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Mushroom (rice straw/banana mushroom) is a delicacy and is accepted as a vegetable It is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals It is mixed in various

food preparations. This can be sold both in the local and export markets. Production Cost/Capital Outlay [2009 market data]
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Mushroom spawn, 15 bags @P30/bag Php 450.00 Wood for bed/plot frame 2,000.00 Urea or ammonium sulfate, 1 kg 21.00 Sugar, 1 kg 30.00 Water (1 cu. m) 23.05 Plastic packaging, 50 pcs @P2/pc 100.00 Big basin or gasoline tank 150.00 Plastic sheets, 6pcs @P25/sheet 150.00 Dry rice straws/dry banana leaves Kakawate/Ipil-ipil leaves 0.00 Weighing scale 350.00 Sub-total Php 3,274.05

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Hammer 200.00 Carpenter saw 300.00 Nails (size: 3 or 4 ), 1 kg 100.00 Sub-total Php 600.00

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8 manhours x 2 persons (for plot setting and planting) 760.00 2 manhours (for harvesting and packaging) 95.00 Transportation 100.00 Sub-total Php 955.00

Estimated total investment cost Php 4,829.05 Procedure 1. Select sites that are shaded and free from direct sunlight. Construct a bed or plot with a dimension of 30 cm x 300 cm. The bed must be supported by pegs placed on its four corners. 2. Gather the basal portion of rice straws or dry leaves from standing banana trees and bundle them. 3. Cut the bedding materials 45-60 cm long for each bundle. 4. Soak bedding materials 3-10 hours in a big basin or a clean empty gasoline tank. 5. Set the bedding materials. Press and compact the layer evenly.

6. Wet the bed layer with urea or ammonium sulfate at the rate of 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of water. Add sugar to the solution at the rate of 33 g. per gallon of water to improve yield. 7. Stop watering when the solution drips off the bed. 8. Tip: The materials needed are chiefly agricultural leftovers. Most of these materials are readily found in the fields or in the neighborhood. 9. Insert thumb-size spawns 5 cm deep, 10 cm apart on both ends and along the sides of the bed. Cover with a thin layer of kakawate or ipll-ipil leaves. 10. Variation: Other materials that can be used as bedding include dry water lilies, jute sacks, legume straws, cornstalks, sugar cane bagasse, and abaca leaves. 11. Set second layer by following the same procedure prescribed in preparing the first layer. Repeat procedure until six layers have been laid. 12. Cover the bed entirely with plastic sheet or clean empty cement bags for 5 to 7 days, then remove. 13. Assumption: 15 bags of mushroom spawns may be planted in 5 beds. Maximum of 10 kilograms may be harvested per bed in one month. 14. Regularly inspect the beds. Place pan filled with water at the base of each peg to prevent ants or other insects from climbing and attacking the mushrooms. 15. Harvest at button or umbrella stage or on the 13th day after planting. Beds will give three-days-a-week yield for one and a half to two months. Mushrooms in the button stage of growth are more succulent, hence they are preferred than the fully opened ones. 16. Package mushroom in plastic bags on per kilogram basis. Perforate the plastic bags allowing air inside to maintain the freshness of the mushroom ready for market. 17. Air-dry mushrooms that are not sold immediately. Dried mushrooms can be sold and command higher price. 18. Tips: Do not use mushroom bedding more than once. Used bedding can be used later as compost for making organic fertilizers. Do not plant in the middle of the bed because mushrooms do not grow there. Estimated Costing and Pricing
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A. Direct cost (spawns, urea, sugar, water, packaging, labor) 1,479.05 B. Indirect cost (materials, equipment, transportation, others) 370.84 C. Production cost (A+B) 1,849.89 D. Product pricing (C+30% mark-up) 2,404.86 Estimated selling price/kilo (D/50 kg 48.10 Market price/kilo = P100.00 or more

Registration Requirements
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Business name registration (www.bnrs.dti.gov.ph) Mayors/Business Permit (check your local municipality/city) BIR TIN (www.bir.gov.ph)

Financing Facility

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Agricultural Credit Council (www.acpc.gov.ph) Other Financing Institutions (loans.mixph.com)

Technical Assistance (Training and Seminar)

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DA-BPI ([02] 524-0779/7909/7678) Other training centers

Eel (igat, palos) culture can be done with a minimum investment, using locally available and cheap resources. The system of raising eels cal also be made environment-friendly. Eels are long snake-like fishes with a smooth slimy scaleless skin. There are thousands of this kind in the sea and hundreds in freshwater. Monopterus albus (ricefield eel), which became instinct for unknown reasons was introduced by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) in the late 80 s. Many farmers are raising this species for food. The genus Monopterus has six species and are found only in Asia. The rice field eels is worth raising in cemented tanks. The advantages of raising this species are:
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it can be raised in small cemented tanks; it can be breed in captivity without using any chemical stimuli; it is an air-breathing species and can survive in oxygen depleted conditions, therefore is very useful for areas where there is scarcity of water; and its natural food are fish, snails, aquatic insects, invertebrates, worms, etc.

