One of the best practices of the R&D program is the implementation of R&D projects in collaboration with different institutions and agencies. During the first quarter of this year, a collaboration was made between DOST-PCAARRD as the funding agency, and different implementing institutions such as University of the Philippines, Los Baños as the main implementer, and five other implementing SUCs - Benguet State University (BSU), Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Camarines Norte State College (CNSC), Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU), and Visayas State University for the implementation of a P62,479,896.00 program entitled “Strategic Postharvest Research for Innovative and Novel Technologies for Horticulture Industry Development (SPRINT-Hort).”
The program aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the horticulture industry through novel and innovative technologies to reduce postharvest losses, assure product quality and food safety, and promote environmental sustainability. It entails the development of low-cost, eco-friendly cooling and storage facilities, and natural preservation systems to maintain the quality and extend the shelf life of priority fruits and vegetables for industry mainstreaming. The SPRINT-Hort program will run for three years.
NVSU, through Dr. Jessie Pascual P. Bitog as the study leader, will be implementing activities under Project 1 titled “Postharvest Systems Improvement of Selected Horticultural Value Chains.” These include needs and postharvest loss assessment; testing and verification of developed technologies in the filed; and conduct of handling trials to determine the economic viability, social acceptability and compatibility with actual field conditions, and environmental sustainability. For three years, NVSU will be implementing the study with an allocated funds of P3,903, 475.00.
Today, the program conducts a “SPRINT-Hort Organizational Meeting Program” headed by the program leader Dr. Dormita R. Del Carmen of UPLB at the Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center, College of Agriculture and Food Science University of the Philippines, Los Baños. The meeting aims to convene all the implementing agencies to provide program details, and next steps of the program.
This partnership was made possible through an agreement between DOST-PCAARRD (represented by Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora), UPLB (represented by Chancellor Jose V. Camacho), Benguet State University (represented by President Felipe S. Comila), CLSU (represented by President Edgar A. Orden), CNSC (represented by Marlo M. Dela Cruz), NVSU (represented by President Wilfredo A. Dumale, Jr.), and VSU (represented by President Edgardo E. Tulin). Witnesses to the agreement were ARMRD DOST-PCAARRD Director Juanito T. Batalon and UPLB Project Leader Dormita R. Del Carmen.