Bigger, better biocon facility underway

“With the current condition of the [biocontrol agents] rearing house, our stock culture easily gets contaminated resulting in an inefficient production of biocontrol agents we produce.”

This is what Lorna E. Herradura, DA-Bureau of Plant Industry Davao National Crop Research, Development, and Production Support Center (BPI-DNCRDPSC) chief, underscored during the inception meeting for the project Upgrading of Mass Rearing House into Biological Control Laboratory at BPI-Davao DNCRDPSC, held on 3 August 2023 via google meet.

With funding assistance from DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), the project will upgrade the center’s existing biocontrol agents rearing house into a biological control laboratory. According to project leader Herradura, the addition of sorting rooms and upgrading of screen houses are really important in preventing contamination of  their stock culture. “Ngayon kasi ay magkalapit ‘yong screen house namin sa insect rearing house kaya mabilis ma-contaminate ng mga predators and parasites ang stock culture… kaya mahalaga talaga na maayos ang mga sorting rooms ng aming facility,” she added.

During the meeting, Program Development Division chief Raymond Patrick Cabrera provided his recommendations to ensure that the project, aside from merely upgrading the facility, shall cater to the needs of farmers especially on battling pests and diseases affecting their crops. He underscored that projects funded through the bureau’s Research Facility Development Grant program must enhance the facility’s operational activities and services offered to its intended clientele–farmers and researchers. 

“We at DA-BAR, we would like to see the return of investment from the projects we fund. Projects are meant to create changes and outcomes,” he emphasized.

Herradura said that a group of pomelo growers already signified interest in availing the services of the facility as soon as the upgrading finishes. “In this way, we can encourage our farmers to lessen their dependence and excessive use of chemical pesticides,” she concluded. (### Angelo N. Padura)