Get Your Precious Crops Insured

Farming is a risky job. There are many unexpected things that might happen throughout the course of your food production venture. Seeds didn’t sprout. Plants devastated by typhoon and  pests. Rainfall became scarce. Then the expected yield was never realized. The worst case, you may never get your capital back and your are left crying in  the corner.

Yes, farming is risky but there are ways  to minimize the chance of lost. Use a hybrid and high yielding variety. Don’t plant during typhoon season. Keep up to date on latest cultural practices and pest & diseases preventing and fighting techniques. Provide a good irrigation. And, the uncommon thing in agricultural practice, getting a crop insurance. Apply for a crop insurance from Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC). It is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture responsible for issuing crop insurance to qualified farmers, crops, farm animals, area, season and form of loss.

PCIC Insurance Programs
– rice crop insurance
– corn crop insurance
– high-value commercial crop insurance
– livestock insurance
– non-crop agricultural asset insurance
– fisheries insurance
– and, term insurance packages

Before deploying the resources of yours, consider consulting PCIC. Know if you are qualified. Minimize your risk of crop loss.

For more information, please refer to:

Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC)
3rd Floor, VAG Building, Ortigas Avenue
San Juan, Metro Manila 1502
Tel. No. (632)-721-5461 to 65
Fax No. (632)-727-1291Email:

Oleochemicals, oils extracted from plants and animals

A topic of Round Table Discussion organized by National Academy of Science and Technology. More jobs and income, if we focus on oleochemicals production down to its value chain. Don’t be contented with extraction of main oil, also engaging to consumer products are good ventures.

There has been an increasing interest toward oleochemicals because of the increasing cost of petrochemicals and its products. Cocochemicals are of the highest value. Maybe processed as biodiesel, additives, lubricants, grease and solvents.

It was clear that the recently concluded RTD main topic was the coconut industry. Philippines is among the best place for growing coconut and indeed have plenty of. Planting more coconuts, building more intended manufacturing plants and more R&Ds are good options. The buzz regarding virgin coconut oil was an excellent opportunity but it seemed we failed getting the advantage.

Not only coconut. There are other oleochemical sources of commercial importance.

Lard. Oil from pig. It has many culinary uses in which some call for it specifically. However too many health issues are related to pig meat back-fat and oil consumption.

Palm Oil. Our country has tropical climate which make it suitable for palm oil production. We currently have 54,448 hectares of land planted with oil palm. It is popular as palm cooking oil and has other uses for drug, cosmetic and agro-chemical sector.

Jathropa. A potential source of biofuel. However, authorities is still in search of a variety with a substantial oil yield. Jathropa plant has toxic property, thus, not suitable for food purposes.

Manila Elemi Oil. The very expensive oil from bark of Pili Nut. The crude unprocessed latex is sold for 70 to 80 pesos per kilogram. Imagine the cost of purified oil and beauty products made with it. Not to mention Philippines is its only exporter.

Corn. Yet another good source of oil. A friend of mine switched from using palm oil to coconut oil cause the latter gives better flavor properties. No oil shall be extracted from Filipino foods so this won’t be a big industry.

Corn Over Rice as Staple Food

The following contradicts our current tradition.

Rice is the number one staple food for Filipinos and perhaps to rest of the world. Rice is the one and no other commodity might be able replace it.

All plants produce their own food by the process called photosynthesis. Both rice and corn produce grains, the palay and corn kernel respectively. However, corn is more adaptable to dry hot condition while rice in cold wet climate.

Rice belong to category C3 plants. During hot summer days, plants are able to close their leaf stomates. This stops transpiration or water loss. In exchange, no carbon dioxide is entering the plant for photosynthesis. A halt in grain production.

On the other hand, corn is a C4 plant. It is able to store ample supply of carbon dioxide while the condition is cold to ambient. Closing of leaf stomates will not temporarily stop corn production. A continued photosynthesis under sun’s heat.

Do you think our climate is suited for rice production? Choosing corn over rice is more reasonable.

