Experts from the Western Mindanao State University’s Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research, and Development Consortium (WESMAARRDEC) headed by Dr. Dulce Amor Matondo and WMSU- Satellite Socio-economics Research and Data Analytics Center Project Leader Dr. Anabel Gamorez, visited the Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI) for an exciting and productive day of discussions, information sharing, and collaboration.

The visit, which took place on April 24, 2023, was primarily for the signing of a Memorandum of Commitment between Western Mindanao State University as the consortium’s base agency and PRRI as a Consortium Member Institution (CMI). This partnership aims to strengthen the research and development initiatives in the rubber industry in the region and promote sustainable practices.

As part of the visit, WESMAARRDEC conducted an information caravan and a training needs assessment of all technical staff of PRRI in collaboration with WMSU-SERDAC. This effort aims to enhance the skills and knowledge of PRRI’s staff and improve the quality of their research output.

Moreover, during the short meeting, WESMAARRDEC and PRRI had initial talks about research on remote sensing, which will utilize state-of-the-art technology in monitoring the rubber plantations in the region. This collaboration aims to provide accurate and timely data that will aid in decision-making and sustainable management of rubber plantations.

Additionally, both institutions discussed a call to action against Pestalotiopsis, a devastating fungus that attacks rubber trees and has caused significant economic losses to the industry. The two organizations are exploring collaborative activities to address this issue and find innovative solutions to combat Pestalotiopsis.

With this partnership, the rubber industry in the region is expected to take a significant step towards sustainable development and global competitiveness. This will undoubtedly pave the way for a better and brighter future for the Philippine rubber industry.

With this collaboration, PRRI and WESMAARRDEC hope to address the challenges faced by the rubber industry, particularly in the fight against Pestalotiopsis. They believe that through joint efforts and innovative research, they can develop effective strategies and solutions that will ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the Philippine rubber industry.

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