Tanks Preparation and Stocking 1. Make sure that there is enough available natural or clean water. The source of water could be ground water or spring water. Water from domestic faucets can also be used provided the chlorine content is not very high or can be lowered by some mechanisms (spraying or holding the water in storage tanks.)

2. Construct twin tanks 1M x 2M x 1M in size with a total surface area of 4 sqm. The tank should be leak-proof with an outlet at the bottom.

3. Layer half of the tank lengthwise

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the first (bottom) should be mud (preferably from ricefields or ponds) and is 10 cm thick the second is composed of straw which should be previously cured for about a week and 10cm thick the third is comprised of finely-chopped banana trunks which are cut a week prior to introduction and must be 10cm thick. the fourth constitutes cow or carabao manure, also 10 cm thick the fifth and top layer is mud placed in slope with one end higher than the other This layering is good only for Monopterus eels. Aguillan, the local variety found in the rivers in Cagayan (Aparri) and Mindanao (Cotabato), can be raised using the same strategy, but the tanks should not have mud.

4. Introduce water into the tank, 15 cm above the top layer. 5. Allow the materials to decompose for about a week. This is apparent with the production of a foam. 6. Drain the water out and introduce fresh water again. Repeat this process every week for 20-25 days until no more froth appears. 7. Introduce tilapia or carp fingerlings to check if the tank is ready for culturing eels. 8. Allow the fingerlings to stay inside the tank for three days, if they do not die, that means the tank is ready for the introduction of eels. The tank, which is ready, will have a similar quality to a ricefield.

9. Before the introduction of eels, plant aquatic plants such as water hyacinth or kangkong on the top soil. The plants will provide shelter for the eels from direct sunlight and also act as a hiding place. 10. For the tank size mentioned, introduce 195 to 200 eels with a ratio of 140 females and 60 males. Feeding Management 1. Maintain proper feeding levels throughout the culture period.

Remember: Monopterus albus is a progynus (female first) species. The ones that are below 40 cm are females and those above 60 cm are males. The in-between length group turns cannibal Segregate the fingerlings which cling to the water hycinth roots. Take out the weed and tap it over a net. The fingerlings will fall down Repeat for a few days until there are no more fingerlings left in the tank. Maintain in a separate tank or aquarium until they are pencil size. Then, transfer to a new tanks.

2. Use only mud from the pond in case of a nursery pond until the hatchings develop into fingerlings. 3. Add flour or vitamin pre-mix to the eels natural food to make the consistency of stiff paste (so that the food does not dissolve in water and spoil the water quality). 4. Give food individually or in combination of two or more. A natural food, such as fingerlings of other cheaper fish, is the most preferable food. 5. At fingerlings stage, feed eels with a lot of aquatic insect which can be produced naturally in stagnant water bodies. 6. Collect garden snails from the ricefields to reduce snail population eating rice and feed to the eels 7. Consider the following factors in feeding the eels:
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size (length) of the fish; total weight of the biomass (all fishes in total); and climatic conditions, such as atmospheric temperature

An ideal temperature for eel to feed properly would be between 20-35C. Eels Natural Food
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fish fingerlings earthworms

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snails aquatic insects silkworm pupae slaughter house wastes (cow, carabao, chicken liver, intestine, chicken skin, etc.)

Tip: Silkworm pupae, if available locally, is an excellent food for the eels. Live earthworms can be given directly to the fish. They can also be ground in the form of paste along with other fish and/or snails. Tips on Feeding
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Always feed the eels at a fixed feeding point and time Eels can be fed in trays made out of local materials. The feeding trays should be removed a couple of hours after each feeding. The trays should be designed in such a way that there is minimum or no spilling of the food in the water. Leftover food will deteriorate the water quality. Siphon leftovers using a PVC pipe. To begin with, the feed should be placed at the bottom of the tank and then gradually moved to the surface within a span of few days. If the eels feed on the surface, observe them everyday from any diseases or strange behavior. If dried feeds are used, grind them into powder or paste using a domestic type grinder. It facilitates the storage of food for longer periods.

Harvesting and Transporting 1. Harvest according to the needs of the market and the growth of eels. 2. Harvest partially or completely. If you have more than one tank, harvest completely so that the next lot is ready in the new tank before harvesting. 3. Harvest during feeding time when a net can be placed under the feed. 4. Make sure not to injure the eels as it may, besides causing death, lower the price in the market. 5. Starve the eels in holding tanks before transporting live to the market. 6. Clean the tanks properly after harvesting and sun-dry for a few days before stocking new eels. Economic Benefits There being no established market for Monopterus eels, this economic feasibility is based on existing market of local variety of eels, the Anguilla species (locally knows as igat, palos or casili). For an initial fixed investment of P6,300 and a production of P5,590, a farmer can obtain a net return of P14,410 per eight months or P1,801.25 per month. Ecological Implications

