Projects on Abaca hybrids reviewed

Accomplishments and status of the projects under the Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Abaca were reviewed recently at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

The said projects are titled, Advanced evaluation of abaca hybrids with high fiber yield and resistance to bunchy top virus in selected areas in Catanduanes and Establishment of ten- hectare abaca hybrid plantation at the Visayas State University (VSU) and evaluation of fiber quality for the pulp industry.

Dr. Antonio G. Lalusin of the Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-CAFS, UPLB) presented the status and progress of the project, during its first year of implementation. This was done in collaboration with Ms. Nena V. Santos of the Catanduanes State University (CatSU), project component leader on the evaluation of fiber yield and resistance of hybrids against bunchy top virus (BTV).

Lalusin and Santos reported that the hybrids were well adapted to the site owing to its topography, which is considered to be the best requirement for their production.

Dr. Ruben R. Gapasin of VSU discussed the accomplishments of another abaca project on the evaluation of the quality of abaca fiber produced in the 10-hectare abaca hybrid plantation at VSU.

The projects were evaluated by the DOST-PCAARRD Technical Review and Evaluation Team led by Ms. Leilani D. Pelegrina, Section Head of the Monitoring and Program-based Information System, Crops Research Division (CRD), together with Dr. Avelino D. Raymundo, Technical evaluator from UPLB and Ms. Renelle C. Yebron, Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Abaca.

Following the review was a laboratory visit to evaluate the current condition of the tissue culture laboratory and abaca nursery at IPB-CAFS, UPLB.