Technology generators pitched information about their organic biofertilizers in hopes of convincing investors to adopt. This was during the Biofertilizer and Biopesticide Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) held in Robinson’s Place, Valencia City, Bukidnon.
The said biofertilizers include Nutrio® Biofertilizer and MykoPlus developed by the National Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB-BIOTECH), and KD Foliar Fertilizer developed by the Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST). These are all funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The use of chemical fertilizers has long been a debatable topic in agriculture due to the side effects of crops used for human consumption. That is why PCAARRD, together with its partner state universities, developed safe, affordable, and sustainable biofertilizers.
Biofertilizers are derived from living microorganisms that contribute to plant nutrition.
MykoPlus, developed by Dr. Jocelyn Zarate of BIOTECH, is a microbial inoculant, which helps in plant’s further absorption of nutrients from soil through its roots. Dr. Zarate stressed that MykoPlus provide nitrogen from air, makes phosphorus improve stem elongation, and increase water absorption. It can be used as coat on seeds, soaked in rice seeds, coat on planting materials such as cane and tubers, and as soil treatment.
Meanwhile, Dr. Virginia Padilla, the developer of Nutrio® Biofertilizer, presented the benefit of using the biofertilizer to sugarcane planters. Nutrio® Biofertilizer is a foliar spray that promotes plant growth of sugarcane. This environment-friendly plant supplement does not only improve the sugarcane but also other food crops such as eggplant and has a potential for increasing yield by 10 to 15%.
Organic wastes such as drippings of seaweed (Kappaphycus alvarezii) can be transformed to organic fertilizer. This was the method by which Kappapchychus Drippings or KD fertilizer was created. Developed by the Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST), KD Foliar Fertilizer is a bio-stimulant and has growth promoting hormones that can help absorb nutrients from the soil and is effective in increasing yield of crops like corn, soybean, mungbean, sweet pepper, cauliflower, mango, pechay, orchid, and rice.
FIESTA, which is conceptualized by DOST-PCAARRD, aims to show the complete sphere of R&D as it treats with equal importance the whole agricultural value chain from production to processing to technology mainstreaming. It brings out the best in agri-aqua technologies, products, and services, and make these known to the public through this event.
The FIESTA on Biofertilizer and Biopesticide was organized by five Consortia of PCAARRD, with the Northern Mindanao Consortium for the Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (NOMCAARRD) as lead. Other consortia involved were Caraga Consortium for the Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (CCAARRD); Southern Mindanao Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMAARRDEC); Central Visayas Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (CVAARRDEC); and Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium (ILAARRDEC).