The Visayas Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Program (ViCARP) thru the Visayas State University (VSU) in collaboration with the Philippine Coconut Authority 8 (PCA8), the Department of Science and Technology 8 (DOST8) and the Southern Leyte State University-Hinunangan Campus (SLSU) conducted the inception meeting on February 22, 2023, to officially start the implementation of the two (2) research projects on coconut funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
Dr. Suzette B. Lina, VSU’s Department of Soil Science Professor, headed the project entitled “Development and Evaluation of Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Strategies For Hybrid Coconut Farming in Eastern Visayas” with funding support amounting to Five Million Pesos (5M), while Dr. Justine Bernadette H. Millado, VSU’s Department of Pest Management Professor, headed the “Evaluation and Development of Biological Biorational Control Agents for Sustainable Management of APW and other Important Pests Affecting Hybrid Coconuts in Eastern Visayas” with a total budget of Five Million Nine Hundred Seventy-Two Thousand Four Hundred Thirty-Four Pesos (Php5,972,434.00).
These projects are two (2) of the 11 approved projects from the Coconut Hybridization Program (CHP) Research Component under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) in 2022.
“Our trend now is on collaboration to smoothly implement the project and to achieve all the deliverables on time. We are so grateful to DOST-PCAARRD for their continued support in our R and D undertakings in Eastern Visayas especially on coconut being one of our priority commodities in the region. To our consortium member institutions who are involved in these projects, your efforts are highly recognized”, Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin, VSU President and ViCARP-RRDCC Chairman, stressed in his welcoming message.
Dr. Juanito T. Batalon, the OIC-Office of the Executive Director, Research and Development of PCAARRD, formally declared the notice to proceed for the said projects as he delivered his opening remarks. “Lately, our coconut industry was experiencing challenges, therefore, the council made it possible to collaborate with the institutions that are capable of implementing interventions to strengthen the coconut industry of the country by providing support to coconut hybridization research and development. We are very happy that ViCARP thru its active and dedicated CMIs accepted our call to package research proposals”, Dr. Batalon made mentioned.
Engr. Ernesto M. Granada, DOST Region 8 Director, delivered his acceptance and commitment message to fully support the projects. “Region 8 is lucky to have a fund allocation to implement these coconut projects from the 250M fund given to DOST-PCAARRD under the Coconut Levy Fund, the so-called RA 11524 “Coconut Hybridization Program” Engr. Granada added.
The inception meeting was also attended by Dr. Maria Juliet C. Ceniza, Director for ViCARP and VP for REI, a representative from PCA8, project staff, and accounting personnel.