte which produces the Pijanga Dried Fish, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur which produces dried Mudfish and Catfish and Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur which also produces Dried Fish.

The remaining 7 fishing villages which will receive the Grant Fund from MinDA will be identified soon.

The Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay MinFAD Post-harvest facilities are expected to be operational by February this year, in time for the lifting of the Fishing Ban in most fishing grounds in Mindanao.

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Photo downloaded from public website.

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) yesterday assured Mindanao Hog Raisers of its support in conducting a field trial for a vaccine for the dreaded African Swine Fever developed in Vietnam which would be available by the Second Quarter of this year.

Eduardo So, president of the Mindanao Hog Raisers Association, yesterday sought MinDA's help in facilitating access for the vaccine for the swine virus which had virtually decimated the backyard hog population in the Philippines.

The ASF, a deadly disease which was reported to have first affected hogs near the dumpsite in Montalban, Rizal in mid-2019, has unabatedly spread all over the country, including several provinces of Mindanao, severely affecting the hog industry, especially the backyard farms.

While the ASF does not pose threats to human health, it was considered a major blow to the hog industry because of the absence of a Vaccine.

Affected hogs usually die within 48 hours after contagion and the only remedy implemented was to cull the affected hog population and enforce quarantine protocols.

The uncontrolled spread of the ASF all over the country has caused the meteoric rise of prices of live hogs and pork in the market reaching historic high levels of P220 per kilo live and over P400 per kilo for meat in the market.

During my conversation with So yesterday, he several member farms of the Mindanao Hog Raisers Association have expressed willingness to conduct the field trials prior to the approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of its use in the country.

The Mindanao ASF Task Force which was organized by MinDA in 2019 composed of Mindanao Hog Industry stakeholders will initiate the move to gain access to the Vietnam ASF Vaccine.

Several veterinary supply companies in the Philippines have expressed willingness to acquire the ASF Vaccine to help the country's hog industry to recover and bring down the prices of pork for the consumers.

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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will convene bamboo stakeholders from all over the region in a face-to-face and virtual Summit to organize the Mindanao Bamboo Industry Council.

The Mindanao Bamboo Summit will be held at the Development Bank of the Philippines Conference Hall in Cagayan de Oro City where the major stakeholders, including representatives of the different agencies, will meet face-to-face.

Other stakeholders who could not join the face-to-face organization meeting could participate through a Zoom Virtual Conference starting at 5 p.m.

Bukidnon Giant Bamboo Resources Corp. President Rod Bioco will make a presentation on the current state and prospect of the Mindanao Bamboo Industry.

The BGB Corporation has established a bamboo processing facility in Malaybalay, Bukidnon and is currently buying Giant Bamboo poles from farmers in the area.

Representatives of the Department of Environment and Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Interior and Local Government are expected to provide inputs on how their agency could support the Mindanao Bamboo Industry.

The Development Bank of the Philippines, through its President Emmanuel Herbosa, will also be joining the face-to-face conference.

The DBP is expected to present financing windows for the Bamboo Industry which will be made accessible to both farmers and processors.

The Mindanao Bamboo Industry Council is being organized by MinDA as part of its programs to promote the greening of Mindanao's critical watersheds and headwaters while at the same time providing income opportunities for the people.

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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Tagum City - As the prices of meat and poultry products are shooting through the roof nationwide, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is launching an LGU-led Livestock Development Program to ensure sufficient supply for Mindanao.

The Province of Davao del Norte has agreed to pioneer the MinDA Livestock Development Program with the establishment of a 500-head Cattle Fattening Feedlot.

In a meeting last night with Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, I emphasized that the country faces a shortage of beef, pork and poultry, partly because of the disruption of the supply chain.

In the case of the hog industry, the unabated spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) has practically wiped out Mindanao's backyard hog industry with live hog prices soaring from P90 per kilo last year to as high as P220 now.

The Davao del Norte Cattle Feedlot project also received a commitment of support from former Speaker and Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez who was also briefed on the grim scenario of the beef, poultry and pork shortage in Luzon which could affect prices in Mindanao.

The Davao del Norte Cattle Feedlot Project will involve the fattening of 500 heads of locally procured cattle at any given time.

The fattening protocol will be introduced by outstanding OFW Arnel Corpuz, MinDA's livestock program consultant who spent 11 years in Australia's Wagyu Feedlots.

In addition to the locally procured Cattle, the MinDA Livestock Industry Program also aims to acquire steers for fattening and breeders from Australia to boost Mindanao's Cattle population.

The program will be tied to the Sorghum and Corn Industry Development Program pushed by MinDA.

Other Mindanao Provincial Governments will also be encouraged to set up a similar Cattle Feed Lot facility which would later be complemented with modern abattoirs for added value.

The Development Bank of the Philippines, MinDA's financing partner, will be tapped to support the LGUs' funding requirements for the project.

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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The Biblical account of how the Three Kings followed a shining star to the manger where Jesus Christ was born is more than just a story of faith.

It is actually a story of resolve, determination and the willingness to sacrifice to achieve a goal.

Today, as we face a difficult period in our lives, let us be inspired by the story of the Biblical Magis.

Let us keep faith, stay focused and willingly sacrifice to achieve our dream of a better life for ourselves, our family and our country.

Let us find our Star and follow it.

God will surely guide us and show the way to the fulfillment of our dreams.

Happy Three Kings Day everyone.

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