Monday, June 17, 2019

Seaweed-based fertilizer to increase rice yield

DAVAO. The Department of Agriculture (DA) Davao regional office targets to increase rice productivity in the region by 2020 through the Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP). (Photo from the Philippine Rice Research Institute)

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office in Davao targets to increase rice productivity in the region by 2020 through the Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP).

Carrageenan PGP is a fertilizer developed by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) under Department of Science and Technolog (DOST), funded by the DA. It was extracted from red edible seaweeds for enhanced growth and induced pest and disease resistance in rice.

DA-11 Research Division senior science research specialist Jose A. Villar II told SunStar Davao Monday, March 25, that there are seven pilot areas for the developing study, identified as Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Davao Region.

In Davao Region, the technology was tested in 2,500 hectares of rice growing areas and its initial findings showed there was an increase in rice yeilds.

“We are fortunate that Davao is one of the seven regions. The normal yield of farmers without CPGP is only around 4.3 tons. Those farmers who used CPGP reached around 4.7 tons per hectare,” Villar said.

“This [CPGP] is environmental-friendly so it will be good for those who are practicing organic farming. It will also enhance development of plants so that it will become resistant on pests and diseases that will result boost of rice production,” he said in vernacular.

Villar said PCGP will be commercialized tentatively by next year and its initial cost is P260 per liter which will be very affordable.

They already identified a private sector that bought its license.

“As a researcher, nakita namo na effective siya sa growth and yield ng rice (As a researcher, we have seen its effectivity in growth and yield of rice),” Villar said.


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