Agriculture laboratory in Tugbok to be done in 2019

INSTALLATION of electrical and water system of the Southern Mindanao Agricultural Laboratory (Sominal) at Tugbok District, Davao City is targeted to be completed by the first quarter of 2018 as it is currently undergoing the bidding process, an official of the Department of Agriculture said.

Davao Regional director Ricardo Oñate, in an interview, said the DA has already forwarded the bidding process to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Davao Region.

As the clearing stages and the groundbreaking had already been completed at the area for the last two years, Oñate said the installation of these water and power systems will just come easy.

Construction of the building has started early last year and is targeted to be completed by 2019. A total budget of P150 million allotted for the project with the P100 million for the building construction while P50 million for the laboratory equipment acquisition.

Sominal is projected to be a two-storey building located within the Davao Agriculture Research Center Experiment Station (Darces) premises in Manambulan, Tugbok District, Davao City.

Sominal will be comprised of four smaller laboratories inside including the Regional Soils Laboratory (RSL), the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL), the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC), and the Feed Chemical Analysis Laboratory (FCAL).

The RSL will provide technical data from the physical characterization and analyses of essential nutrients in soil while the RADDL is expected to be integrated with the purpose of diagnosing disease for small and large animals. They are also to promote food safety.

The RCPC is tasked to produce biological control agents to help validate pest and disease outbreaks while the FCAL will provide mycotoxin analyses for agricultural commodities to guarantee food and feed safety in Davao region.

“This laboratory will serve the needs of our farmers because for decades, farmers have cried over one of the most challenging threats of the sector – pests and diseases… The establishment of Sominal aims to harmonize agricultural laboratories to help increase production and ensure quality and bio-safety of agricultural products through state of the art research and development facilities,” Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol said during the Sominal groundbreaking in November 2016.
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