By Zac B. Sarian
VANNAMAE SHRIMP NOW A FAVORITE – More and more shrimp farmers in the Philippines are raising the Vannamae for many good reasons. They are adaptable to the growing conditions in the Philippines, are faster growing than the Sugpo and they are also well loved by consumers. You can learn about the effective culture practices in growing Vannamae in the May issue of Agriculture Magazine, the most widely circulated magazine in the Philippines.
BIG TURKEY – At left is a broiler type turkey that Dr. Roberto Maliwat and his doctor wife Eva Lisa are raising in their farm up in the mountain in Talugtog, Nueva Ecija. At right, on the other hand, is the cover of the May issue of Agriculture Magazine featuring insights and observations on the tilapia cage culture in lakes and other bodies of water.
SOLAR WATER PUMP – Dr. Roberto Maliwat is observing the flow of water from the new solar water pump in their farm in Talugtog, Nueva Ecija. They raise farm animals and plant forest trees as well as fruit trees in their 20-hectare farm.
HARVESTING TILAPIA – Photo shows tilapia being harvested from fishcages in Taal Lake in Batangas. About 80,000 metric tons of tilapia and bangus are produced at the Taal Lake yearly. About 70 percent of the volume consists of tilapia. There are challenges in the tilapia business in the Taal Lake. For one, there is no ‘bagsakan’ for the harvested fish right in the Taal Lake area where the fish farmers could bring their harvests.
PRODUCTIVE AND PROFITABLE SITAO – In the May issue of Agriculture Magazine you will read in the Memoirs of an Agri Journalist the amazing feat of how Patricio Perez of Balaong, San Miguel, Bulacan was able to make a profit of R857.12 per square of sitao that he grew in October, 1984 to May, 1985. You will read about his secret and perhaps apply it to your own farm.
FRUITING VEGGIES GROWN IN PLASTIC BAGS – You will also read about the new project of the AANI Urban Farm in Antipolo City. This is growing the favorite high-yielding varieties of eggplant, tomato, pangsigang finger pepper, hot chilli and okra. The vegetables are grown in a medium of vermicompost, carbonized rice hull and a little garden soil. No pesticides are sprayed so that they are very safe to eat. Most of the vegetables that are saleable are already friting or about tp bear fruit. Photo shows Tita Rubia posing with the beautifully growing pangsigang pepper.
Make sure to get a copy of the May 2018 issue of Agriculture Magazine which is now off the press. It contains a lot of informative articles that can be useful to aspiring farmers as well as those who have been farming for a long time. New products, new technologies and interesting agri people are featured in inspiring articles.
For instance, Daniel Cabrera, one of the experts of Santeh Feeds, has an article about Tateh’s sustainable aquaculture solutions for the tilapia industry. For the tilapia industry to grow, he says, there has to be more efficient operation of existing farms and new investments in tilapia farming. Efficient operation, according to Cabrera, means higher survival rates and lower FCR (feed conversion ratio), both of which lead to higher production and higher profitrs in existing farms.
One problem that is confronting tilapia farmers is the high mortality of fingerlings which farmers usually blame on poor fry quality. He points out that with the proliferation of hatcheries in Central Luzon and elsewhere, the quality of fry can no loonger be assured. Some hatcheries may no longer be careful in breeder selection and sourcing, or worse, may be collecting feral fry with unknown pedigrees. You will read in the May issue the other problems and recommended solutions recommended by Cabrera to tilapia farmers.
ON VANNAMAE SHRIMP – The white shrimp Vannamae has become a favorite of many shrimp farmers. In the May issue you will read about the effective culture practices in culturing this imported shrimp species. The story contributed by Tateh feeds explains that many farmers in the Philippines now prefer to grow Vannamae due to its faster growth rate of 1.o to 1.5 grams per week compared to Sugpo (1 gram per week). Size at harvest is also more uniform for Vannamae thus reducing the need to sort the shrimps before delivery to the market.
In the hatchery, Vannamae has the advantage of having a readily available stock of fully domesticated breeders from SPF breeding facilities abroad.
The article on Vannamae gives the details that include selecting a good location to ensure profitability. First, the location of the farm must have an abundant unpolluted supply of both freshwater and seawater; soil must be of good quality, free from flooding, and the location must be close to the market. You will read the many details on pond preparation, biosecurity to prevent entry of diseases, feeding and nutrition, and many other things the interested Vannamae farmer would like to know.
PROFITABLE SITAO – You will also read about the amazing feat of Pat Perez whom we interviewed in the early 1990s. Did you know that he made a profit of R857.12 per square meter of sitao? You would hardly believe that but he really made that much profit. By reading how he did it, you will know how to make your sitao production profitable. He had made a record of prolonging the productive life of his sitao plants up to six months.
FRUITING VEGGIES GROWN IN PLASTIC BAGS – You probably would like to try growing your favorite pinakbet type vegetables in black plastic bags as a money-making project. This is now being done at the AANI Urban Farm in Antipolo. The veggies are grown organically. Vermicast and vermi tea are used to fertilize the plants and no pesticides are sprayed. Most of the vegetables are sold when they are already fruiting. These include eggplant, hybrid tomato, pangsigang finger pepper, chilli pepper and okra.
DOCTORS’ FARM UP IN THE MOUNTAIN – You will also admire the efforts of the husband and wife team of Dr. Roberto and Eva Lisa Maliwat who are developing a very challenging farm in the mountain in Talugtog, Talavera, Nueva Ecija. To have water for their plants (vegetables and fruit trees) and drinking for their animals, they have put up two windmills and the latest is a solar water pump.
You will be amazed how they were able to multiply a dozen turkey breeders that they bought in 2016. Now, they have more than a thousand of the big fowl that comes in various ages
NEW PUMPKIN VARIETY – You will also read about the outstanding new squash or pumpkin variety developed by East-West Seed which is becoming the darling of Sri Lankan farmers. The new hybrid is called Rajah F1 which produces fruits with blotched dark green skin when not fully mature. Average size is 3 to 5 kilos per fruit. It is claimed to be high-yielding with excellent eating quality. It is also claimed to be resistant to viruses.
There are many interesting topics in the May issue of Agriculture. Make sure to get a copy. It is the most widely circulated agriculture magazine in the Philippines, available in bookstores and the distribution network of Manila Bulletin nationwide.