DOST-PCAARRD vows to continue implementing ‘more relevant, responsive’ programs for AANR sector

Published December 2, 2021, 5:10 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) vowed to continue implementing “more relevant and responsive” programs that would address the needs of the country’s agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR) sector.

DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora (Screengrab from DOST-PCAARRD Facebook page)

This was stressed by DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora during the Council’s 10th anniversary celebration anchored on the theme, “Harnessing the gains of GALING-PCAARRD towards a more resilient AANR sector” on Nov. 29.

“The past two years have been a challenging period. Through innovation and strategic partnership, the Council was able to reach out with our stakeholders in the AANR sector amidst the COVID19 pandemic,” he said.

“Rest assured that we will sustain our efforts and continue to implement more relevant and responsive programs during these uncertain times.”

He said PCAARRD will also further improve its feedback and evaluation mechanisms to ensure that during and beyond the pandemic, its clients, stakeholders, and partners remain empowered through its programs and services.

“Recognizing the impacts of the GALING-PCAARRD program, we will further expand and strengthen its implementation to better address the needs of the AANR sector.”

Ebora said they launched the GALING-PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19 Program to address coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related problems.

“Under its different components, we were able to benefit frontliners, farmers and fisherfolk, students, displaced workers, persons with disabilities, entrepreneurs, communities and associations, public schools, and hospitals.”

During his Executive Director’s Report, Ebora enumerated the long list of Council’s achievements and breakthroughs in genetic improvements; genomics; breeding, genetics and protocols; biotechnology and nanotechnology; pest disease and management; product innovation and technology; fight against climate change; biodiversity; policy research and advocacy; and technology transfer and commercialization.

In genetic improvements, the Council took pride in the genetic improvement breakthroughs in the country’s native animals such as the ItikPinas and Native Pigs and Chickens.

“Recently, we were also able to witness the birth of PAG-ASA—the first calf locally produced by Fixed Embryo Transfer; developed faster-growing and bigger Queen Pineapples; and selected fruit fly- and anthracnose-resistant varieties of mangoes,” the PCAARRD chief said.

(Screengrab from DOST-PCAARRD Facebook page)

He even cited the development of tissue culture techniques for mass production of selected bamboo species.

This year also saw the distribution of about 3,000 coconut hybrids in several areas in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) Region.

Ebora said for the aquaculture industry, the Council’s partners have developed breeding protocol for white shrimp and the use of Biofloc Technology (BFT) for improved production.

The Milkfish Core Satellite Hatchery was also established and Cost-Competitive Aquafeed from Lab-lab was developed.

Continued research on dietary supplements derived from coconut and marine diatoms for tilapia has also been noted.

“Technologies for sea cucumber such as the hatchery protocol for white teatfish were developed and culture technology and protocol for stock enhancement of sandfish were refined,” Ebora said.

“We also improved on and produced a manual on environment-friendly culture methods for oysters.”

The PCAARRD was also behind the development of the quick, reliable, and cost-effective African Swine Fever Virus Nanogold Biosensor test kit; and the Aerobac Test Kit, a rapid detection kit against bacterial pathogens in tilapia.

It also supported research on nano cellulose, a promising material for a variety of applications from the wood wastes of falcata, yemane, and mangium.

Ebora also cited the Council’s continued research and development (R&D) support for disease diagnosis, control, and management.

Several of our accomplishments in crop disease and management include:

-The discovery and development of mass rearing technology of biocontrol agent against coconut scale insect (CSI) or cocolisap;

-Infestation risk mapping and pest-control strategies against the Fall Armyworm;

-Area-Wide Management of Mango Fruit Fly in collaboration with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research or ACIAR; and

-The development of the Eggplant Fruit and Shoot Borer Motion Tracking Software

Ebora cited that the development of a LAMP Detection Assay for causal pathogens of Anthracnose, Stem-End Rot and Scab Disease in the country’s ‘carabao’ mango was made possible through the DOST-the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Joint Research Program.

He said they also obtained significant results in the biological-based cacao pest management and in the pilot-testing of ACTICon, a biocontrol for Fusarium wilt in Cavendish banana.

The PCAARRD also supported the development of the following innovative products: salted egg powder and the Cassava Starch-Potassium Sorbate Coating for Extended Shelf Life of Salted Duck Eggs; cooling facility for overnight storage of fresh milk; and high-value glycogen products from Philippine mussels.

The Council also continued its commercialization of the balut vending machine.