Friday, November 10, 2017

Seaweeds Bring Upcoming Wealth to Agriculture



experiment

Filipino scientists continue to stimulate and improve Philippine science and technology with the wealth that carrageenan seaweeds bring to agriculture, with its new discovery: the Plant Food Supplement (PSF).  In celebration of the World’s Science Day, we give honor to the research team from the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI), who wins the 2017 Excellent Research Team of the Year Award from the Japan-Based Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA), led by Lucille Abad who heads DOST-PNRI’s Chemistry Research Section. Aside from the Philippines, the event was also participated by Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The research team’s study focused on carrageenan as a highly is about carrageenan as highly efficient plant food supplement (PFS) or growth promoter. PFS comes from natural polymers like carrageenan, an industrial element extracted from seaweed

On the experiment, the formulation is 3.2 liters per hectare of water mixed with the right proportion of PSF. The invention that they have come up with was proven effective in increasing the yield of crops, such as rice and mungbean, by over 20 percent.

The research is eyed with great potential in the development of Philippine agriculture for food sustainability. It is also perceived to help lessen the effects of El Nino and climate change that damage farmlands in the countryside. Results also disclosed that PFS had improved rice’s resistance against the tungro bacilliform virus and bacterial leaf blight. Moreover, fields sprayed with PFS had higher survival rate after a heavy storm compared with neighboring fields that had no PFS. The reason of the improvement of health and increase of growth and yield of various crops is, because the irradiation degrades polymers to form natural bioactive agents. The carrageenan used for the PFS was irradiated at PNRI’s state-of-the-art Electron Beam Irradiation Facility in Diliman, Quezon City.

The development of the formula was made possible with the International Atomic Energy Agency, DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources, and Gil Magsino of the National Crop Protection Center of the University of the Philippines-Los BaƱos.

The project was officially launched in November 2015, after a fruitful field experiments conducted in Pulilan, Bulacan on rice which shown the advantages of PFS and its benefits. Then, DOST started the widespread testing in Luzon, Panay Island, Zamboanga and Davao.

Carrageenan for food applications took a step in agriculture by forming a convenient and beneficial PFS for seaweeds suppliers and new venture for carrageenan manufacturers.

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