Plant breeding was one of those fields of study & science that I hadn’t given much thought to til I was older than I’d like to admit, especially since some of my closest friends are plant breeders these days!
My friend Albert had worked at The Philippines National Institute for Plant Breeding (IPB) in Los Banos previously. And while we weren’t sure who we’d find, it ended up that Albert knew the director and we spent some time talking.
Funding for the institute comes from government grants for the most part and the intent is to produce varieties or hybrids that will perform well in local conditions. The crops IPB scientists are working with include corn, vegetables of several sorts, horticultural crops and rice.
I found several things interesting:
- The IPB has developed two new rice hybrids recently.
- In the northern part of the country, a lot of people grow onions and garlic where they had grown wheat in the past. Some are even pondering the idea of cotton!
- IPB is like many other places, in that they would like to have more breeders but find other seemingly high tech fields, either in ag or other scientific fields lure talent. The IPB is working on new recruiting ideas.
Later in the week I got the chance to see some commercial breeding work being done in the country by a local company called Allied Botanical Corporation (more to come on it in later posts) but that definitely rates a post or two of its own. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a few photos!
For information from The Philippines, you may want to check out this local blog BusinessWeekMindanao for more info.
This is the second in a series of posts on Phillipines ag info picked up during a recent vacation… BIG DELAYS between posts so you may have missed this on my farm geekness that gets me out & about in agriculture while on “vacation.” And I posted the video we watched at IRRI here. More to come later.