Life-changing
tales at YB farm community

Published: April 29, 2019 08:00am | Puerto Prinsesa


GMA Network host Drew Arellano recently traveled to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to visit the Yamang Bukid Farm in Barangay Bacungan for an episode of his travel show "Biyahe ni Drew."

Aside from marveling at the property's all-natural farming methods and wide selection of produce, the TV host was given a peek at the life-changing stories of YB's farm workers.

Yamang Bukid only used to have 20 farmers but eventually tapped around 200 former illegal loggers and helped them mend their ways by introducing them to an alternative, stable, and sustainable source of income through crop and poultry farming, as well as agro-tourism.

One such farmer was Ronnel Espino, who told Drew how Yamang Bukid not only helped his family financially but also — and more importantly — trained him and his fellow farmers how to do agribusiness with a heart, having a reoriented mindset to protect the environment.

But Drew's trip to the Yamang Bukid Farm would, of course, not be complete without him trying out the farm's all-natural produce — from healthy pasalubong options to meals made form ingredients freshly picked from the plantation.

Watch Drew help himself with one of Yamang Bukid's most popular treats, "sumbulo" or suman (rice cake) sa "bulo" or kawayan (bamboo). — YB

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Veteran physician endorses Yamang Bukid’s way of “natural health and wellness”

  • A Quezon City-based physician has hailed the natural and organic products of Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI) as ideal food supplements even as he urged people to go natural in food and wellness products.

    A tourist shows off her bundle of sumbulo (suman sa buho), a glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo and is a popular delicacy at the Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The emerging farm tourism destination has been praised for its organic products and nature-friendly farming activities.
    (Photo by Emee Lapurga)

    In an interview by Puerto Princesa City broadcaster and city councilor Elgin Damasco, Dr. Mario Adraneda noted YBHPI stores are sprouting up in Quezon City and in other areas in the capital, which he said is a good indication that natural and organically-made food supplements are readily available.

    He said Yamang Bukid’s turmeric-based products, particularly the Turmeric 10-in-1 tea is a good supplement for those suffering rheumatism as it is a known vasodilator, or that which helps veins and arteries become wider thus helping blood and nutrients flow smoothly.

    Sales personnel at a Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. outlet inside a shopping mall in Quezon City, with the food supplement maker's array of health and wellness products (YB photo)

    “Yamang Bukid (turmeric 10-in-1 tea) is a combination of turmeric and lemongrass which have been proven good for our body,” said Adraneda, a 43-year veteran gastroenterologist who currently practices at Delos Santos Medical Center. He admits being a user of the health and wellness tea.

    Aside from turmeric and lemongrass, Yamang Bukid’s turmeric 10-in-1 tea has also eight other herbs as ingredients that are recognized by experts for their medicinal properties. These include pandan, sambong, lagundi, banaba, ginger, malunggay, peppermint and Gynura procumbens.

    Adraneda noted people’s unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle has caused prevalence of disease that afflicted even to the young. “During our time, most people usually got sick at age 65 or above. But nowadays, we can hear of children and teenagers getting hypertension, cancers or heart diseases,” Adraneda told Damasco.

    He urged people to go natural and maintain healthy non-sedentary lifestyle. “Exercise regularly, eat healthy food that are free from preservatives and take food supplements that help enhance healthy bodily functions like Yamang Bukid products,” the gastro-intestinal specialist said.

    “Let’s try nature’s way of wellness. Let’s support alternative food supplements like Yamang Bukid’s,” Adraneda said.
    During his visit at the Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa’s Barangay Bacungan, Adraneda praised the delicious and organically-prepared food, such as native chicken, that according to him did not contain any genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Present in preservatives and in livestock and poultry that are artificially manipulated in the laboratory, GMOs are known harmful to the body and can cause various diseases. “Let’s advocate going organic,” he said. (JL)
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Ecological agriculture
key to food stability
(Dr. Elderico Tabal, PhD)

  • Imagine how crowded the Philippines could become in 2030. The current population is already more than 107 million and is expected to hit 109 million by the end of 2019 according to the Philippine Population Commission. Food self-sufficiency will surely preoccupy whoever is in government. In contrast with the 20th century, when food was relatively cheaper, the 21st century is expected to see food prices rise as a result of food shortage. Hence, “the world is just one poor harvest away from chaos in the grain markets. Food prices will rise to previously sunimaginable levels. Food riots will multiply, political unrest will spread and governments will fall,” said Lester Russell Brown, founder and president of Earth Policy Institute, based in Washington D.C. In the Philippines, food demand will rise while land areas for low land agriculture will continue to shrink due to human pressure and will further escalate food shortage. Eventually not be able to meet the two of the most important Sustainable Development Goals (SGD 1 & 2) set by the Food and Agriculture or FAO and that is to “end poverty and hunger”.

