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High quality seeds and planting materials being produced in the CALABARZON region need a safer, conducive storage.

Therefore, the establishment of the Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) Center in the region is crucial in order to prolong the germplasm viability and quality of agricultural crops like rice, vegetables, legumes, and corn, among others in research and experiment stations (RESes) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) as well as of farmers’, plant breeders’, and other researchers’. This facility will also protect them from external factors of deterioration.

Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa and Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Assistant Director Digna L. Sandoval, together with other DA CALABARZON officials, led the inauguration of the PGR Center on July 19, 2019 at Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC) compound wherein it is located.

Found inside the building are modular cold storage room (for seed viability), oven and dehumidifier (for desiccation), and upright freezer (for preservation of seeds up to 20 years).

This state-of-the-art research facility in Southern Luzon is second in the Philippines.

It is expected that this will promote the exploration, collection, conservation, and utilization of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops in the region. In so doing, it can be ensured that these will be available for present and future research and development activities.

The PGR Center was funded by the BAR which is worth P3-million. ● ARC, DA-RAFIS