“Mykovam” is a fungus-based fertilizer developed by UPLB
that enable planted seedlings to survive in the most adverse
conditions by naturally improving their root surfaces.
Under the memorandum of agreement recently signed between
DENR Secretary Ramon Paje and UPLB chancellor Rex Victor
Cruz, the “mykovam” production will be undertaken by UPLB’s
National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
(BIOTECH) with the DENR providing funding of P8 million
for the upgrading of BIOTECH’s facilities.
“This undertaking affirms DENR’s resolve to employ science
if only to secure NGP’s success,” Paje said, adding that
NGP’s goal of rehabilitating some 1.5 million hectares of
denuded forestlands hinges on the application of the fungus-based
root inoculants which form colonies of microscopic beneficial
fungus on plant roots.
Paje explained that past greening programs failed because
science was not well factored into the program, particularly
matured technologies like the development of “mykovam,”
which was developed by combining eight types of mycorrhizal
The fertilizer was found to have the most beneficial qualities
for tree species to be planted under the NGP, especially
for indigenous tree species like acacia, agoho, batino,
balete, kamagong, molave, mayapis, tindalo, balete, ilang-ilang,
talisai and toog.
“Under the aegis of this agreement, the government’s agenda
to promote science-based rehabilitation of our forestlands
has taken a leap forward,” Paje said, adding that the application
of ‘mykovam’ and cloning of tree seedlings would address
the rehabilitation of denuded forestlands.
“Last year the NGP raised and planted some 93.26 million
tree seedlings in some 128,696 hectares of open and denuded
forestland. This represented 28.7 percent above its 100,000-hectare
target for 2011 with five million of which consisted of
indigenous species like acacia, mayapis, molave, tindalo,
toog, and teak.
According to Dr. Nely Aggangan, head of BIOTECH’s Biotechnology
for Agriculture and Forestry Program, “mykovam” has the
ability to bring dead soil back to life, particularly acidic
soil which is a common condition of degraded soil in the
“Even tree seedlings in mine tailings pond survived and
grew when aided with ‘mykovam’ with a ratio of one sack
of compost soil treated with mykovam per tree,” Aggangan
said, referring to the legume trees planted for the reforestation
project of Atlas Mining Corp. for their tailing pond area
in Toledo, Cebu.
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