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Philippines: Massive infusion for high-value crops

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is mulling over massive infusion of seeds, fertilizers and other production inputs to sustain the growth of the high-value crops commercial sector (HVCC) in 2008. To complement this input infusion, Ginintuang Masaganang Ani-HVCC national program coordinator Rene Rafael Espino said he had recommended the transfer of new technologies to growers, and the promotion of stronger links between fertilizer suppliers and farmers’ groups.

This move, he said, would help maintain the high production of bananas, pineapples and other HVCCs. Espino had likewise recommended specific strategies to suit the farm and marketing needs of each HVCC. For bananas, Espino said, the DA would enhance training and implementation of integrated pest management strategies, provide virus-free planting materials for “Lakatan” and “Saba”/“Cardaba,” provide mobile packing house for small farmers, and facilitate links between fertilizer suppliers and farmers’ organizations.

To reverse the negative growth of mangoes in the first quarter of the year, the DA plans to encourage off-season production by stepping up transfer of technology on integrated pest management strategies. The DA plans to provide growers with production inputs, such as flower inducers, bagging materials and spray equipment. The agency also wants to facilitate crop insurance and credit support, and set up hot water treatment facilities and packing houses for the producers.

For pineapples, Espino said, the DA would establish nurseries for the production of planting materials of new varieties, intensify technology transfer, and provide packing houses. To stabilize volume and market prices, the DA also plans to expand areas for off-season planting for vegetables. It also hopes to provide inputs, such as seeds, plastic mulch and fertilizers, as well as establish rain shelters and plastic houses.

Another measure being considered is the establishment of techno-demo areas, in cooperation with the Philippine Seed Industry Association, to highlight the performance of new varieties, Espino said.


Publication date: 6/19/2008


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