In Aklan, the growth of third crop palay was good due to timely occurrence of rains. Most palay crops were on vegetative to reproductive stages. Other crops being harvested were calamansi, pechay, peanut and mongo. In Ibajay and Nabas, planting of watermelon on harvested palay areas especially on rainfed areas was underway.
In Capiz, flashfloods that occurred last March 28-31, 2012 caused damages on crops on vegetative and reproductive stages. Some palay areas with ratoon were also damaged. About 514 hectares of palay and 105 hectares of corn were reportedly damaged.
In Iloilo, land preparation was done by farmers with intention to engage in dry seeding method especially in rainfed palay farms. Flashfloods that occurred in six (6) barangays of Ajuy, 14 in Sara and two (2) in Concepcion (northern part of the province) brought no damage but yield of standing palay and that of crops to be harvested from April to June are expected to decrease. Meanwhile, 15 hectares of OPV white corn (glutinous) were planted in Igbaras and 1 hectare of hybrid sweet corn was planted in Santa Barbara.
In Negros Occidental, planting and harvesting of palay and corn were noted.
In Guimaras, peak harvesting of mango was noted. Trading of green and ripened carabao mango was observed in different markets of the province and supply was sufficient especially at the Manggahan Trade Fair.
In Lambunao, Iloilo, 10 hectares of watermelon on fruiting stage were partially affected by flashflood. Yield was reduced by 20 percent or from 20 mt. to 16 mt. per hectare.
Still in Iloilo, 2 hectares of cacao were planted in Duenas and San Enrique. On the other hand, 170 mango (carabao) trees were harvested producing 71,400 kilograms.
In Negros Occidental, planting and harvesting of sugarcane were noted.
2. LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY
In Aklan, importing of cattle and hog prevailed. Supply for slaughter was procured from Antique and Iloilo. Likewise, dressed chicken and chicken eggs were supplied by Capiz and Iloilo.
In Capiz, with the pompous celebration of the CAPIZtahan Festival last April 13-15, 2012, meat and poultry production significantly increased to meet the demand of guests, visitors and local consumers.
About 150,000 head of broiler chicken were stocked in different broiler farms in Iloilo.
Due to fair weather condition, fishing activities in Aklan improved resulting in better production especially on marine fishing. Supply of tuna, scads and other in-season species was sufficient.
In Capiz, production of marine fish species increased as the weather condition became favorable to fishing. Aquafarm products such as bangus, crabs and shrimps were abundant during the three-day CAPIZtahan festival.
In Guimaras, harvesting of seaweed was on-going in coastal areas and island barangays. Peak production of seaweed usually starts in September and ends in April. Area and production of seaweed increased especially with assistance from the BFAR and LGU where quality planting materials were made available to seaweed farmers.
In Iloilo, 700 hectares of bangus brackish fishpond were harvested with an estimated production of 350,000 kilograms amounting to P26,250,000.00. For commercial fisheries, about 20 mt. of roundscad were unloaded.
In Iloilo, for municipal fishing, about 15 mt. of blue crab and 18 mt. of acetes were unloaded at the municipal landing centers of Tigbauan, Dumangas, Anilao and Barotac Nuevo.
In Negros Occidental, supply of marine species was adequate with the lifting of fishing ban for catching sardines and herring species and more unloadings of the above-mentioned species along with other seasonal species. Aquaculture species, however, continued to pour in different markets as the Panaad sa Negros Festival Celebration kicked off during the 2nd week of April.
4. PRICES AND MARKET SUPPLY
In Antique, supply of fruits and vegetables was stable province-wide.
In Capiz, prices and supply of agricultural commodities were normal.
In Guimaras, supply and prices of cereals, especially rice, were stable despite the waning harvest. Prevailing retail prices per kilogram of well-milled rice and regular-milled rice at the Jordan Food Terminal Market were P36.00 and P32.00, respectively.
In Iloilo, supply of mongo and carabao mango increased with farmgate prices per kilogram of P30.00-P45.00 and P35.00-P40.00, respectively. Supply of yellow corn decreased in corn producing municipalities with farmgate price ranging from P13.00-P20.00 per kilogram.
5. INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, PROGRAMS, POLICIES AND GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS
In Antique, 131 sacks of 20 kilograms per sack of registered rice seeds (NSIC RC 222, 216 and PSB RC 82) were released by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) to four (4) municipalities, namely, Barbaza, Bugasong, San Jose and Sebaste under the Plant Now Pay Later Scheme of Community Seed Banking (CSB), Seed Exchange Program of the Department of Agriculture.
