DOST Ms. Anya Roslin, head of the S4C-PMO with Pili R&D Center Program Leader Dr. Marissa Estrella and one of the Project Leaders Engr. Estrella Calpe showcasing the Pili oil extractor as one of the outputs of the center.

All Hail the Queen of Tropical Fruits!

July 15, 2022 People's Tonight 463 views

DOST-Science for Change funds the R&D of queen pineapple and other top agri products in Bicol

What makes a pineapple a queen?

There are many reasons associating the pineapple with nobility. Hailed as the monarch of tropical fruits, the pineapple’s sweet, juicy, and candy-like quality, identified its special purpose in the kitchen, from snacks, viands, desserts, and even in drinks.

In the Philippines, the queen pineapple is crowned the sweetest and best tasting variety. Albeit its smaller size, it is a more resilient crop and features a uniquely fragrant aroma. The queen pineapple is also the most popular cash-crop to the 12 municipalities and 282 barangays of Camarines Norte. The abundance of potassium in Daet soil in Camarines is a contributing factor that makes queen pineapple one of the sweetest varieties in the world.

Queen pineapple, along with other agricultural products like the pili nut received support from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Science for Change Program (S4CP). With the aim of boosting the innovation capacity of every province in the country, the Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER) for R&D, a sub-program of DOST-Science for Change, funded a total of P73 million to the establishment of innovation centers for queen pineapple and pili nut.

The Camarines Norte State College (CNSC) functions as the Queen Pineapple R&D Center in the country. The local fruit is being supported by six R&D projects with a total funding of Php 26 million. Through R&D, an application to identify the major pests of queen pineapple in Camarines Norte is being developed. The application also features crop protection management system and geographic information system.

Another R&D Center is institutionalized for the pili nut to develop an efficient and comprehensive pili knowledge management system. The center characterized the genetic attributes of the existing pili varieties in Bicol. It will eventually identify the varieties with superior quality for propagation.

Managed by the S4CP Program Management Office, the Queen Pineapple R&D Center is in its second year of implementation. According to Dr. Arlene Alegre of CNSC, “ultimately, the center will help and enhance the production of high-quality Queen Pineapple and increase income of farmers through the transfer of variable technologies.”

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Dr. Arlene Alegre showcasing the instrumentation lab of the Queen Pineapple R&D Center
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Different stages of the queen pineapple

Ms. Anya Roslin, head of the S4C-PMO with Pili R&D Center Program Leader Dr. Marissa Estrella and one of the Project Leaders Engr. Estrella Calpe showcasing the Pili oil extractor as one of the outputs of the center.

Meanwhile, the Pili R&D Center in Bicol University-College of Agriculture (BUCAF) has seven R&D components with a total funding of Php 47 million. According to Dr. Marissa Estrella, “the Center is gearing for the phase 2 of its implementation and the entire program team has prepared several proposals for funding consideration of the DOST. The Pili Center is in the forefront of providing solutions to improve the propagation system, development of yield boosting technologies, and capability building activities for enhanced supply of pili.”

These two leading R&D Centers would greatly give positive impact on regional development in Bicol. Also, with these R&D investments, the CNSC and BUCAF are expected to take the lead in capacitating HEIs and SUCs in the Bicol region.

“Bicol sits at a strategic point of industrial and agricultural progress,” says DOST Assistant Secretary Leah. J. Buendia, Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Undersecretary for R&D. “Innovation can buoy up economic opportunities for the region through increased product yield, better crop management and development of local technologies that can support the business goals of our local companies. R&D truly provides a positive impact to our country.”

For more information on the funded projects of the Science for Change Program please visit their website at www.s4cp.dost.gov.ph. By: Ma. Anya Yasmin A. Roslin (DOST-Office of the Undersecretary for R&D)

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