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Cagayan Valley aims to become ‘Citrus Capital of the Philippines’

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Cagayan Valley aims to become ‘Citrus Capital of the Philippines’
CROPS RESEARCH DIVISION -- DoST-PCAARRD

THE CAGAYAN Valley Region is positioning to become the Philippine’s “Citrus Capital” through a program undertaken by the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) with funding from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST-PCAARRD). The country’s domestic supply of citrus is currently insufficient to meet local demand, according to DoST-PCAARRD, due to “high incidence of pest and diseases, poor orchard management, and low adoption of improved management practices, among many other factors.” The NVSU’s citrus research and development program includes yield improvement, setting up a gene bank, and value chain analysis. It targets a 233% increase in yield — from 4.5 tons per hectare ha (t/ha) to 15 t/ha — and a 60% reduction in post-harvest losses from 25% to 10% by 2019. The targets are part of the Citrus Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) of DoST-PCAARRD. By the end of 2017, the program team is expected to produce value chain maps for calamansi, orange, and pummelo in Cagayan Valley; characterize 15 species for the database system of the gene bank study; improve NVSU and Municipal Agriculture Office (MAGRO) citrus nurseries producing 10,000 and 2,000 budded seedlings, respectively; establish new 1-ha orchard with planting materials from NVSU; and generate data on the description of local citrus pests and diseases.