Sunday, February 26, 2017

Inopacan becomes a national model for food security

Market day at the Taboan of Inopacan

Small Leyte town to be national model for rural development

This article is a reprint from BusinessMirror.
Photos by Edgie Polistico

INOPACAN, a Leyte town that’s now being aided in planting jackfruit, dipterocarps and tilapia raising may become a national model for being small, but is “food secure”, owing to a “ridge to reef” ecosystem-based rural development.

The socioeconomic development at Inopacan, Leyte, is being approached in a different light by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca). Inopacan is a third-class municipality with a mere 20,000 population.

Instead of identifying development sites based on political classification, a Searca project is developing Inopacan from farm areas to forests and water bodies.

Nangka (jackfruit)
The project will focus more on the agro-ecological systems of a potential project site. It will be delineated based on predetermined ecosystem using the ridge-to-reef approach or landscape continuum.

This ecosystem-based concept follows Searca’s model, called Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD).

ISARD said projects in poverty-stricken areas should enable “the poorest of the poor” in rural areas to get out of poverty, Searca Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. said.

A sweet and aromatic nangkang hinog (ripe jackfruit)

At the same time, these communities should contribute to conserving the environment.

The ISARD project in Leyte is in partnership with the Visayas State University, Visayas Consortium for Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Program and Inopacan’s local government unit.

The ridge-to-reef model raises the success potential of a poverty-alleviation project, as communities may be easily tapped for partnerships.

Young, unripe nangka (langka in Tagalog, jackfruit in English)  is often cooked as vegetable. 
Besides, use of all agricultural, rain forest and fishery resources will be maximized with the proximity of each factor of production (labor and raw materials, machines, land and management).

Demonstration farms have just been put up in the last quarter of 2016 at Inopacan. These are a vegetable farm, a tilapia fishpond and two jackfruit farms. The vegetable plot of 1,000 square meters was planted with okra, alugbati and eggplant.

Market day at the Taboan of Inopacan
A technology on low-cost protective cover was applied as developed in an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research-funded project in order to protect the plants from continuous rain, which is prevalent in the areas.

The fishponds should regularly increase the income of Inopacan residents.

“The tilapia fishponds were built in sequence along a stream where crystal-clear water flowed from a nearby spring. Fingerlings were introduced from a hatchery project of the VSU supported by the district representative Rep. Jose Carlos Cari,” reported Prof. Rolando T. Bello, ISARD coordinator.

Since good drainage is needed for the excellent production of jackfruit, the jackfruit-demonstration farms were placed on sloping areas with increased elevation to allow for good drainage.

Also raised are livestock as hogs, native chicken, ducks and goats. Searca looks forward to helping expand the market of Inopacan for jackfruit since there is already an increased demand for processed jackfruit or langka from the nearby Leyte town Baybay.

VSU has earlier entered into agreements that would expand jackfruit markets. Its MOA with Technomart, Baybay City Vacuum Fried Jackfruit Processors (BCV-FJP) and the Green Meadows Dehydrated Jackfruit Processor (GM-DJP) will enable commercialization of jackfruit technology (vacuum fried and dehydrated jackruit).

The MOA allows BCV-FJP and GM-DJP to use VSU’s technologies in processing vacuum fried and dehydrated jackfruit.

Searca’s project is similarly addressing problems that came out based on the Participatory and Rapid Rural Appraisal. These are inadequate irrigation system, lack of arable and fertile open farms as coconut are planted in fertile areas, youth’s disinterest in farming and low farm-gate price.

Banana products are also eyed as an additional income for the community. Banana is a staple in Leyte. Prospects to sell banana outside Leyte is also there as banana is an ingredient for breakfast cereals, which has a growing market.

Inopacan residents are being assisted on processing bananas into fried chips.

Since Leyte has seen destruction due to Supertyphoon Yolanda, the Searca project is applying climate-change mitigation and adaptation strategies in Inopacan. Planting of rain-forest dipterocarp trees and other native tree species have started in order to arrest soil erosion and prevent natural disasters.

