DoST kicks off crop sector projects
Project leader Johana Orense from the Philippine Coconut Authority’s Davao Research Center said the CRB control strategies include using a biological control agent, called ‘green muscardine fungus’ and other pest management strategies
The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development on Monday announced that it has launched two projects to help the farmers and communities recover their livelihood sources.
The agency said that the projects are seen to curb the proliferation coconut rhinoceros beetles in the regions triggered by typhoon “Odette” in 2021.
The beetles are a major insect pest of coconut and damage palm by chewing into the emerging fronds, feeding on the sap, and injuring the young growing tissues.
If not addressed properly, its damage will ultimately result in early nut fall and lower yield.
To curb the beetle infestation, project leader Johana Orense from the Philippine Coconut Authority’s Davao Research Center said the CRB control strategies include using a biological control agent, called “green muscardine fungus” and other pest management strategies.
The project will have mass distribution of 6,270 kilograms of the fungus to 7,838 hectares of Odette-affected coconut plantations.
The training of agriculturists and farmers on integrated pest management will also be conducted in a bid to prevent future outbreaks.
Meantime, the Philippine Root Crop Research and Training Center of the Visayas State University project aims to address the unemployment and food shortage brought about by the pandemic.
For his part, Marlon Tambis, project leader from PhilRootcrops-VSU, said the project, “Enhanced Distribution, Nursery Establishment and Product Utilization of Rootcrops in Region 8 to Mitigate the Impact of Covid-19,” is a spin-off of their completed project in 2020.
PhilRootcrops-VSU will distribute planting materials of sweet potato, cassava, yam and taro in several municipalities in Northern and Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran.
“The project is also expected to generate sustainable livelihood opportunities for the communities in the target areas,” Tambis said.
Through the initiative, PhilRootcrops will establish more root crop nurseries and production areas to sustain the supply of planting materials.
Moreover, Tambis said that they are also planning to train the beneficiaries on various production and processing technologies to maximize the production and consumption of root crops.
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