Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Carrageenan as Fertilizer for Corn

Carrageenan has proven to be a versatile fertilizer or Plant Growth Provider (PGP). The first use for it was PGP for rice, then mungbeans and peanuts.

Now, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is conducting studies if carrageenan can also be used a PGP for corn farming.

Engineer Sancho Mabborang, DOST Region 2 director, stated that funding sourced from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the Isabela provincial government and state universities and colleges in the region led by Isabela State University recently started the R&D project.

Success in using carrageenan as PGP will mean increased yield in corn farms in the region and can be replicated all over the country. This will mean a significant increase in the income of farmers.

The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute had developed the carrageenan PGP through a project also funded by PCAARRD. The PNRI had used its state-of-the-art electron beam facility in Diliman, Quezon City to irradiate carrageenan and come up with the plant food supplement.

Mabborang said that corn is the second most important national food crop after rice.

He pointed out that corn, particularly yellow corn, was the main component of up to 75 percent of formulated feed for livestock, poultry, and aquaculture fishery.

White corn, the variety for human consumption, is the staple food of up to 20 percent of the Philippine population, he said.

The Cagayan Valley region is the top producer of corn in the country and is now lobbying that it be the site of the center for research and development for corn.

According to Mabborang “If we can further increase our corn production, this will mean bigger profits for our corn farmers. And an adequate, if not a surplus supply of corn in the country can have a positive impact on the country’s livestock production.”

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The Mail Man

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www.agricultureph.com - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

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