Rice require a lot of water. A continuous irrigation is the best. Corn plant can rely on occasional rainfall.

Reason other than climate adaptability:

Corn is a slow release energy source, slower than rice. It tend to make one fuller for longer period. Has low GI value, good for athletes and diabetics.

Hope there would be enough people who are willing to eat corn as primary energy source.


First Trial, Boiled Young Corn for Making Cornicks

From the article, “The Old and New Cornick Story“, cornick or corn nuts are prepared by soaking corn for three days, changing water everyday, rinse drying and then frying. It said that water soaking is done to restore the original kernel size that was loss after drying.

There was a hint of the required maturity, matured corns with dry husk at the time of harvest. Matured corns are removed from cobs and dried before selling to market. However, it is not stated that young corns are not fit for making cornicks.

Note: I am referring to young corn for boiling and merienda purposes. Those which are sold on side streets and public markets.

boiled young corn cobFirst trial. Raw young corn was not available at the moment, I used boiled young corn instead. Removed them manually from cobs using bare fingers. Then deep fried in oil over medium heat for about three minutes.

boiled young corn kernelsCorns turned golden brown. Some popped causing the burst of hot oil droplets. Kernels became crunchy but half empty. Eating it was not enjoyable.

fried young cornYoung corn lacks starch and cannot be used for making cornick. I will continue this when other materials became available.

The New and Old Cornick Story

The three of us took cornick as merienda. Cornick in chili hot vinegar. We enjoyed the brown crunchy corn, the lingering garlic taste, the burning hot chili sensation and the face changing vinegar. I enjoyed it the most, my wife enjoyed it a little and our toddle barely ate a piece.

cornick in chili vinegarWe ate cornick because we want to relieve our soar throat. The three of us have itchy throat, a symptom of common cold. She never like “Gurgling Vinegar to Relieve Sore Throat” so she added chili and cornick to it.

Did her idea worked? Not sure. I gurgled vinegar last night and I gonna gurgle again today before going to bed. My throat was not as painful as yesterday. I think pure vinegar gurgle is still better.

Note: Gurgling vinegar is not recommended for toddlers and young children.

The cornick. Popular brands are Bida and Boy Bawang. It used to be our favorite when we were still kids. As a result of price inflation, the content became lesser and lesser. We felt it’s not worth buying as the content got less.

According to wiki, cornick is a Filipino term for corn nuts. A crunchy corn that is completely different from popcorn. Invented by Alber Holloway in year 1936 at Oakland, California. It was intended as good partner of beer.

Now I understand why beer drinkers, manginginom/lasingero, love cornick as pulutan.

Cornick is prepared by soaking whole corn kernels in water for three days. Draining. Then frying until golden brown and crunchy. Garlic and salts are the most common flavor.

The Kettle Korn – Butterlicious Popcorn

I like this popcorn. It is slightly sweet and really butterlicious. All pops are crunchy soft – no hard part like the one I usually bought from street vendors.

pack of kettle korn popcorn

Any good tasting commercial product is doubtful.It might be filled with array of artificial flavors and preservatives.  The taste should be secondary. We should know if it is made of something not good for our body.  I inspected the label and found out it is composed only of four ingredients – imported corn, butter oil, refined sugar and iodized salt.The materials commonly used for making popcorn. No artificial flavors and preservatives.

kettle korn opened

Positive for using iodized salt and lesser ingredients but negative for using refined sugar. The looks of brown sugar might be inferior but it is superior in terms of health issues.

Here are other information about Kettle Korn:

A short Kettle Korn story. Kettle Korn uses only imported corn from the farm of Nebraska where it is grown to its fullest stage under the wide blue skies. From there, only one hybrid passed Kettle Korn’s standard for taste and texture. This hand picked corn definitely gives the  butterlicious sensation.

Made fresh everyday. Kettle Korn keeps its promise and ensures that each and every Kettle Korn pops out into crisp, mouth watering popcorn

It should be stored in a dry cool place away from direct sunlight and high temperature. Should be consumed immediately after opening. Prolonged exposure to open air may affect crispiness.