26 Mar 2011

FITS Dao hosts climate change forum

By Niño Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University

To launch the Dao Organic Agriculture Program (DOAP) and upcoming projects on organic agriculture in their municipality, the Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based in Dao, Capiz hosted a Seminar on Mitigating Climate Change Impact in agriculture through Organic And Natural Farming Technology System at Lolet’s Eco Park in barangay Duyoc, Dao, Capiz on March 16, 2011.

Some 80 participants—including 20 barangay captains and chairpersons of their respective committees on agriculture, employees and heads of LGU offices and other government agencies like agriculture, interior and local government, social welfare and development, health and Education—attended the series of lecture inputs from agriculture and technology experts.

FITS Manager Susan Dordas presented a comprehensive report on the global impact of climate change and instances of natural disasters worldwide. Dordas also discussed the causes and effects of climate change and their impact on the agriculture industry. According to Dordas, it is important to note that the agriculture industry contributes to the huge amounts of methane and nitrous oxide which rather deplete the earth’s ozone layer, which even contributed to the current global warming phenomenon.

For his part, Dr. Hector Peñaranda, officer-in-charge of the Special Concerns and Institutional Development Unit of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 6, shared to the audience a number of mitigating and adoptive measures done by farmers across the country in response to climate change. More important, Peñaranda briefed the participants on Republic Act 10068, otherwise known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, the government’s lead program to help alleviate the environmental crisis.

Technology Services Specialist Genes Estialbo of FITS Dao and Techno Gabay Team Leader Eduardo Navarra of the Capiz State University promoted the benefits of organic farming and the use of effective microorganisms-based fertilizers and pesticides as component for a productive and sustainable farming. Agricultural Technologist Eliza Ledesma also promoted the Food Always in the Home (FAITH) Garden as a household food security mechanism. Widely advocating the benefits of the natural farming technology system, the said extension workers urged the Daonons to work harder in their farms and also advocated the natural farming systems (NFS) practices of Ramon Peñalosa, Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium. Peñalosa practices NFS in his Manapla and Victorias City farms in Negros Occidental.

Among others, Dennis Escutin, 31-year old technology and livelihood education teacher at the Dao National High School, said the forum made him better understand vital agricultural practices particularly on the use and effectiveness of indigenous microorganisms (IMO) as vital components for good farming. “Damo na ang akon nga resources kag materials nga puwedeng ipanghatag sa mga estudyante” (I now have more materials and resources to give to students), said Escutin, who is also adviser of high school students on their school-based agri projects.

According to Dordas, proponent of the DOAP, they have lined up more activities this year to further institutionalize and fully implement organic agriculture in their locality. The initiative was largely supported by the local government of Dao led by Mayor Joselito Escutin and Vice Mayor Loreto Eslaban. The Capiz State University, partner member agency under the banner of WESVARRDEC, covered the event.

15 Mar 2011

CapSU hosts 5th annual students research confab

By Niño S. Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University 

On March 7, 2011, all roads led to the Capiz State University (CapSU) Roxas City Campus where the University’s Research, Development and Extension Center (RDEC) hosted the 5th Annual Research Symposium for Students.

Anchored on the theme, “Mainstreaming the Active Participation of Faculty and Students in Research amidst Climate Change,” the annual symposium gathered some 28 Social Science research papers and 10 natural, biological and development research papers produced in the nine CapSU campuses across Capiz.

CapSU officials
According to CapSU Research Director, Dr. Federito Launio, event’s lead convenor, the symposium was led by CapSU RDEC not only to help disseminate new knowledge and technologies to the community and give due recognition for the students exemplary projects. The symposium would also help “quench the thirst” for information and technology needed by the public.

In the Social Research Category, Marynille Joy de la Cruz’s “Reading Readiness of Grade I Pupils: An Analysis” of CapSU Mambusao won the Best Paper over 17 entries. Other winners in the category were: “Course and School Interest of 4th Year High School Students in Selected Secondary Schools of President Roxas, Capiz” by Virnelli Baril of CapSU Pontevedra, first runner-up; “Acceptability of Personnel Information System” by John Michael Beramo, et.al. of CapSU Pontevedra, second runner-up; and “Level of Competency in Spelling of Grade VI Pupils in the District of Sapian” by Mae Den de la Cruz of CapSU Sapian, third runner-up.

