PCAARRD launched two new ornamental plants breeding of gumamela and Hoya varieties

The Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) launched two new breeding projects on gumamela and Hoya during an online inception meeting held recently.

Entitled “Development of new Hibiscus varieties through hybridization and embryo rescue,” and  Philippine Native Hoyas,” which aims to produce locally-adapted gumamela plants that can bloom well even under hot or tropical conditions and focuses on introducing new varieties of Hoya with new color or form, profuse flowering, and longer blooming period.  

Gumamela (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and Hoya are ornamental plants widely popular for their unique and attractive blooms. With the lockdown-induced interest and trend on growing garden- and houseplants so called plantitos and plantitas, more consumers look out for new varieties available in the market.

In the Philippines, there is a preference for imported or international varieties of gumamela because of their large, multi-colored petals. However, these varieties do not bloom well in low and hot areas of the country.

Hoya, on the other hand, is one of the country’s most outstanding endemic ornamental plants with high commercial value but has been given very limited research attention.

At least six new NSIC-approved gumamela varieties and two interspecific hybrids are expected to be delivered by 2024. Ms. Agripina O. Rasco and Dr. Pablito M. Magdalita, both of the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-UPLB) are working together on the project.

The team targets five potential varieties with new flower color or form and good blooming habit and at least five propagated materials of each potential variety, among many other outputs. Ms. Maria Luisa D. Guevarra, also from IPB-UPLB, leads the project.   

These two projects are part of DOST-PCAARRD’s Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Ornamental Plants.

Moreover, the inception meeting was organized by the Crops Research Division (CRD) of DOST-PCAARRD and attended by the project teams from IPB-UPLB, accounting officers of UPLB, CRD Director Edna A. Anit, M&E Section Head, Mr. Allan B. Siano, ISP Manager for Ornamental Plants Ms. Kimberly Zarah B. Locsin, and other CRD staff. 

Details from (Sharie Al-Faiha A. Lubang, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services) MJ Olvina- Balaguer of DZMJ Online, Makabuluhang Jornalismo your happiness channel +639053611058  maryjaneolvina@gmail.com or konekted@dzmjonline.net

FertiGroe®  as Nano Fertilizer product funded by DOST PCAARRD 

The project entitled “Development of Application Protocol and Field Verification of FertiGroe® N, P, and K Nanofertilizers in Sugarcane.”

The project is one of the seven components of the program “Optimization of the Production and Use of FertiGroe® N, P, and K Nanofertilizers in Selected Agricultural Crops,” funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD). The program aims to optimize the production process and develop application protocols of FertiGroe® N, P, and K nanofertilizers to increase yield of rice, corn, vegetables, sugarcane, coffee, cacao, and banana. 

FertiGroe® N, P, and K are the new slow-release nanofertilizers. These are nano-sized (1-100nm) particle technology that increases surface area for nutrient adsorption. These products offer better economic yield and safer for the environment through their strong potential of slowing down or controlling nutrient release to increase nutrient use efficiency.

Inorganic fertilizer is still an important input required to achieve challenging yield targets in sugarcane farms. However, it is costly and known to deteriorate the environment when not managed properly. Not all nutrients from inorganic fertilizers could be assimilated by the crop. Some are lost due to runoff and leaching. With the application of nanotechnology in agriculture, these losses can be reduced. Hence, nanofertilizers are emerging as a promising alternative.

The Agricultural Systems Institute (ASI) and La Granja Research and Training Station (LGRTS) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) are currently testing the formulated FertiGroe® N, P, and K nanofertilizers for sugarcane. 

Initial results of the field evaluation trial show that the FertiGroe® nanofertilizers-treated sugarcane obtained as much as 218.76 50kg-per-hectare (Lkg/ha), which is higher than the average yield of 129.62 Lkg/ha in La Carlota Mill District, Negros Occidental. Use of FertiGroe® nanofertilizers increased nutrient uptake, minimized nutrient losses, reduced fertilizer inputs by 50%, and reduced production costs. Efficacy trials are still ongoing and are expected to be completed soon.

The Trademark of FertiGroe® has been registered at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPhil). The products are for patent application at the IPOPhil and for registration at the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA).

These initial progress and accomplishment were discussed between the PCAARRD monitoring and evaluation team led by Dr. Juanito T. Batalon, ARMRD-PCAARRD Director and the UPLB-LGRTS project team led by Dr. Emmanuel G. Samson, during a field monitoring and evaluation visit done before the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Details from Jacob B. Labita, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services

MJ Olvina- Balaguer of DZMJ Online, Makabuluhang Jornalismo your happiness channel +639053611058  maryjaneolvina@gmail.com or konekted@dzmjonline.net

CALABARZON Coconut Hybrid program improved coconut industry production geared toward to global competitiveness

Program entitled “Performance Evaluation of the 2-pronged Coconut Hybridization Scheme in  CALABARZON,”  The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) is providing funds to this project that is being implemented by PCA-Region IV under the supervision of PCA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Erlene C. Manohar.entitled  project ensures availability of coconut hybrids for the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) massive coconut planting and replanting program in CALABARZON. 

Enable the lextension workers and farmers with the assisted and directed natural hybridization technology which the coconut hybridization project continues to improve coconut production in CALABARZON. 

Accomplishments of the project were recently reviewed in a virtual meeting organized by DOST-PCAARRD.

About 8,197 planting materials of PCA 15-10 (Tacunan Dwarf x Laguna Tall) hybrid, the  variety best suited for sap production, have been harvested from project sites in Quezon. Almost 40% of these were already distributed to 15 farmers and field-planted in 25.5 hectares in Quezon, Cavite, and Laguna. 

Moreover, planting materials were given to an interested farmer in Torrijos, Marinduque. It was observed that the produced hybrid nuts are significantly robust, have thicker girth, and good vegetative growth.

According to the project’s S&T Consultant, Dr. Violeta N. Villegas, the replanting of the old and senile palms will improve the country’s coconut production and consequently improve farm income and the lives of coconut farmers.

With increasing demand for emerging high-value products in the global and domestic markets, Ms. Manohar said that the planting of hybrids is seen as the answer to the industry’s pursuit towards global competitiveness.

Project team members from PCA-Region IV and PCA-Zamboanga Research Center, as well as the Crops Research Division representatives led by its Director, Dr. Edna A. Anit participated in the review.  Details from Alissa Carol M. Ibarra, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services

MJ Olvina- Balaguer of DZMJ Online, Makabuluhang Jornalismo your happiness channel +639053611058  maryjaneolvina@gmail.com or  konekted@dzmjonline.net