Discovering all the agencies behind the steps in boosting the citrus industry in Cagayan Valley, Philippines. 

by Julio P. Yap, Jr.

Noting the problems and gaps of the citrus industry, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) is funding a research and development (R&D) program to help develop the sector not only in Nueva Vizcaya but also in the entire Cagayan Valley.

Citrus mother trees maintained inside insect-proof blocks will serve as source of disease-free planting materials at the Nueva Vizcaya State University.

The project will be known as the Citrus Resources Research for Development in Cagayan Valley (CRR4DCV).

FUNDING SUPPORT – It is the first among the regional Industry Strategic S&T Program (or ISP) approved for funding support by PCAARRD, which is under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

To be implemented by the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) under the leadership of Dr. Elbert A. Sana, the program had a recent inception meeting for CRR4DCV at the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU). Cooperating agencies, which include the Cagayan Valley Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development (CVAARRD), DOST Regional Office 2 (DOST-R2), Department of AgricultureRegional Field Office 2 (DA-RFO2) and its attached agency the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and the local government units (PGUs) of Kasibu and Villaverde, attended the meeting.

Other cooperating agencies that were not present during the meeting included the National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (NPGRLUPLB), Isabela State University, Quirino State University, and the Cagayan State University.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND COMPONENT PROJECTS – Namujhe Integrated Farms, which was represented during the meeting, is expected to provide technical assistance for the implementation of the program. “The university has already established a name in research and we would like to strengthen that even further with DOST-PCAARRD’s help and with the help of other funding agencies,” NVSU vice president for academic affairs and campus administrator Dr. Loreta Vivian R. Galima said.

Dr. William C. Medrano, CVAARRD consortium director, said that citrus was the first commodity that was packaged out of the five ISP commodities identified by CVAARRD. The program, according to Dr. Medrano, will help develop the citrus industry not only in Nueva Vizcaya but also in the entire Cagayan Valley.

The program, which will run for a period of three years, aims to address the problems and gaps in the citrus industry of the region by providing strategic science and technology (S&T) interventions in citrus production.

The four component projects under the program will focus on the following key
areas: value chain, plant genetic resources, production of quality planting materials, and integrated pest management.

“I always believe that the product of R&D should not rest in the university, it should be adopted, and it should be commercialized,” DOST-R2 director Sancho A. Mabborang stressed, referring to the technologies that would be developed under the projects.

Following the inception meeting was a visit to the NVSU facilities such as the citrus disease indexing laboratory and budwood increase block and nursery, and the project sites in the municipalities of Kasibu and Villaverde.

Recommendations for the improvement of project implementation were provided to the farmer cooperators. Alfonso C. Namujhe Jr., a Magsasaka Siyentista, owner of Namujhe Integrated Farms, and a pioneer of citrus production in Nueva Vizcaya, said that he adopted good management practices to improve citrus production in his farm. He believes that the province of Nueva Vizcaya has somany potentials in producing the commodity, hence, he promotes and shares his knowledge to help other citrus growers.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s March 2017 issue.