Cebu Technological University Barili and the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños are determined to develop corn varieties suited to alkaline soil, as Cebu’s low corn yield is detrimental to survival on account that Cebuanos are the largest consumers of grain corn in the country, university experts revealed in a statement.
Such varieties need to be tolerant to alkalinity stress, earmarking on sufficiency of produce whose growth is heavily dependent on alkaline soils that are common in arid regions, they added.
Phase 1 began in 2015 and focused on germplasm collection and reconstitution. Currently, on its second phase, the program is working on possible release of inbred varieties toward 2021.
Both universities operate through the Corn Germplasm Utilization through Advanced Research and Development (CGUARD) program funded by the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research.
Dr. Eureka Teresa Ocampo and Dr. Artemio Salazar of UPLB and Dr.Pet Roey L. Pascual of CTU Barili are key individuals in said collaboration. UICP Barili