PH scientists find pesticide power in veggies


Posted at Jul 11 2016 04:01 PM

Sample of the biopesticide products developed by CLSU. Photo courtesy of the Forest and Environment Research Division (FERD)

Filipino scientists have found organic pesticide properties in several plants and are now aiming to develop commercial products as alternative to chemical pesticides.

“Biopesticides” are extracts from natural materials such as plants, animals, and even certain types of minerals that have pesticidal properties.

The experimental biopesticide came from plants from forests in and around Nueva Ecija, Bataan, and Aurora province. The team that found the substances are from the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), led by Dr. Ronaldo Alberto of the Institute of Climate Change and Environmental Management (ICCEM).

These were developed under the Biodiversity Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) of the Philippine Council of Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

At least six biopesticides were developed, field tested, and patented by the team. Dr. Alberto said that the biopesticides can be applied to crops as a preventive or curative measure. So far, the substances have been effective in trials on crops like tomato, pepper, bitter gourd (ampalaya), and onion.

The team has also looked into 11 plant species from Region 10 that have pesticidal properties, which have potential to be used as biopesticides.

DOST has been looking into alternative, natural methods of reducing pest damage to the agriculture industries in the Philippines while also reducing damage to the country’s natural diversity.

Pest damage is among the biggest contributors to losses in the agricultural sector. In May this year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said that total losses in the sector reached P8.7 billion due to the effects of El Niño and plant pests.

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