By Estrella Z. Gallardo
Science chief DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña during the inauguration of the New Soil, Plant and Water Laboratory congratulated Benguet State University (BSU) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) for their efforts to modernize S&T services for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The inauguration was held at the new Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory at the Research and Extension Building of BSU, La Trinidad, Benguet on July 29, 2019.
He then challenged BSU to create more opportunities that will lessen inequality in the region. Moreover, he encouraged more graduate students to work in the laboratory facility and conduct more researches to maximize the laboratory equipment.
Led by de la Peña, the ceremony was attended by BSU President Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr.; BSU Vice-President for Research and Extension Dr. Carlito P. Laurean; DOST-PCAARRD Acting Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora; PCAARRD-Agricultural Resources Management Research Division (ARMRD) Director Dr. Juanito T. Batalon; and PCAARRD-Institution Development Division (IDD) Officer-In-Charge Ms. Fezoil Luz C. Decena; and DOST-CAR Regional Director Dr. Nancy A. Bantog.
The newly-inaugurated facility will support initiatives for agricultural resilience and provide S&T interventions to increase agricultural productivity in the CAR.
Furthermore, the facility will offer a wide range of services to different clients and facilitate linkages for the industries. It will also provide S&T interventions for soil, plant, and water health; molecular biology, drug development, and pest control and management.
The said facility was established through the PCAARRD-funded project, “Upgrading of the DOST- PCAARRD-BSU Cordillera Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory,” which started in March 2018. The project has three components: upgrading of BSU Soils Laboratory into DOST-BSU Soil, Plant and Water Laboratory; skills training on soil, water, and plant collection and preparation, analysis and interpretation; and Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority certification of faculty per State University and College (SUC).
Other cooperating agencies involved in the project are CAR-SUCs which include Apayao State College (ASC), Abra State Institute of Science and Technology (ASIST), Ifugao State University (IFSU), Kalinga State University (KSU), Mt. Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC), and government agencies including the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM), DA-Bureau of Plant and Industry (DA-BPI), and DOST-CAR (PPCI).