DA, UPLB to launch new CGUARD varieties

The Department of Agriculture (DA), through its Bureau of Agricultural Research, Bureau of Plant Industry, and National Corn Program, in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Los Baños–Institute of Plant Breeding, is set to launch two recently registered corn varieties on 5 December 2023 at the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research office in Quezon City.

The two varieties, namely CVRC Glut 21-16 and Tupi 1 WIT  (White Improved Tiniguib) of DA Cagayan Valley and SOCCSKSARGEN, respectively, were developed through research projects implemented under the Corn Germplasm Utilization through Advanced Research and Development (CGUARD) program. These improved varieties came about as a result of seed reconstitution and extensive breeding program that employed methods such as stratified mass selection and recombination procedures for enhanced yield and quality. 

They are registered with the National Seed Industry Council, thus signifying their availability not just for multiplication but also for commercialization.

“The CVRC Glut 21-16, commonly known as Deko, is an early-maturing glutinous corn variety with an average yield of 4-6 mt/ha. It also has a good husk cover, making it resistant to many pests and diseases,” cited Roynic Aquino of DA-Cagayan Valley Research Center.

The variety also has two recommendation domains–Luzon and Mindanao, indicating its adaptability for cultivation in these mainlands. Adaptability trials are ongoing in Visayas. 

While, DA SOCCSKSARGEN’s Tupi 1 WIT, a white flint corn, showcases an average yield of 5.16 mt/ha. This surpasses another check variety from Mindanao, which achieves approximately 4.98 mt/ha. It also exhibits a shelling recovery rate of 79%, 22-24 kernel rows, and apparent tolerance to downy mildew disease.

The CGUARD program aims to collect, conserve, develop native corn germplasm to improve its agronomic resilience to various environmental and physiological stresses, such as pests, diseases, soil acidity, salinity, fertility issues, drought, and waterlogging. With this, the DA, through its concerned bureaus and regional field offices; and partners, are not only conserving native corn varieties but also revolutionizing the corn farming industry by offering farmers improved varieties to enhance productivity, resilience, and economic viability.

Key officials from the DA and UPLB-IPB together with farmers from Cagayan Valley and SOCCSKSARGEN are expected to participate in the event. Additionally, a series of discussions will be held to explore opportunities for further collaboration to bolster seed production efforts. (### Alexis B. del Mar)