Some farmers who have introduced Monopterus eels in their rice fields have noticed a marked reduction in the snail population as these are natural feed for the eels. However, some farmers have come across the problem of dike boring by eels, thus making it difficult for them to retain water in their rice fields. The ecological implications of these species is the wild are being studied. It is therefore recommended to raise eels only in cemented tanks and not let them get into natural systems. Rice fields eels, once introduced into the rice fields, can serve as predator against golden snails which have become a pest in some Asian countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam. Earthworm can be cultured in backyards (Vermiculture) and can be used as supplementary feed for the eels. The compost produced by the worms can be used as fertilizer for vegetable gardens. The eels in rice fields also reduce the amount of insect pests thus increasing the rice production. For more information contact: Dept.of Agriculture D.A. Compound, Elliptical Rd., Diliman,Quezon City Tel. Nos. (632) 929-6065 to 67 / 920-3991 / 928-1134 Web: www.da.gov.ph source: www.tlrc.gov.ph, photo from http://shanghaiist.com

They are red and seeded on the outside, fleshy and juicy in the inside. They have this small, regal-looking, green leafy cap and stem that adorn its crown. Thats fresh, plump strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) for you. But their fine-looking appearance does not last long. Strawberries are delicate, requiring gentle handling to prevent bruising. There can be few countries in the world where strawberries are not grown. They are tolerant of most soil types, undemanding of nutrients and survive weather conditions ranging from cool, moist Scotland to fiery Spain. With careful choice of variety and a greenhouse, fruit can be available for half the year. In the Philippines, strawberries are only grown in cool areas like Benguet and Baguio. Basic Steps 1. Buy strawberry plants at the nursery for planting as you can work the ground (fall in warm climates). Make sure the plants are certified disease-free; strawberries can carry viruses that not only will kill the crop but also will spread through your garden. 2. Choose a site that has excellent drainage, gets full sun and warms up early in the spring so blossoms arent destroyed by late frosts. A gentle, south-facing slope is ideal. If your soil drains poorly, grow strawberries in raised beds or containers.

3. Till the planting bed thoroughly to a depth of at least 12 inches, removing all traces of weeds and grass, and dig in plenty of compost or well-cured manure to ensure the rich, fertile soil that strawberries need. The soils pH should be slightly acid, from 5.5 to 6.5. 4. Dig a hole for each plant five to seven inches wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots. Set the plant into the hole with the crown just above ground level, and fill in the soil so that the roots are completely buried. Spacing depends on the planting method you choose. 5. Use the matted row planting method for the easiest maintenance. Set plants 18 inches apart in rows three to four feet apart. The plants will send out runners with abandon, with each runner producing a new little plant. 6. Keep the spaces between rows open by returning to the berry patch after each harvest and removing the outermost plants from both sides of each row. You can either snip the runners and dig up the attached plants, or simply run a mechanical tiller down the row. 7. Remove some of the original mother plants from each row at same time, leaving the newest plants, which will bear more vigorously the following season. Treat the crop as a biennial, plowing the plants under after the first harvest and starting over the following spring. 8. Use the hill method for a longer-lasting bed, or if you have limited growing space. Set plants 12 inches apart on all sides, whether in rows or a cluster (just be sure the bed is small enough that you can reach into it comfortably). 9. Cut off all runners as soon as they appear. This way the plants direct all their energy into fruit production and should give you ample harvests for six years or more. 10. Make sure young plants get at least an inch of water a week. Mulch to conserve moisture and deter weeds. A light material such straw or salt hay is ideal for both purposes. 11. Avoid letting any fruit develop the first year, regardless of which planting method you use. Instead, pick off each blossom as soon as you see it forming and ripening even a berry or two will weaken a plant so much that the following years production will be cut drastically. 12. Pick all strawberries the day they ripen, and eat or preserve them as soon as possible: overripe fruit spoils quickly on or off the vine. Tips & Warnings

There are four kinds of strawberries, all of which like the same growing conditions. The classic types produce a huge harvest all at once June in most places, earlier in warmer climates. Theyre perfect if you want large quantities at once for freezing, preserving, or dishing up at a neighborhood strawberry social. Contrary to their name, ever-bearing strawberries produce two crops a year, one in June and another later in the summer both smaller than those of the classic varieties. Day-neutral types do, in fact, bear a modest but steady stream of fruit for most of the summer, stopping only during very hot weather. Alpine strawberries, or fraises des bois, produce tiny, scrumptious berries all summer long, but you need a great many plants to reap enough fruit to top more than a sundae or two.

Ever-bearing strawberries are an exception to the no-first-year-fruit rule. In their case, pinch off all blossoms until midsummer of the first year; after that, let the plants flower naturally. By that time theyll be strong enough to support their fall crop.

For more information, contact: Bureau of Agricultural Research RDMIC Building, Visayas Ave. cor. Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City Phone: +63 928-8505 E-mail: rd@bar.gov.ph Web: www.bar.gov.ph Highland Agriculture & Resources Research & Development Consortium (HARRDEC) Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet Telefax: (074) 422 1656 Email: harrdec@yahoo.com Web: www.bsu.edu.ph Other source: ehow.com, photo from lakwatsera.com