Carrageenan PGP (top photo) increases the yield of crops and improves the agronomic traits of plants. The experimental crops sprayed with PGP (right for corn and mungbean) were compared with the control crops (left for corn and mungbean). (Photos from DOST Region 2).
Rich and Healthy Food Crop Harvests During Carrageenan PGP Testing in Provinces
From Cagayan up north to Davao down south, farmers and agriculturists are awed by the bountiful yield of food crops during the on-going field trials of the Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP).
Developed by scientists from the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Los Baños National Crop Protection Center (UPLB-NCPC) and the DOST Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the radiation-processed formula was set for field trials by the Department of Agriculture (DA) since 2015 to cover several provinces in Luzon, Panay Island, Zamboanga and Davao.
More than two years into the trial period, the results proved to be very fruitful, as the Carrageenan PGP was able to produce healthier crops and more productive hectares of farmland for rice and mungbean, which were among the first to be tested.
Around 2,500 farmers in Davao are conducting trials in more than 20,000 hectares of rice farmlands until 2019, aiming to increase rice productivity by up to 34% by 2020, according to DOST Region 11.
Mungbean field trials in Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley and Northern Mindanao showed increased yields from 50 to 150 percent, by supplementing Carrageenan PGP with the usual farmers' practices.
Meanwhile, DOST-PNRI has also expanded the Carrageenan PGP testing to other food crops, particularly in Isabela, where the first field tests for corn were conducted. Researchers from the DOST-PNRI and DA regional offices found larger cobs and healthier root structures among the corn crops sprayed with the solution.
Farmers all over the Philippines are looking forward to seeing the Carrageenan PGP released in the market in the near future.