Department of Science and Technology Regional Office VI (DOST VI) once again proved that even at the midst of a pandemic, the quality of service should not be affected by bringing the technological innovations in agriculture through a webinar called “Innovations in Rice and Corn Production,” in partnership with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) last August 27, 2020.

Said webinar is an initiative of DOST VI to help improve the production of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), specifically in the rice and corn sector and aspiring entrepreneurs and showcase technologies developed by researchers from DOST PCAARRD.

In the activity, PCAARRD’s Supervising Science Research Specialist, Mr. Noel A. Catibog, presented the technologies that provide solutions to different problems encountered in rice and corn production.

Technologies include Rice Harvester Attachment, Rice Transplanter Attachment, Compact Ultra Impeller Rice Mill, BioGroe™, Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter, Ride-on Precision Seeder for Wet Direct Seeding, Far-Infrared Grain Dryer, Local Riding-type Rice Transplanter, Rice Combine Harvester, and Bio-N™.

Among the technologies, the Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter, Compact Ultra Impeller Rice Mill, and BioGroe™ got the most attention and questions from online viewers.

During the open forum, the team from PCAARRD explains that Carrageenan is an indigestible polysaccharide (carbohydrates) extracted from edible seaweeds.

Polysaccharide, when subjected to modified irradiation technology, can be a useful plant growth supplement.

Mr. Gregory Ciocson from Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) added that this supplement makes an effective organic fertilizer at an exceedingly small dose and increases rice yield by 15-30%.

He also said that the application of three and six bags of chemical fertilizer per ha, combined with 20 ml/L of Carrageenan, yields higher grain weight (450g and 455 g/10 hills, respectively) than the farmers’ practice of applying nine bags of chemical fertilizer/ha.

Further, Carrageenan enhances the crop vigor of rice. Productive tillers and panicle length (length of inflorescence) are significantly higher in Carrageenan-treated plants.

Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Gragasin from Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) answers questions as regards the Compact Ultra Impeller Rice Mill and explained that the impeller-type rice mill machine uses an impeller as its hulling mechanism.

Dr. Gragasin added that it speeds up the milling process from its milling capacity of 230kg/hour.

It can produce both white and brown rice with milling recovery comparable with rubber roll type but higher by 5% as compared with “Kiskisan.”

Furthermore, he said that the Compact Ultra Impeller Rice Mill’s design is suitable for village level operation.

In the open forum, the team from the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the Philippines Los Baños (BIOTECH-UPLB) explained further the BioGroe™ technology.

BioGroe™ is a solid-based microbial inoculant containing plant-growth-promoting-bacteria (PGPB) that induces root growth by producing plant hormones and providing nutrients in its soluble form.

Moreover, according to PCAARRD, the use of BioGroe™ with the recommended rate of chemical fertilizer provided a significant increase in the growth rate and productivity of high-value crops such as corn and rice.

Previously, the DOST VI conducted a webinar series on business opportunities in food innovations in partnership with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), followed by another webinar series on business opportunities for MSMEs in the fisheries sector in partnership with the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV).

The series also aired the webinar called Innovative Technologies in Improving Aquaculture Practices in partnership with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center- Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) last August 7, 2020.

Conduct of this recent activity is in line with the celebration of Rice and Corn Week every last week of August, by Proclamation No. 304 in 1964, which seeks to raise national consciousness and interest among Filipino farmers to increase their production of crops, particularly rice and corn.

As for DOST VI, its webinar initiative aims to bring S&T experts closer to its customers and help them recover and improve their products through science and technology innovations.

Moreover, the regional office, led by the Regional Director Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga, CESO II, promotes the adoption and commercialization of the technologies here in Western Visayas following the successful creation of spin-offs from technologies in the University of the Philippines Visayas and Capiz State University.

Interested technology adoptors may write the letter of intent addressed to the Regional Director to include the applicant’s brief information or business background.

The applicants may email the letter of intent to ord@ro6.dost.gov.ph or call (033) 320-0907 loc.103.

The webinars can be viewed through https://oneexpert.gov.ph/ while the upcoming webinars can be viewed on DOST VI official social media accounts @dostregionvi and @oneexpertph. (JRAGabiota/DOST VI)

Originally published at DOST REGION VI Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DOSTRegionVI/posts/1405379219671990

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