MMSU obtains PhP 5M funding for garlic productivity research in Ilocos Norte

June 27, 2024


The Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) has been granted a PhP 5.0M fund from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) to embark on a two-year research project to boost garlic productivity in Ilocos Norte. The project, titled "Development of Integrated Management Strategies for Sustained Garlic Productivity in Ilocos Norte," will be led by Ms. Noralyn B. Legaspi, the MMSU Garlic Research Center (GRC) chief.
 
The funding solidifies Ilocos Norte's stand as the declared Garlic Capital of the Philippines and the MMSU as the home of the Garlic Research Center. For years, Ilocos Norte has been the country's major garlic producer, contributing about 62% of the total production, yet a decline in production has been observed in the past years.
 
This project is set to address various challenges faced by local farmers and enhance overall productivity. Its primary objective is to increase garlic productivity by developing integrated management strategies. One of the key expected outputs of the project is the establishment of a virus indexing protocol that would ensure the production of clean planting materials with a target of at least 1,500 G0 bulblets per year. The project also seeks to establish a tissue culture (TC) bulblet production protocol and create guidelines for clean garlic seed production under field conditions. Additionally, at least ten farmers and Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) will be trained in clean garlic seed production techniques, ensuring that the knowledge and skills gained through the project are effectively disseminated. Likewise, it targets the evaluation of introduced varieties and the identification of at least one high-yielding and adaptable garlic variety suitable for the Ilocos region. This effort seeks to provide local farmers with better planting options that can thrive in their specific environmental conditions, thereby enhancing overall productivity.
 
On the other hand, in line with modern agricultural practices, the project will also develop and patent a mobile application designed for pest and soil health monitoring and advisory services. This digital tool is expected to provide real-time information and guidance to farmers, helping them manage their crops more effectively and sustainably.
 
By the end of the two-year project, the initiative aims to achieve a 15% increase in garlic yield, significantly benefiting the agricultural sector in Ilocos Norte. This anticipated outcome underscores the project's potential impact on local garlic production, contributing to enhanced food security and economic growth in the region.

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