    Ecosystems in the uplands are very attractive for utilization because of its rich natural resources. However, the unregulated and often indiscriminate activities done to meet food demands in these fragile ecosystems have led to the degradation of the upland habitat. Widespread cutting of forest resources which resulted in the loss of habitats and biodiversity. Charcoal making from wood products have become a lucrative enterprise which pose an alarming concern on forest ecosystems. This practice lives open areas vulnerable for change in land uses. One of these is the practice of slash and burn or “kaingin system” which contributed to further soil degradation and loss of natural soil-biodiversity. Soil erosion is one form of soil degradation and if left unattended it will continue to bring negative effects to lowland communities and in coastal areas. Soil is not only the major natural resource on which human being depends for the production of food but also plays a key role in maintaining the complex terrestrial ecosystems and climate systems of our planet.

    According to the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the recent rapid increase in human population has placed a great strain on the Philippines’ soil resources. The continuing population pressure required the use of more lands to meet food demand, which had resulted in massive deforestation causing undesirable ‘on and off-site’ consequences. The practice of ‘till-plant-and-fertilize’ cropping pattern has caused constant threats to the upland ecosystems. These constraints are expected to escalate as food demand is expected to increase. The solution to the problem of providing enough food in the future now depends on the extent of productivity level of our available lands including those lands which are too steep to till but are currently used for agriculture. However, uplands or steeped land conditions used for agriculture can further induce soil erosion which will lead to soil fertility loss and crop yield decline.

    The Yamang Bukid Farm or YB Farm located in Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa has exemplified the so called “forest-coupled-agriculture”, a system coined by Dr. Baguinod, a retired professor of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB). This is a modified model of ecological agriculture considered by the Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO as an outstanding mitigating measure to help address environmental hazards and conservation of the upland ecosystems. This strategic objective within the work of the FAO opens the door more widely to ecological approaches to agriculture. It explicitly recognizes that sustainability is as much a goal as production, and the two must be attained together. Ecosystem services, the multitude of benefits that nature provides to society – underpin agricultural production. Understanding the important functions of these services – from maintaining soil health to natural pest control and pollination – is vital, said Barbara Herren of Sustainable Food Trust based in the US.

    This is why Yamang Bukid Farm is focused on “ecosystem services and biodiversity for food and agriculture” or simply the “forest-coupled-agriculture system” in the uplands in order to ensure healthy farming that promotes healthy soil environments and sustainability of healthy food supply for today and tomorrow for the Filipino people and the world. This is FAO’s ultimate hope on sustainable food production system by protecting soil, water and climate, promotes biodiversity, and does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs and genetically engineered materials.

    (Dr. Elderico Tabal holds a PhD degree of agronomy from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos and is a consultant for Yamang Bukid Farm. Doc Rico also teaches various agronomy and forestry courses at a state university in western Mindanao)
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Yamang Bukid Farm, DA-ATI partner in helping Palawan hog-raisers

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—A farm tourism destination in this city is offering free artificial insemination services as part of its commitment to help backyard piggeries in communities in Palawan.

    One of the swines at Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan wallows inside its pen. The farm tourism destination is partnering with the Department of Agriculture---Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) to provide free artificial insemination services to community in and outside Puerto Princesa City.

    Yamang bukid Farm, a 20-hectare farming attraction in Barangay Bacungan has partnered with the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan (Mimaropa) for the Artificial Insemination in the Barangay program in the island-province.

    According to Cristina Gonda-Magnaye, ATI-Mimaropa high valued commercial crops program (HVCCP) focal person, the package is worth P300, 000 consisting of AI laboratory equipment from the department.

    Artificial insemination kit is turned over by DA-ATI Mimaropa personnel Cristina Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo to Yamang Bukid Farm in Quezon City recently. The farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa is partnering with DA-ATI to provide free artificial insemination services to swine raisers in and outside Puerto Princesa.

    “Yamang Bukid (Farm) was chosen after it was able to comply with the necessary requirements,” Magnaye said, adding the Farm will give as counterpart the venue and technical personnel for the free use of the AI equipment by the public.

    The turnover ceremony of the equipment was done in the Quezon City of YBFP’s parent company, health and wellness beverage maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. recently, with DA-ATI represented by Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo, livestock program focal person.

    Dr. Glen Calipus, a University of the Philippnes-Los Banos (UPLB)-educated veterinary and molecular biology expert and Yamang Bukid Farm consultant, represented the farm tourism destination.

    Magnaye said the AI facility at Yamang Bukid is one of two such projects for the region this year, with the other one housed in a private-run farm in Mindoro.

    “We want to have more of these facilities in Mimaropa so more hog raisers can avail of these,” Magnaye said.

    Aside from the pieces of equipment, the technology package also included two heads of high quality breed of boars as source of genetic material (ejaculate).

    Known for its well-manicured flower and vegetable gardens and an unending bloom of sunflowers, the farm tourism draw is also into sustainable and organic way of growing plants and vegetables and is among the biodiversity havens in Palawan farm tourism industry.

    (Juan Lim)
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