FertiGroe® nanofertilizers help reduce amount of fertilizer application

With FertiGroe® nanofertilizers, amount of fertilizer application can be reduced by 25 to 50 percent. This was the initial result of a research and development (R&D) program funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and monitored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

In a pre-terminal review recently held at PCAARRD Los Baños, Laguna, Dr. Pearl B. Sanchez reported initial results of the R&D program, “Optimization of the Production and Use of FertiGroe® N, P, and K Nanofertilizers in Selected Agricultural Crops.” Dr. Sanchez is the program leader and director of the Agricultural Systems Institute-College of Agriculture and Food Science of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (ASI-CAFS-UPLB).

The program, with seven project components, seeks to maximize use of FertiGroe® nanofertilizers in rice, corn, vegetables, sugarcane, coffee, cacao, and banana. Dr. Sanchez said that the optimized rate and the application protocol were field-validated. Findings show a 50 percent reduction in the amount of fertilizer use in rice and potato field trials. Field evaluation for other crops are still ongoing.

During the Program Review, Dr. Juanito T. Batalon, PCAARRD Officer-in-Charge (OIC)-Deputy Executive Director for R&D, mentioned that the program works towards contributing to productivity improvement and quality of life of Filipino farmers through partnership with various sectors. He also stressed how initial results of FertiGroe® N, P, and K nanofertilizers produced yields comparable with conventional fertilizers when applied to perennial and some annual crops even at half rate.

He reminded the project team on the possibility of a large-scale industrial production of the FertiGroe® nanofertilizers, which is yet to be realized. He expressed PCAARRD’s support in the eventual transfer and promotion of their research outputs.

Attendees of the Program Review include key officials and researchers from the ASI and Institute of Crop Science of the CAFS-UPLB, the lead implementing agency; representative from the Special Projects Division of DOST (DOST-SPD); monitoring and evaluation (M&E) team of DOST-PCAARRD through its Agricultural Resources Management Research Division (ARMRD); regional project partners; and project coordinators and staff from DOST Regional Office CAR, II, IVA and VI, and external evaluators.