By Estrella Z. Gallardo
The Bicol Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources (BCAARRD), Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) tackled technologies on coconut, sweet potato, and Queen Pineapple (QP) during a plenary session held in connection with the BCAARD FIESTA.
The BCAARD FIESTA adopted the theme, “Science and Technology for the People,” with the slogan “Kaalaman, kakaiba, kwenta, at kayang-kaya.” It featured exhibition and trade fair, plenary session on technologies and support system to agriprenuers during the first day and an agri-entrep day and technology pitching on the second day.
The plenary session, which covered technologies and support system was held at the Farmers Bounty Village in Cabangan, Camalig, Albay, on March 8, 2019. It aims to present income generating activities that are expected to improve the livelihood of rural communities.
The presenters were Philippine Coconut Authority OIC Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Branch, Ms. Erlene C. Manohar; Department of Agriculture- Albay Provincial Agricultural Office’s (DA-APAO) Engr. Percival N. de Villa; and Camarines Norte State College (CNSC) researcher and Leader in Innovation Fellow Ms. Michelle S. Carbonell.
Manohar presented significant details about the National Coconut Program and its objectives. These include farm productivity, income generation, and competitiveness. Among the most significant initiatives undertaken under the program is the replacement of old senile trees, which is currently addressed under the coconut hybridization program.
Meanwhile, De Villa discussed the use of technologies and good practices in sweet potato production. These technologies include the use of good varieties, land preparation, planting, fertilization, irrigation, weeding/cultivation, insect pest and disease management, and harvesting. De Villa also explained that with these technologies, an investment of ₱34,611.50 can provide a gross return of more than ₱52,000.00 per hectare for fresh roots and larger income with value adding.
Lastly, Carbonell presented technologies on QP. One of these technologies concerns the use of waste materials from QP, which are converted to coal or charcoal briquettes. The other technologies presented were the production of QP Bran and QP marinade. Carbonell promoted the technologies and their social impact in terms of reducing postharvest waste by about 80 percent, providing additional income, and creation of additional jobs. The technologies have already been applied for patent. (MegaManila Science Journalists)