By Estrella Z. Gallardo
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) funded the research, “Improvement of Soybean in Surigao del Sur Through Enhanced Value Chains, Sustainable Seed Sector, and Better Varieties Under Different Cropping Systems.”
The country’s soybean industry is threatened by tight competition with other crops such as rice and corn in terms of production area, further challenged by unstable supply chain and volatile prices. The limited expansion of production and low utilization of soyfood hinder the industry’s take off.
The project aims to enhance local soybean value chains by developing an improved soybean value chain model in Surigao del Sur. It also aims to develop sustainable soybean production in the uplands through improved cropping system, seed system, and varieties.
It is being implemented by the Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU), led by Dr. Jocelyn B. Panduyos, SDSSU Research and Extension Division Director.
An inception meeting for the project was held recently at SDSSU, Rosario, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur to discuss its components and objectives.
Upland farmers in Tandag, Tago, and San Miguel, Surigao del Sur will be encouraged to include soybean in their cropping systems and store seeds of improved varieties. Household members will be encouraged to include soybean as food at home and as source of income from soyfood product processing.
Potential micro-entrepreneurs and consumers in urban areas will also benefit through soyfood processing seminars. Soyfood-related enterprises will be promoted and technical assistance and linkages will be provided to different stakeholders.
Local government units (LGUs) will also be aided in their food sufficiency programs through the use of soybean in their health and nutrition campaign.
Dr. Nemesio G. Loayon, SDSSU Vice President for Research and Extension, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to DOST-PCAARRD for putting value and support to the University’s research endeavor.
With the potential of SDSSU on soybean research, DOST-PCAARRD Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Legumes, Rolando S. Corpuz, envisions SDSSU as the future Soybean R&D Center under the DOST’s Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program, which aims to capacitate higher education institutions (HEIs) through upgrading, development, and acquisition of S&T infrastructure and establish R&D Centers that will cater to the specific needs of the Regions.
The two-year project is the fifth component project of the Soybean R&D Program, “Improvement of Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) for Better Nutrition, Higher Income and Enhanced Soil Health,” under the leadership of Mr. Elmer E. Enicola of the Institute of Plant Breeding – University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-UPLB) (PPCI).