“My Flinders experience gave me the technical foundation and a sense of focus that allowed me to recalibrate this farming system and work with local authorities to reduce poverty, increase employment and contribute to reducing malnutrition in the countryside,” says Apollo.
His ultimate goal is to increase rice production from 1,000 sacks of milled rice a day to 12,000 sacks daily in order to meet 100% of the province’s demand.
Apollo has recently developed a food-pack made from organic unpolished rice and iron-rich culled duck meat that can be rolled out in emergencies and also used to eradicate malnutrition among school-age children in the community.
As the new head of provincial agriculture in Misamis Oriental, one of his first actions is launching a new program, the quest for ‘EGGcellence’. The program will provide a million pesos to local governments to assist resource-poor households to produce one million eggs per year - a 10% share of the local market.
Apollo says, “The greatest accomplishment in my work is when I see poor farmers and households grow in terms of their skills and talents in farming systems.”
Jose Apollo Pacamalan was awarded a 2018 Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award for his significant contribution to the rice farming industry in the Philippines by pioneering the Integrated Rice-Duck Farming System. The climate-smart agriculture system makes rice production safer for farmers, rice grains healthier for consumption and has increased rice productivity.