LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – Two projects on organic seed production won the 2015 R&D awards given by the Los Baños Science Community Foundation Inc. (LBSCFI).
The winners of the prestigious LBSCFI R&D awards were the project titled “Variety evaluation, on-farm trials and seed production of organic vegetables in Southern Luzon,” in the research category; and the project “Development of organic seed production system of lowland vegetables and legumes at the Bureau of Plant Industry-Los Baños National Crop Research, Development, and Production Support Center (BPI-LBNCRDC) and strengthening partnership in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Bicol region.”
They received their awards at the recent closing ceremonies of “Syensaya” held at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) on the campus of he University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
SEARCA, headed by director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., is hosted by the Philippine government in UPLB. It is one of 22 international, regional, and national government and private academic and R&D institutions and agencies based in Los Baños.
Formerly named Los Baños Science Community, LBSCFI was one of the four science communities established by the Department of Science and Technology in 1984 to foster the spirit of sharing of resources and expertise among the organization's member-institutions.
The winning project on farm trials and seed production of organic vegetables was headed by Rodel Maghirang and his team from the UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding, started in 2010 with funding from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development. Over the past half decade, it has developed potential varieties of pole string beans, cucumber, lettuce, squash, tomato and eggplant.
“Yield and overall performance of the varieties were observed to be at par or greater than the yield performance of commercial ones if grown under low input organic farming. These organic varieties show promise to answer diversity, sustainability, and efficiency in crop production,” Maghirang said.
The winner in the development category – organic seed production system of lowland vegetables – was conducted by Herminigilda Gabertan and her team from LBNCRDC. It produced organic seeds of gourds (bitter, bottle, and sponge), cowpea, cucumber, eggplant, mungbean, okra, pole string beans, soybean and tomato.
The project teamed up with the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), and Bicol, providing on-site training that benefited 1,700 farmers.
Now on its 15th year, the annual LBSCFI R&D Awards highlight “Syensaya” or the Los Baños Science Festival. It also offers an interactive science exhibit intended for the youth and forum for the general public during the observance of National Science and Technology Week.