12 HVCDP projects, 13 proposals reviewed

Twelve projects, and their respective proposals for its second phase of implementation, and one proposal funded by DA-BAR under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) were reviewed on 27 February-1 March 2023 through a hybrid setup at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and in Google Meet.

Dr. Rodel G. Maghirang and Dr. Edralina P. Serrano of UPLB, and Dr. Candido B. Damo of the DA-National Corn Program served as evaluators during the three-day activity. They were joined by DA-BAR Research Coordination Division (RCD) head Julia A. Lapitan and high value crops focals from the bureau’s Research Program Development Division and RCD.

Among the promising projects reviewed were the development of Site-Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) for Lakatan and Saba cultivars of banana and Queen Pineapple which were aimed to increase the production of the said crops through proper fertilizer management with minimal cost inputs. Implemented by UPLB and DA-Bicol Region, respectively, the said projects took off from the promising results of SSNM on corn and cassava.

Two postharvest technologies, the DA-Cagayan Valley Research Center’s zero energy cooling chamber and UPLB’s mobile solar-based precooler, to extend the shelf life of high value crops and minimize losses were also reported to have good results and will be subjected to further trials.

The e-Insecticide Resistant Management (IRM) mobile application for fall armyworm (FAW), developed by UPLB in collaboration with Regional Crop Protection Centers in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Central Visayas, and SOCCSKSARGEN, also reported promising results. The e-IRM application will be launched in March 2023. The second phase of the project will be focusing on developing the same for onion armyworm (OAW). The said app will provide farmers with one-click real-time and site-specific insecticide management recommendations that aim to mitigate the effects of the said insect pests and insecticide resistance.

The Benguet State University project identified the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria, as well as entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis and Steinernema as biocontrol agents for coffee berry borer in Benguet and Mountain Province also showed promising results. These will be validated through on farm trials during the second phase of the project. (### Rena S. Hermoso)