DA, DOST test carrageenan as plant-growth promoter in Region 1

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — Field verification testing of the carrageenan plant as a growth promoter technology is now ongoing in Region 1 through the collaborative efforts of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Flordeliza Alida, Project Assistant 1 of DOST, said the 18-month project is titled, “Field Verification Testing of Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter for Enhanced Growth and Induced Pests and Disease Resistant in Rice and Corn”.

She said it started this year in the region but the first focus is on rice.

The project aims to determine the efficacy of carrageenan as plant food supplement for the growth and yield of rice, as well as its resistance to pests and plant diseases.

The technology was developed by DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) and the National Crop Protection Center (NCPC) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) through DOST’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).

This plant food supplement (PFS) for rice and corn is an indigestible polysaccharide (carbohydrates) extracted from edible seaweeds, Alida said, adding that previous tests showed that the PFS increases the yield of rice by 15 to 30 percent.

The carrageenan field verification testing project is a nationwide project of the DOST-PCAARRD, DA, DOST-PNRI, UPLB-NCPC, and DOST regional offices for promotion and adaptation in farming communities.

Alida said at present, DOST and DA are working for the implementation plan and would identify the 5,000 hectares testing areas this month of November.

She said of this area, at least 2,500 hectares would be tested for the dry cropping season and another 2,500 hectares for wet cropping season. PNA-nortboundasia.com