“This is part of Searca’s contribution to the post-Yolanda rehabilitation efforts in Leyte. A rain-forestation project will be implemented in the upland grassland areas. Targeted areas are the upland grassland of Barangay Linao for rain forestation, and Barangay Cabulisan for expanded vegetable production.” Several factors have been found to be key to making a development model successful. These must be found in the ISARD model—problem-solving orientation, community-based, presence of committed local institutions and leaders, and links to policy-making.

Tilapia fish
For one, the Inopacan project received assistance in various forms from different institutions. It got seedlings from the Department of Agriculture Abuyog Experiment Station in Abuyog, Leyte. It obtained a loan for these seedlings upon agreement by the growers and cooperators.
Under the ridge-to-reef concept, LGU partners are tapped when these are around a “watershed or micro watershed, lake ecosystem including its tributaries.” The concept also determines choice of beneficiaries based on landscape ecologies of upland, lowland, coastal and marine ecosystems, including ecozones.

SEARCA’s ISARD projects get small grants for technical assistance; institutional development and capacity building; knowledge management; and linkaging and networking support.

Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and Experts Systems developed by ViCAARP will also be deployed to support the project and growers in their decision making processes.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Inopacan establishes demo farms for jackfruits, vegetables, and tiliapia

Nangka (jackfruit) is among the wonder fruits you can find in the Philippines. Aside from being appetizing it is also considered by dieticians and nutritionists as having great health benefits to humans.  
Demo farms yield popular jackfruit
This article was originally posted in the Philippine Standard
on October 17, 2016 at 12:01 am by Brenda Jocson

The increasing demand for vacuum-dried and dehydrated jackfruit has led to the establishment of demonstration farms to boost production in Inopacan, Leyte.

The municipality of Inopacan in Leyte has established demonstration farms which include a vegetebake farm, a tiliapia fishpond and two jackfruit farms, Mayor Silvestre Lumarda said.

Lumarda said the farms aim to help the town attain food sufficiency and reduce poverty incidence.

A ceremonial tree planting led by Burgos, Dr. Othello Capuno, VSU vice president for research and development; and representatives from the municipal government Inopacan town marked the launch of the demonstration farms. 

Unripe Nangka (jackfruit) is commonly taken as vegetable. It is often boiled in coconut milk to become a tinunoan nga nangka or kinilaw nga nangka usually with dried fish and shrimps as subak.     

The activity which was participated in by Inopacan Jackfruit Growers Association members was preceded by a series of farm visits and exposure trips by the growers in established vegetable and jackfruit farms.

“These are part of the exposure to experts and ‘experienced’ scheme of building capacities among the grower cooperators of the Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development pilot project,” Burgos added.

The jackfruit farms are in the higher lands of Inopacan town where there is good drainage.

Seedlings were sourced from the Department of Agriculture’s Abuyog Experiment Station in the town of Abuyog in Leyte and will be reimbursed on a “Plant now, Pay later” scheme as agreed upon by the grower-cooperators.

The various demonstration farms were launched on September 28 under the Piloting and Upscaling Effective Models of the ISARD program. 

Ripe nangka (jackfruit) is invitingly fragrant, heavenly sweet and fruity.  It is one of the main ingredients in Pinoy halo-halo. Ripe nangka is best eaten fresh and as is. 

Spearheaded by the Philippine-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, the farms were established with the help of the Visayas State University, the local government of Inopacan and the Visayas Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Program.

Also under the pilot project Strengthening Linkages among Farmers, Government, and Industry Sector through ISARD, the vegetable farm covers a 1,000-square-meter plot and is planted to okra, alugbati and eggplant.

Dr. Bessie Burgos, SEARCA program manager for research and development said the demonstration farm will pilot a low-cost protective cover technology developed through an Australian Center for International Agricultural Research-funded project at VSU, considering the continuous rains experienced in the area. 

The tilapia fishponds were built in sequence along a stream where crystal clear water flowed from a nearby spring.

Through the efforts of Rep. Jose Carlos Cari, fingerlings were introduced by batches starting from June 2016 from a hatchery project of the VSU.

“We are expecting to start harvest in November and bring added income to the local farmers,” Burgos said.

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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