3 projects in Zamboanga Peninsula monitored

To track the progress and ensure everything is going according to plan, the DA-BAR conducted on-site monitoring and documentation of three projects on ceylon tea, rubber, and seaweed in Zamboanga Peninsula on 12-16 June 2023. 


Production and processing of Ceylon tea plants

Implemented by DA-Zamboanga Peninsula-La Paz Experiment Station (LPES), the project titled, Commercialization of Ceylon Tea (Camelia sinensis) in Zamboanga Peninsula, aimed to promote the production of Ceylon tea plants through seedlings and cuttings and processing of young tea leaves.

Production of Ceylon tea plants were established in Mutia and Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte and in Bayog and Presa, Zamboanga del Sur. Through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist of Zamboanga del Sur, the Women’s Movement for Rural Improvement Cooperative of Poblacion Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur underwent training on production of Ceylon tea cuttings and its proper cultural management practices.

Black and green tea processing were also developed at DA-LPES. The enhancement of its packaging and label, nutrient analysis, and determination of shelf life of the products are nearing its completion.


Enhanced latex yield of rubber trees through application of stimulants

To improve productivity through increased rubber latex yield, a protocol on proper application and concentration of appropriate latex stimulants for rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) is being developed by DA-Philippine Rubber Research Institute. The stimulant is a mixture of vegetable oils and ethylene hormones or other active ingredients.

The four project sites were selected based on the following criteria: 1) trees should be 10 years old and above, 2) rubber farm should be plantation type, 3) rubber trees are planted as monocrop, and 4 ) experimental trees were budded with similar planting date, distance, girth size, and clone per site.

The study is limited to PB 260, PB 330, and RRIM 600 clones, aged 10-25 years, and within the bounds of Zamboanga Peninsula. 


Seaweed production through pilot deep-sea circular HDPE cage farming system

To increase seaweed production, the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Zamboanga Peninsula established two climate-resilient circular high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cage in deep sea, which is non-traditional seaweed farming areas, in Buenavista, Zamboanga City and Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Each cage was planted with 1, 200 kilograms of Kappaphycus sp. seedlings, with an average weight of 150-200 grams per seedling, sourced from adjacent farms in the area. Trials are ongoing to develop the protocol, which is expected to be completed within the year. (### Maria Elena M. Garces)