Carrageenan growth promoter for peanut and mungbean delivers promising results

UBAY, Bohol—Aside from rice, the Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP) has been effective in boosting the yield of field legumes such as mungbean and peanut. This was reported during the pre-terminal review of the program titled “Multi-location Trials of Oligo-carageenan for Improved Productivity of Mungbean and Peanut in Regions II, III, VII, and X” at the Department of Agriculture–Central Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (DA-CENVIARC) recently. The said program is being funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

According to Fernando B. Aurigue, Project Leader from the DOST–Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI), results of the project’s second and final year of implementation indicate a significant increase in yield for mungbean and peanut when supplemented with the 3-month old Carrageenan PGP. 

Carrageenan is an edible and natural polysaccharide extracted from seaweed. When irradiated, carrageenan further breaks down to oligo-saccharides that are proven as an effective inorganic fertilizer. 

Carrageenan PGP has been registered with the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) as an inorganic fertilizer for rice. The project has already been approved of the Experimental Use Permit (EUP) for mungbean and peanut in regions 2, 3, 7 and 10. To maximize the use of carrageenan, part of the project’s targets is the Label Expansion (LE) of the FPA-registered carrageenan product as PGP for mungbean and peanut. The LE protocol for mungbean and soybean will be similar but a separate protocol for FPA registration will be developed for peanut.

Multi-location trials’ results showed that supplementing the Farmer’s Practice (FP) with Carrageenan PGP increases yield of different mungbean and peanut varieties. Field experiments in regions 2, 3, 7, and 10 showed that mungbean yield could increase to as much as 88.7% (from 710.45 kg/ha to 1,497.60 kg/ha) when Carrageenan PGP is supplemented to FP. Meanwhile, peanut yield increased from an average yield of 1,622.00 kg/ha to 2,000.00 kg/ha or 68.90%. 

According to Dr. Lucille V. Abad, inventor of the carrageenan PGP and Director of the Atomic Research Division of DOST-PNRI, the institution is still looking for third-party industries that can mass produce the carrageenan PGP for commercial consumption. Currently, access to the carrageenan foliar spray can be requested from DOST-PNRI through the conduct of collaborative researches, field trials, and sharing of research results.