Research for Extension: IFSU Acquires 20M-Worth R&D Projects

Reasons to rejoice may seem tough to find as the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic; but Ifugao State University (IFSU) found one major victory after its four (4) research proposals earned the nod of the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) for funding assistance.

IFSU is expected to acquire PhP20 million-worth of funding, with PhP5,000,000.00 allotment per project, through the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Program of DA-BAR. Following the approval, the Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) between IFSU and DA were signed by the IFSU University President, Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon on May 14. As of press time, said MOA await the signing of William D. DAR, Secretary of DA and Chair of ACEF Executive Committee.

The projects aim to contribute in the overriding goal of the ACEF program which is “to increase the productivity and competitiveness of farmers and fisher folk through the services and technologies of SUCs.” IFSU is gearing these towards the upgrading of the facilities and products and transitioning the technology to the market place.

Said four (4) proposals are as follows:

A) “Upgrading of the Banana Tissue Culture Laboratory of Ifugao State University” by: Dinah Corazon M. Licyayo, Vice President for Research, Development, Extension and Training (RDET); Elpidio B. Basilio Jr., Director for Research and Development; and Honeylette A. Baloc, Science Research Assistant of RDET

This project aims to upgrade the existing Tissue Culture Facility of the University to increase the production of quality and disease-free banana plantlets. The project is a response to the high demand for quality planting materials of saba or dippig and other cultivars in the province. This will be implemented for one year.

B. "Upgrading of Indoor and Controlled Laboratory and Production Facility for Agaricus bisporus at Ifugao State University" by: DCM Licyayo, EB Basilio Jr., and HA Baloc

This project believes that the improvement and renovation of the current mushroom facilities and acquisition of state-of-the-art laboratory and production equipment for Agaricus bisporus (button mushroom) may ensure product quality and availability year-round. This will be implemented for one year.

C) "Upgrading of Food Processing Laboratory at Ifugao State University" by: Josefa T. Dulinayan and Jomel C. Fanwa, Instructors of the College of Agriculture and Home Science (CAHS)

Apart from maximum production, this project will enhance the research capabilities of faculty and students in food production, processing, and marketing. This will be implemented for one year.

D) “Product and Market Enhancement of Galyang (Cyrtosperma chamissonis) Taro Chips” by: DCM Licyayo; Maritess K. Alberto, Instructor of CAHS; and Froylyn M. Facullo, a staff member of the Extension and Training Department

This project aims to enhance production, improve facilities, and provide value-addition to products. Skills trainings have been given by IFSU through its the Extension and Training Department to various people’s organizations (POs).

The St. John’s Episcopal Church Women Group was a beneficiary of this training in 2010. From then on, the group started producing taro chips and have been selling this within the province and outside.

Said project will address the challenge of limited materials and equipment being confronted by the organization. This will be implemented for two years.

Notably, the aims of the projects which are to provide clean plantlets to communities and to serve as processing facilities for harvested crops support the DA’s Revive, Reboot Phl Agri Sector Program.

"The approval of the project is a very relevant response to the current pandemic. The IFSU will be able to help vulnerable sectors against food insufficiency and unemployment through these needs-based interventions," stated Licyayo.

She further lauded the DA-BAR for the trust it continuously invests in the University.

The battle against COVID-19 is far from over. It is hoped that these IFSU projects, with the DA-BAR's support, will help resource-poor communities rise above the storm we are all in. //by: Faith Napudo