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by Rudy A. Fernandez
24-June-2007 The Philippine STAR

There are now 18 more high-yielding and plant disease-resistant sugarcane varieties available to planters.

Of the 18, 11 recommended local varieties were released over the past few years by the Philippine Sugar Research Institute Foundation, Inc. (PHILSURIN).

The seven others are foreign varieties received from the CFC/ISO/20: Sugarcane Variety Improvement in Southeast Asia and the Pacific project covering the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

The PHILSURIN-released local varieties are PSR 97-45, VMC 71-39, VMC 84-549 (registered name: NSIC SC10), VMC 86-550 (NSIC SC11), VMC 87-599 (NSIC) SC13), VMC 87-95 (NSIC SC12), PS 1 or VMC 84-947 (NSIC SC8), PS 2 or VMC 88-254 (NSIC SC14), PS 3, VMC 84-524, CADP Sc1 (NSIC SC9), PS 4 or VMC 95-152, and PS 5 or VMC 95-09.

The varieties received from the CFC/ISO/20 project were K88-92, K88-65, K88-87, all from Thailand; PS 862, PSGM 88-5052, PS 863, all from Indonesia; and 80-1390 from Malaysia.

The 18 varieties usually mature from 10 to 12 months. They have varying resistance (from very highly resistant to moderately resistant) to sugarcane plant diseases (smut, downy, mildew, leaf scorch, rust).

They are also adaptable to specific sites in various parts of the country.

“We believe that these recommended high-yielding varieties of sugarcane, once adapted by planters, will help sustain the Philippine sugar industry’s production and productivity,” stressed Bernardo C. Trebol and Pablo L. Lobregat, PHILSURIN chairman and president, respectively, in a joint statement contained in the institute’s annual report to stakeholders.

PHILSURIN, headed by Director General Leon Arceo, is a private entity established in 1995 through the initiative of the National Council of Sugar Producers to promote the advancement of the Philippine sugar industry.

The CFC/ISO/20 project, on the other hand, is funded by the Netherlands-based Common Fund for Commodities of the United Nations endorsed by the International Sugar Organization.

The project aims to increase sugarcane productivity and help long-term competitiveness of sugarcane in the region through development, dissemination, and adoption of high-yielding, pest-resistant, and ecologically adopted varieties.

Its executing agency is PHILSURIN while its implementing agency is the UP Los Baños-Institute of Plant Breeding.

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