PhilRice set to house DA’s biggest biotech center
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) will soon house the biggest biotechnology center of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that is expected to generate technologies and innovations for the agriculture sector.
“The goal of constructing this center is to generate improved technologies, increase productivity, and enhance commercial value of DA’s priority crops such as rice, abaca, coconut, white and yellow corn, cotton, cassava, sweet potato, yam, tomato, and eggplant,” said Roel Suralta, head of DA’s Crop Biotechnology Center and one of the proponents of the said project.
The center will not only provide equipment and facilities but also training and support to the Filipino researchers who will venture in the field of biotechnology.
It also aims to build a network among local and international researchers to sustain and continually advance biotechnology in the Philippines.
More than P300 million has been raised to construct state-of the-art laboratories and facilities.
The funding of the said facility was granted by the US government through its Public Law 480 program, also known as the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act.
“Our submitted proposal was recommended by the DA and we were able to get P277 million for this project from the US food aid program. The remaining P25 million came from PhilRice,” Suralta added.
According to Suralta, the budget will cover the construction of new buildings, purchasing of state-of-the-art biotechnology equipment and laboratory furniture, and monitoring and evaluation of the project in coordination with the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries.