A bet­ter out­look for PH’s fruit in­dus­try

Panay News - - OPINION -

THE

COUN­TRY’S fruit in­dus­try is ex­pected to ben­e­fit from at least two pro­jects on ba­nana and mango, which are funded by the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for In­ter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Re­search (ACIAR) and the Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment of the De­part­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST-PCAARRD).

Iden­ti­fied as pri­or­ity com­modi­ties un­der the Har­mo­nized Na­tional R&D Agenda for 2017-2022 and DOST- PCAARRD’s In­dus­try Strate­gic S&T Pro­gram (ISP), ba­nana and mango are among the fruit crops be­ing stud­ied un­der the “ACIAR-PCAARRD Hor­ti­cul­ture Pro­gram on Fruits and Veg­eta­bles.”

Ti­tled “In­te­grated man­age­ment of Fusar­ium wilt (FW) of ba­nanas in the Philip­pines and Aus­tralia,” the project aims to re­duce the im­pacts of FW and im­prove the pro­duc­tiv­ity and vi­a­bil­ity of ba­nana plantations man­aged by small­hold­ers.

The project’s ac­com­plish­ments in­clude the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of mesh wire boot as the most ef­fec­tive scrub in re­mov­ing soil to limit the spread of dis­ease in­ocu­lum; re­port on the eco­nomic fea­si­bil­ity of grow­ing “Gi­ant Cavendish” tis­sue-cul­ture vari­ant 218 in Foc in­fested area; and the con­duct of the Min­danao-wide ba­nana sym­po­sium par­tic­i­pated by 140 ba­nana grow­ers and Agri­cul­tural Ex­ten­sion Work­ers.

The sec­ond project ti­tled “Re­search and de­vel­op­ment of in­te­grated crop man­age­ment for mango pro­duc­tion in the south­ern Philip­pines and Aus­tralia” in­tends to re­duce prod­uct losses due to pests and dis­eases, de­crease in­puts costs, and im­prove qual­ity and yield of mango to in­crease grow­ers’ profit.

The project’s ac­com­plish­ments in­clude iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of par­a­sitoids as po­ten­tial nat­u­ral en­e­mies of ce­cid fly; demon­stra­tion and train­ing on canopy man­age­ment in Davao Oc­ci­den­tal and Davao del Sur; and con­duct of a na­tional sur­vey on “best prac­tices” in nine ma­jor mango grow­ing ar­eas in the coun­try.

Ac­com­plish­ments for the two-year du­ra­tion of the pro­jects were pre­sented dur­ing the end-of-project re­view in Cebu City by im­ple­ment­ing agen­cies – Univer­sity of South­ern Min­danao, Univer­sity of South­east­ern Philip­pines, South­ern Philip­pines Agri-busi­ness and Marine and Aquatic School of Tech­nol­ogy, and Pro­vin­cial Agri­cul­tur­ists Of­fices of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, im­prov­ing the yield and qual­ity of jack­fruit is also be­ing looked into un­der a project that aims to de­velop and im­ple­ment in­te­grated dis­ease man­age­ment strate­gies along with crop man­age­ment

pro­duc­tion. op­tions in jack­fruit

The project is again funded by ACIAR and im­ple­mented by the Visayas State Univer­sity (VSU), Bu­reau of Plant In­dus­try-Davao Na­tional Crop Re­search, De­vel­op­ment and Pro­duc­tion Sup­port Cen­ter, and De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture Re­gional Of­fice 8. To­gether with ACIAR, the DOST-PCAARRD co-mon­i­tors the project. Ti­tled “Trop­i­cal tree fruit re­search and de­vel­op­ment in the Philip­pines and North­ern Aus­tralia to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, re­silience, and prof­itabil­ity,” the project was re­cently eval­u­ated at the VSU.

One of the project’s com­po­nents aims to im­prove the ex­ist­ing vac­uum- fried jack­fruit chips in Leyte.

This com­po­nent is an off­shoot of the DOST-PCAARRD com­pleted project on “Pro­cess­ing of Jack­fruit into High-Value Food Prod­ucts,” which was also im­ple­mented by VSU.

The project is part of the “ACIAR-PCAARRD Hor­ti­cul­ture Pro­gram on Fruits and Veg­eta­bles Phase 2” which aims to im­prove the liveli­hoods and food se­cu­rity of small­holder farm­ers in se­lected ar­eas of the Visayas and Min­danao. com/ PN)

(jaypeeyap@ymail.

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