Still in Antique, 4.5 mt. of dried seaweed (Alvarezii variety) were harvested in a 2.5-hectare farm in Pandan. This was part of the "Roll Over Scheme" Program by the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMA) and the BFAR. The dried seaweed was stored in the stock house until better prices are offered by traders.
The province of Aklan celebrated its 56th anniversary. Among the activities were the exhibit of fiber and agricultural products of all municipalities. Booths were installed at the Goding Ramos Park in front of the Capitol Building wherein each town showcased their products.
The "Management Summer Rat Campaign" in all municipalities of Antique was religiously observed by the OMA and the OPA.
In Capiz, Roxas City grandly celebrated the founding anniversary of the province and the commemoration of the death anniversary of former President Manuel A. Roxas with a three-day festival. Various cabinet members, including Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala graced the celebration.
In Sibunag, Guimaras, the Sibunag Seaweed Growers and Traders Association, Inc. (SSGTAI) received a financial assistance of P612,455.00 from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to upgrade its seaweed production facility. The fund will be used for the acquisition of production equipment needed for the improvement of product quality, packaging and label design of dried and processed seaweed. The association is composed of fisherfolk from the town's five (5) barangays where the bulk of seaweed farms in the province are located. Presently, the group is operating a seaweed processing center that produces seaweed pickles, crackers, noodles and seaweed bathsoap. The provincial government and the municipality of Sibunag jointly assisted the association.
In Iloilo, LGU-Barotac Viejo distributed 50 bags at18 kilograms/ bag of OPV white corn (IPB VAR 6) to 50 farmers. They will repay it with two (2) bags after harvest. Likewise, about 20 bags of certified seeds were distributed for free to palay farmers for third cropping in Zarraga.
The 19th Panaad Trade Fair and Exhibit in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental was conducted last April 9-15, 2012 at the Panaad Park and Stadium where LGUs showcased the products of their respective municipalities. LGUs vied for the Panaad Best Product and entries came from home and furnishings, home accessories and personal accessories. For special food products, agri-based products like organic vegetables and value added crops were part of the entries. They competed for Best Market Potential, Best Innovative Product, Best New Product and Top Grosser of the Year. Meanwhile, the OPA in Bacolod City, encouraged corn cluster areas to allocate at least 50 hectares of land to be used as corn program areas in order to increase yield of OPV especially in upland areas.
In E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental, 53 fisherfolk and the Mangrove Development Association recently received a grant of P248,200.00 from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Integrated Livelihood Program to start them off with the Communal Green Mussel and Oyster Culture Project. The project is located in 3,000 sq. meters of water in Barangay Tuburan.
6. TRAINING, SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS AND MEETINGS
The Graduation on Season Long Training of Trainors on Palay Check System was conducted at the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Banga, Aklan with 23 Agricultural Technologists and 200 farmers graduating from the activity.
A one-day training on the Orientation and Planning on Organic Agriculture was conducted last April 11, 2012 at the OPA Conference Room, San Jose, Antique and was attended by 40 Provincial Technical Working Group members and the Municipal Agriculturist. The training was conducted by the Provincial Agriculturist together with the Assistant Provincial Agriculturist.
In Capiz, the Farmers' Day Celebration was conducted at the Roxas City Gym with DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and Regional Director Larry Nacionales. The Agricultural Trade Fair was also opened for three (3) days.
In Iloilo, LGU-San Dionisio in coordination with UPLB, the OPA and the ATI conducted the Assessment and Evaluation (Phase II) on Demo Farm last March 27, 2012 which was individually done by 32 farmer-participants of the Farmers- Scientist Training Program (FSTP) in 12 barangays of the municipality. On the other hand, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) conducted an information drive in Lapayon, Leganes and was attended by members of the Irrigators' Association. Information regarding the Agri-Pinoy Program of the government was disseminated. Members who have land titles can avail of loans with a maximum amount of P42,000.00 per hectare per cropping for hybrid rice production and P37,000.00 per hectare per cropping for inbred rice.
In E. B. Magalona, Negros Occidental, the OMA and the OPA will end the six-month Farmers' Field School Program with 69 farmer-beneficiaries graduating next month. The program started in November last year with 35 farmer-beneficiaries from the barangay proper and 34 others from Sitio Ronel and all of Barangay San Isidro. This was funded by the ATI based in Banga, Aklan and aims to teach local farmers on how to engage in sustainable rice production using the latest and enhanced technologies in palay planting.
7. WEATHER SITUATION
Generally sunny weather prevailed across the region. Warm and intense heat at daytime with isolated rainshowers was experienced. Coastal waters were slight to moderately rough at times.