In the Natural, Biological and Development Research Category, the “Development and Acceptability of Banana Paste Candy Using Different Levels of Coconut Toddy Sugar” by Jean Bautista of CapSU Mambusao was declared Best Paper. Other winners in the category were the Quality and Acceptability of Pickles Made of Papaya and Watermelon” by Allen Vilbar, Jonelyn de Cafe and Nicole Ann Leonor of CapSU Sapian, first runner-up; Acceptability of Homemade Cookies Made of Taro Flour by Rona Habulan, Lailanie Cordero and Jeneline Carpio of CapSU Dumarao, second runner-up; and “The Utilization and Acceptability of Snails into Different Delicacies” by Hyacinth Lumagbas of CapSU Pilar Campus, third runner-up.

Students research presenters and teachers evaluators
For the Social Research category, the panel of judges were Dr. Herminia Gomez, Dr. Adelfo Virtudazo, Dr. Ella Aurelio, Dr. Dina Reyes and Prof. Vivian Alejaga; while the student researches in the natural, biological and development category were evaluated by Dr. Raul Ticar, Dr. Jocelyn Dagudag, Dr. Serafin David and Prof. Diony Cahilig.

The “Acceptability of Oryza sativa with Screw Pine Extract as Native Delicacy” by Bobby Saldo and Aimee Bartolo of CapSU Roxas City was declared Best Poster among only eight entries.

Meanwhile, three papers under natural, biological and development category were automatically declared official entries to the regional tilt. These were the “Bleeding Efficiency of Pigs Slaughtered at Passi City and Roxas City” by John Lee Quinoveva of CapSU Dumarao; Mini-Hydro Powered Turbine” by Francis Rodel Degala and Al Paolo Fabiana of CapSU Roxas City and the Development of Temperature-Controlled Switch” by Regie Bartolo, et.al. of CapSU Roxas City.

In her message, CapSU President Editha L. Magallanes urged the CapSU faculty and staff to widely engage in research and development studies in the face of necessity for technologies in this time of climate change and global warming. Magallanes zeroed in on research tapping indigenous natural resources to address problems in ordinary communities.

Award-winning students from CapSU Mambusao
For his part, Dr. Geronimo Gregorio, vice-president for research development and extension, discussed with students and faculty researchers the importance of properly categorizing the research study being pursued. More important, Gregorio stressed on the need to produce more researches for the University.

All winners and their advisers received certificates of recognition and cash prizes. The best papers and other winners from the symposium will be competing in the regional students’ research symposium to be hosted by the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) VI on March 17, 2011 at the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST) in Iloilo City. 

10 Mar 2011

CapSU Mambusao hosts Valentine's food expo

By Niño S. Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University

To showcase their students' output in food processing and preservation, the Department of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship of the Capiz State University (CapSU) Poblacion Mambusao Campus, in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Food Technologists (PAFT), Inc. Rho Chapter, launched the first-ever Food Expo 2011 on February 14, 2011 at the Covered Gym of CapSU Poblacion, Mambusao, Capiz.
Featuring the projects of junior and senior students of the said department, the event exposition and competitions were opened by Dr. Nelson Berondo, CapSU Mambusao extension chairman; and Dr. Raul Ticar, CapSU extension director; and Prof. Luis Pula, campus secretary.

Six groups of exhibitors featured a variety of cakes, breads, and pastries. Jean Bautista, Juvy Inocencio and Dalia Matillano of Group 1 sold sweet potato chocolate pie and cookies; Febegen Catig, Jacquelou Maceda and Kenneth Cahilig of Group 2 showcased chicken a la king, pastry shell puff, egg roll and chocolate muffins; and Jolipher Delos Santos, May Laging, Aldren Esuma and Rogie Ricamae Jay Solis of Group 3 brought out choco tops polvoron.

Group 4’s Melissa Muyo, Julie Lanoba, Liezel Luces and Joed Luces produced pineapple bar and picabun; Group 5’s Justine Manuel Layo, Angelyn Sebanes and Lea Osias sold sweet potato cookies, chocolate balls and rice crispies with chocolate toppings; and Group 6’s Queenie Asuncion, Junrel Lapidez and Emie Rechel Ventura presented cassava chips and American ball.  

According to Marife Hilapad, adviser and mentor of the Food Technology students, aside from featuring food using the technology they learned, students prepared chocolates and heart-shaped breads that are made to coincide with the Valentine's Day Celebration. 

Group 1 members were cited Exhibitors of the Year while the Best Booth was awarded to Group 2 and Group 6.  The panel of judges was composed of Dr. Nelson Berondo, Prof. Luis Pula, Dr. Raul Ticar and Dr. Federito Launio. 

