The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) officially kicked off the implementation of the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) for Queen Pineapple through the Accelerated R&D Program for Capacity Building of Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness to further boost the production of the country’s “sweetest” pineapple variety.
The DOST-PCAARRD said it has funded the three-year R&D program “to address inadequate agricultural mechanization, pest infestation, and inadequate knowledge in post harvest processing methods” being experienced by Queen pineapple growers.
The program will be spearheaded by Dr. Arlene C. Alegre of the Camarines Norte State College (CNSC), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office No. 5 (DA-RFO 5).
“Among the commonly grown pineapple varieties in the Philippines, the Queen pineapple is hailed as the sweetest. With its production that dates back in the 1950s, it became the most popular cash-crop in the 12 municipalities and 282 barangays of Camarines Norte,” the Council noted.
The outputs of the DOST-PCAARRD-funded program, “Enhancing Productivity and Marketability of Queen Pineapple” gave birth to the NICER program for Queen Pineapple.
“The Queen Pineapple R&D Center will focus on the management and detection of pests, enhance the cultural practices of the farmers, disseminate technologies with consideration to gender relations, and transfer of viable technologies,” the DOST-PCAARRD said.
The inception meeting of the NICER R&D program was held on May 20, 2021 via Zoom.