We just received the 2015 annual report of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). Here are some significant research results which could improve agricultural productivity and profitability.
CARABAO MANGO – The national S&T program on carabao mango has developed a rapid diagnostic kit (dipstick) that could determine true-to-type Carabao mango variety using Carabao mango-specific DNA markers. The dipstick kit specifically identifies Philippine Carabao mango and differentiates it with other mango varieties to ensure dispersal of quality planting materials for the production of quality fruits. The technique is easy to use and reliable. Its use can solve the problem of mislabeling of mango seedlings produced in the nursery, especially in accredited nurseries.
MANGO PICKER PROTOTYPES – The University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) in Davao City has developed two mechanical mango picker prototypes, one with triggering device and another without. Both designs can be attached to a bamboo pole or stainless steel collapsible pole. Both have been shown to reduce latex stain and mechanical damage from 30% down to 20%.
USeP also developed a postharvest facility that makes use of the automated hot water treatment (AHWT) tank for dipping freshly harvested mango fruits in crates to the tank with water at 52-55 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes, or at 59 degrees Celsius for one minute, which is controlled automatically. Hot water treatment is widely used to control anthracnose and stem-end rot.
MUTANT LAKATAN – A team from the UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) has developed mutant lines of lakatan banana that are resistant to the Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) through irradiation. The lines have been field tested in Quirino, Laguna, Batangas and Davao. The spread of the disease was observed to be slower in the mutant lines than in the traditional variety.
BANGUS MECHANICAL FEEDERS – The UP Visayas in Iloilo has developed two prototype variants of automated-mechanical feeders (top and bottom feeders) which were tested in bangus cultured in cages in Cebu. The trials showed promising results for the use of the feeders for high-density milkfish culture. Generally, the fish fed with bottom feeding performed better than those fed purely by broadcasting. Fish fed at higher densities of 100 fish per cubic meter of water and 75 fish per cubic meter were bigger than those reared at density of 50 fish per cubic meter. This indicates the effectiveness of bottom feeding in improving growth performance of fish.
SWINE GENE MARKERS – Ten gene markers associated with high litter size, fast growth rate and meat quality as well as seven markers for screening genetic defects and disease resistance were optimized. The genetic information are now being used by the breeder farms as guide in their breeding and selection program.
GOAT FARMING – To improve farmers’ awareness, technologies on feeding, breeding and health were packaged into a fun and non-threatening curriculum called the Farmer Livestock School on Goat Enterprise Management (FLS-GEM) which was used to train goat farmers across the country from 2013 to 2015. The effort alone increased conception rate from 75% to 87% and shortened kidding interval from 9 months to 8 months. Pre-weaning mortality also dropped from 25% to 4.5% in participating areas in Regions 1, 2, 3, 8, 10 and 12. The artificial insemination (AI) delivery protocol was also introduced to give farmers access to quality genetics.