Among others, Berondo congratulated the students on their effort and suggested that it would be better if the venue will be in the bigger public like the Poblacion so it could lure more buyers and food enthusiasts. Meanwhile, CapSU Extension Director Ticar stressed that the importance to extend the technologies generated in the classroom. For Ticar, doing food expositions such as this is “a good means of extension.”  For his part, CapSU Research Director Federito Launio zeroed in on the importance of research and its utilization in order to verify and validate previous results.

4 Mar 2011

Meet the Upcoming Bamboo Engineer
Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Randy Fancubila
of the FITS Center at Dumalag, Capiz

Magsasaka Siyentista (MS)
Randy D. Fancubila
   Thirty-seven-year-old Randy D. Fancubila, Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of the Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Dumalag has many reasons to be happy about.

In 2010, the MS nominee who has been into furniture making for fifteen years, was appointed MS or farmer scientist by the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) for bamboo and engineered bamboo technology.

Since the FITS Center’s launch in 2009, Manager Ronelyn de Tomas has proactively initiated activities and a number of exposures for the members of the Dumalag Bamboocraft Producers Cooperative, an association of some 28 bamboocraft producers led by MS Fancubila, its president. In these opportunities, Fancubila and his members actively took part in trainings and workshops on bamboo technologies held in their FITS center and across the province of Capiz.

Prior to his appointment as MS by WESVARRDEC, Ms. De Tomas already sent him to various study tours and trainings related to bamboo and bamboo technology across the region and even in other parts of the country. Said exposures inspired the sprightly bamboo enthusiast to learn the nitty-gritty of making engineered bamboo. "Gin-try kong obrahon—on my own initiative. Ti, ok man!" (I tried my hand on making it myself. And it turned out well), Fancubila quips.
MS Fancubila's dining table
made of engineered bamboo
 Recently, he finished making a sample dining table from engineered bamboo slats produced in his workshop—which WESVARRDEC RTGG Coordinator Anna Mae Relingo considered very satisfactory—the MS hopes to acquire or—if possible, be granted—bamboo-processing machines needed to turn out engineered bamboo slats or planks. Fancubila showcased this and other products at the second bimonthly meeting of FITS centers across Capiz with the Capiz State University, their partner member agency.

While he claims to have pursued engineering bamboo first among his group, Fancubila says he preferred to do so for a number of reasons. For one, Fancubila knows that the use of bamboo ostensibly supports sustainable agriculture. Every bamboo node being cut for processing produces 3 to 6 bamboo shoots re-growth—the indispensable value of self-sustaining grass which offers many uses. Fancubila is also aware that by producing engineered bamboo slats, he makes available a raw material whose value is a good if not better alternative to wood—thereby adding value to the commodity.
In December 2010, Fancubila joined the WESVARRDEC’s cross-visit to Central Luzon. The WESVARRDEC contingent composed of a number of newly appointed MSs and other personnel visited the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), the Philippine Carabao Center and PhilRice, among others. There, Fancubila saw that farming and agricultural practices are serious business in central Luzon, a fact that amazed him.

Recently this year, Fancubila led the training of his own cooperative members on the project survey on bamboo node development held in their FITS Center Dumalag, which houses a bagsakan center for their cooperative’s bamboocrafts and products. This opportunity made him realize that nothing seems impossible with technology. For Fancubila, advances in development technology always “enable us to achieve faster and obtain more efficient results.”

Conducted for the same purpose was the training needs assistance led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Capiz where Fancubila helped in identifying the priority needs of the members of the bamboo cooperative.

A furniture maker for some 20 years, Fancubila says their bamboo cooperative has to acquire one unit of surfacer, one thickness planer, and one jointer planer, all of which are crucial to producing and fabricating quality engineered bamboo products.

The author showcases an engineered bamboo slat
displayed by MS Fancubila at FITS Dumalag.

Given these constraints, Fancubila rather considers them a challenge, expressing optimism on the Science and Technology-based Farm (STBF) currently being evaluated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD). The proposed project will surely benefit his Dumalag cooperative which fully supports and campaigns activities and trainings on bamboo and bamboo technology. Fancubila’s STBF is due for implementation anytime this year.  

While the bamboo maker’s hands are always full, producing engineered bamboo slats and turning out bamboo furniture, he also keeps his fingers crossed for the best things yet to come.

By Niño S. Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University