|Photo by EAGRON|
As part of the continuous effort of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) to strengthen the country’s agriculture research and development (R&D), two more books will be launched on 9 October 2009 during the bureau’s National Research Symposium (NRS) to be held at Fernando Lopez hall, Bureau of Soil and Water Management, Elliptical road, corner Visayas Avenue Diliman Quezon City.
The books are entitled “Protected Vegetable Cultivation, Management Options and Economic Potentials” of Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and “Primary Processing of Cassava in the Philippines” of Visayas State University (VSU) and the Philippine Root Crop Research and Training Center (PhilRootcrops).
The book on Protected Vegetable Cultivation, is a compilation of information and technical knowledge on the technology “protected vegetable cultivation” – the most effective approach in handling the harsh effects of “biotic” and “abiotic” factors that cause major failures in vegetable production in the Philippines.
Protected vegetable cultivation is the growing of vegetables under covering materials that will protect the crop from either too much heat and rain (abiotic) or pests attack (biotic). With this technology, farmers can plan and overcome seasonality, water scarcity and severe infestation that are common in open field cultivation. Eventually, farmers can grow high-value crops all year round with better protection against unfavorable weather conditions as well as infestation by pests and diseases. Thus, this technology helps address the problem of sporadic supply of vegetables characterized by market – gluts but scarce and disappearing during off-season.
The book presents the technical requirements in starting and operating protected vegetable business such as selection of crops and cultivars, proper siting or location of the structure, orientation of the structure for maximum light management and the overall steps in the preparation of the house for planting, environmental control and substrate consideration.
It also features guidelines for organic vegetable cultivation inside protective structures, presents the common crops for protected cultivation in the humid tropics and temperate climate, and the specific management practices such as planting, irrigation, fertilizer management using “fertigation system” or manual watering and fertilizer application as well as pest management.
Meanwhile, the book on Primary Processing of Cassava compiled by Visayas State University and Philippine Root Crop Research and Training Center, details the relevant information in processing cassava with emphasis on machines designed and developed for particular products.
Primary processing of cassava refers to the conversion of fresh roots into products that are not directly consumed or utilized.
Since cassava is highly perishable crop due to its high moisture content, primary processing is very important to prolong the crop’s storage life, maintain and improve its quality, increase the crop’s market value, and change its characteristics into more commerciable shape and sizes. The guidelines and procedures are detailed in this book for effective and easy reference by cassava growers and other enthusiasts of the industry.
The book also features the developed machines and their designs to provide other researchers and engineers with relevant information that can be used to improve their machines and processes in the production of cassava chips, flour, grates and other products made from cassava.
The publication of these books was funded through the “Scientific Publication Grant” (SPG) program of BAR which aims to promote excellence in research and development by providing financial support to different scientific and professional societies, researchers and editors of organizations under the National Research and Development System for Agriculture and Fisheries(NaRDSAF) to published their research outputs.