Written by Gabriel Paolo L. Peralta, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services
Queen Pineapple flower (left photo) and fruit (right photo). (Image Credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)
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. However, inadequate agricultural mechanization, pest infestation, and inadequate knowledge in postharvest processing methods are experienced by Queen pineapple growers.
To address these challenges, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) funded 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.
The three-year NICER program for Queen Pineapple was conceptualized using the outputs of the recently concluded program, “Enhancing Productivity and Marketability of Queen Pineapple,” funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of DOST (DOST-PCAARRD). The program will be led by Dr. Arlene C. Alegre of the Camarines Norte State College (CNSC), in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office No. 5 (DA-RFO 5).
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.
DOST-PCAARRD’s Crops Research Division (CRD) firmed up and officially started the program through an inception meeting held recently. Project team members and faculty staff from CNSC; Bicol Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (BCAARRD); representatives from the DOST’s Special Project Division and Science for Change Program’s (S4CP) Project Management Office; and DOST-PCAARRD key officials and staff attended the meeting, which was held via Zoom.