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The Department of Agriculture (DA) CALABARZON showcased to some 100 farmers from the province of Rizal the effectiveness of carrageenan plant growth promoter (CPGP) technology on rice during their Farmers’ Field Day held at Rizal Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (RARES) in Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal on November 16, 2018.

In his message, DA CALABARZON Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa said that carrageenan is generally safe and nothing is there to worry about because it is not radioactive. It has no harmful effects to the body in contrast to the use of commercial pesticides that require the use of gloves to avoid contact with the body.

In presenting the technology, Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI), in cooperation with the DA CALABARZON, DOST Region IV-A, and National Crop Protection Center-University of the Philippines Los Baños (NCPC-UPLB), showed to the farmers that this technology could strengthen the rice plant against natural disasters and help the crop grow with longer panicles, stronger and healthier, compared with other crops applied with commercial fertilizers.

Marissa Finullar, one of the cooperators of the said technology, testified that after applying CPGP they harvested earlier instead of the standard harvesting time of 120 days. She also observed an increase in their rice yield after applying the growth promoter.

“We observed that each panicle was healthy and there were minimal unfilled grains. The rice plants were also disease-free, uniform in height, and do not budge an inch even after a year’s strong rain. CPGP technology is very helpful to a farmer like me. It is a safer alternative, more useful in small-scale farms, and more affordable to us,” Finullar added.

After hearing the testimonies of their fellow farmers, other farmers who attended the field day expressed their interest to use the technology, hoping to make their crops stronger and healthier. Some of them were given a sample of CPGP to test it on their own farm.

Moreover, researchers of the technology are also promoting its use to other agricultural produce like high value crops and corn.