Valencia hosts different brand of fiesta

THE third Cluster Farm and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) on Biofertilizer and Biopesticide will be held at Robinson’s Place in Valencia City, Bukidnon from November 11 to 13, 2019.

FIESTA is a technology promotion, transfer, and commercialization platform initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

According to PCAARRD, the event will be led by the Northern Mindanao Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development, together with four other consortia – the Caraga Consortium for the Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium, Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic, and Resources Research and Development Consortium, Southern Mindanao Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development, and the Central Visayas Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium .

The event aims to promote and transfer technologies that were developed to improve the industry on biofertilizer and biopesticide in the region.

Based on an earlier study, it was found that indigenous plants, which are said to be abundant in the region, can be a source of biopesticides for vegetable diseases.

During the study, the researchers screened at least 10 species of plants for their phytochemicals in vivo and in vitro against two fungal pathogens – Alternaria brassicae and Phytophtra infestans.

Compounds present in the screened plants such as phenolics, flavonoids, terpenoids, and alkaloids and their efficacy against the said pathogens were studied.

Data derived from the study and those from other initial field studies have identified Tasmania piperita (Hook.f.) as a promising plant species for biopesticide prototype product development.

Extracts of the said plant species proved to be consistent when its various constituents were separated through chromatography.

From the extracts, the researchers developed two product prototypes labelled as Product A and Product B. These prototypes were studied for their antifungal activity.

The researchers subjected the prototypes to a fly test and determined their resistance to change in terms of chemical and physical structure (thermostability) and to the influence of radiant energy (photostability).

On the other hand, recent studies also show that live or latent cells of efficient strains of microorganisms enhance growth and yield of crops, and help remediate soil fertility problems. These microorganisms are prepared as microbial inoculants or biofertilizers.

It was learned that MykoPlus is a multi-strain and multi-species biofertilizer.

In addition to mycorrhizal fungi, MykoPlus also contains beneficial bacteria that include nitrogen fixers, phosphorous solubilizers, growth hormone secretors, and others.

In a two-season farmer’s field trial in Isabela and Cagayan, results showed that coating corn seeds with the powdered MykoPlus inoculant prior to sowing enhanced the crop’s ability to assimilate nutrients.

A 30-percent savings on the use of recommended chemical fertilizer was also realized.

Yield was higher or comparable to crops receiving 100 percent recommended rate of chemical fertilizer alone.

Soil analysis after the cropping season showed that soil pH was not as low as that of without using MykoPlus. Higher residual nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil was also noted. ([email protected]/PN)

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