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Philippines Development of crop varieties
seen to enhance food security by Melody M. Aguiba
04-November-2008 Manila Bulletin
The development of crop varieties
such as late blight-resistant potato and black sigatoka-resistant
banana under private-public partnerships will significantly
help raise local food security.
International institutions like the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID) and academic institutions
including University of Oxford in the UK, Tamil Nadu University
of India, and the University of the Philippines-Los Baños
have been taking part in a collaboration that all aim to
provide technological benefits to resource-poor farmers.
One of these collaborations may soon result in the commercial
release by 2010 of the genetically modified (GM) fruit and
shoot borer (FSB)-resistant eggplant in the Philippines,
said Dr. Frank Shotkoski of Cornell University in an interview.
GM eggplant has been found to give yield advantage of at
least 50 percent against non-GM eggplants under an insect-infested
Shotkoski is responsible for raising fund in this USAID-financed
program. He is also involved in the program to develop late
blight-resistant potato that was started by the University
of Wisconsin for the US and black sigatoka-resistant banana
meant for Africa.
Both varieties may also be field-tested later for propagation
in the Philippines.
USAID has been working with both state-run UPLB and Tamil
Nadu in the development of the GM eggplant whose seeds will
be publicly made accessible in the form of open pollinated
But the private sector is notably involved too in these
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