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DOST-PCAARRD supports program to rehabilitate, utilize genebank for coconut hybridization advancement in Western Visayas

DOST-PCAARRD supports program to rehabilitate, utilize genebank for coconut hybridization advancement in Western Visayas

The Coconut Breeding Trial Unit (CBTU) at the Capiz State University (CAPSU)-Burias Campus in Mambusao, Capiz. (Image credit: CRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

A program is set to rehabilitate the Coconut Breeding Trial Unit (CBTU) of the Capiz State University (CAPSU) and utilize its genetic resources to aid the ongoing hybridization efforts in Western Visayas.

Western Visayas is slowly adopting high yielding coconut hybrids to replace senile and insect pest-infested coconut palms. However, most of these hybrids are sourced outside the region, entailing challenges in distribution and expansion.

The CAPSU program, “Utilization of the Coconut Germplasm Collection at the Coconut Breeding Trial Unit (CBTU) for the Advancement of Coconut Hybridization in Western Visayas,” was recently launched through an inception meeting organized by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) held in Roxas City, Capiz. 

DOST-PCAARRD and CAPSU representatives at the Coconut Breeding Trial Unit in CAPSU-Burias Campus. (Image credit: CRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Funded by DOST-PCAARRD through the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan’s (CFIDP) Coconut Hybridization Program (CHP) Research, the said program aims to revive CBTU as a duplicate gene bank of the Philippine Coconut Authority-Zamboanga Research Center (PCA-ZRC) and as a source of coconut hybrids in the region. The program, with three component projects, will be implemented under the overall leadership of Dr. Salvacion J. Legaspi of the Crop Science Research and Development Center (CSRDC), CAPSU-Burias Campus. 

The first component project will rehabilitate the CBTU and determine specific intercropping management practices for optimum yield performance. The second project seeks to utilize the CBTU germplasm collections for hybrid production in Visayas. Lastly, the third project aims to develop a hybrid coconut-based cropping system to sustain soil fertility and augment income in hybrid coconut farming. 

During the meeting, CAPSU President Editha C. Alfon shared that the partnership will advance sustainable development in coconut hybridization with concrete results and impact on coconut growers in the province and the whole region.

DOST-PCAARRD’s Crops Research Division (CRD) Program Development and Resource Generation Section (PDRGS) Assistant Head Ma. Cecilia S. Alaban assured the CAPSU team of the Council’s full support. 

DOST-PCAARRD and CAPSU representatives during the inception meeting at the Capiz State University-Burias Campus. (Image credit: CRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Also present in the activity were CAPSU Vice President for Research Development and Extension Efren L. Linan, Research Director Leo Andrew B. Biclar, and representatives from the CAPSU Accounting Office. DOST Region VI Capiz Provincial Science and Technology (S&T) Director Juafe M. Abareles, PCA Region VI Regional Manager Neil J. Melencion, PCA Capiz Provincial Manager Andy O. Laurilla, and PCA CFIDP Project Management Office (PMO) representative Roy Benedict P. Peralta (via videoconferencing) also attended. 

The said activity was led by key CRD staff, including Ms. Alaban, Program Monitoring and Evaluation Section Interim Head Joel Norman R. Panganiban, and Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Coconut Alissa Carol M. Ibarra, with support from Finance and Administrative Division (FAD) Budget Officer in Charge Susan L. Garcia and S&T Consultant Juanito B. Sangalang.

Following the inception meeting, the DOST-PCAARRD team visited the CBTU in CAPSU-Burias Campus, Mambusao, Capiz.