Philippine Standard Time
Participants during the inception meeting of the seven CHP R&D projects of PCA Research Centers held in Zamboanga City (Image Credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD).

DOST-PCAARRD, PCA Research Centers formally launched seven coconut hybridization R&D projects

Coconut hybridization research and development (R&D) aims to help the local coconut industry by sustaining the supply of quality planting materials to produce high-value products.

To support this, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) partnered with three Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) research centers to formally launch seven projects under the Coconut Hybridization Program (CHP) of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP). This was held recently through an inception meeting in Zamboanga City.

The Council strengthens the collaboration with PCA by further providing fund support to their existing R&D capacities and technical expertise.

Six of the seven projects focus on varietal improvement and selection of palms with outstanding traits, profiling hybrids, and breeding cultivars that are resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Meanwhile, one project aims to enhance the science-based integrated pest management of coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), a widespread coconut insect pest that damages bearing palms.

The Crops Research Division (CRD) of DOST-PCAARRD facilitated a discussion to clarify and refine project details including the role of PCA as the implementing agency. The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan of each project and grant guidelines were also presented to the project teams.

“This inception meeting will lay the groundwork for our projects’ successes,” said DOST-PCAARRD OIC-Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development Juanito T. Batalon. He also added that a collaborative environment is the key to a smooth project implementation.

Meanwhile, CRD Director Leilani D. Pelegrina reiterated the importance of close coordination and open communication as she said, “I want you to remember that the success of these projects depends on every one of us. We are a team, and our collective effort will determine the outcome of this endeavor,”

The meeting was also attended by then PCA-R&D Branch Deputy Administrator Ramon L. Rivera, WESMAARRDEC Consortium Director Leonilo B. Abella, and DOST Region IX Representative Judilyn E. Alvarez.

Coconut Somatic Embryogenesis Technology (CSet) in the laboratory (left) and planted in the field (right) at PCA-Zamboanga Research Center (Image Credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD).

Following the meeting, the CRD team visited several DOST and PCAARRD-supported laboratories, facilities, and field setup at PCA-Zamboanga Research Center.