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DOST-PCAARRD, VSU to assist sustainable production of verified hybrid coconut seedlings in Eastern Visayas

DOST-PCAARRD, VSU to assist sustainable production of verified hybrid coconut seedlings in Eastern Visayas

DOST-PCAARRD recently held an inception meeting via videoconferencing for the implementation of the Visayas State University (VSU)-led project under the Coconut Hybridization Program (CHP) Research. (Image credit: CRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

The sustainable production of verified hybrid coconut seedlings through a project led by the Visayas State University (VSU) will support coconut productivity in Eastern Visayas.

The project, “Marker Development for Coconut Hybridity Testing for Efficient Hybrid Seed Production in Eastern Visayas,” was recently launched through an inception meeting via videoconferencing by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Mr. Jovannemar P. Anire of VSU’s National Coconut Research Center (NCRC) leads this project funded by DOST-PCAARRD through the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) Coconut Hybridization Program (CHP) Research.

According to Mr. Anire, the current distribution of hybrid seedlings may include off-types and non-hybrids due to the reliance on phenotypic characterization, or the quantitative analysis of observable traits such as appearance, in hybrid seedling selection.

Through the project, the team of Mr. Anire aims to develop and use simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for coconut germplasm diversity assessment and hybridity testing to ensure quality and pure hybrid seedlings before distribution and planting. This approach offers a more accurate, efficient, cost-effective, and accessible hybrid seed verification.

NCRC holds a collection of local coconut germplasms that have the potential to serve as pollen sources for hybrid production within the Eastern Visayas region.

During the meeting, NCRC Director Marisel A. Leorna assured that the project activities align with the goals of the Center to promote sustainable coconut production of verified hybrids and enhance the status of the coconut industry in the Visayas. 

Meanwhile, Regional Manager Joel O. Pilapil echoed PCA Region VIII’s support to the project as its results will contribute to ensuring the legitimacy of the coconut hybrids and traditional varieties to be distributed within and outside the region. 

Coconut planting materials from the National Coconut Research Center (NCRC) of Visayas State University (VSU). (Image Credit: CRD, DOST-PCAARRD)

Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora affirmed the Council's continued partnership with VSU in addressing regional and industry-wide persisting gaps through the newly launched project.

Also present in the activity were representatives from DOST Region VIII, PCA Research and Development Branch, and PCA CFIDP Project Management Office (PMO).

Key staff from the DOST-PCAARRD Crops Research Division (CRD) headed by Director Leilani D. Pelegrina, including Program Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Assistant Section Head Kristine Joy P. de Guzman and Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Coconut Alissa Carol M. Ibarra facilitated the said activity with support from Finance and Administrative Division (FAD)-Accounting Section, represented by Accountant Jaivee Ann M. Tabadero.