News and Announcements
A new lophopid planthopper species, named Virgiliacocovora, was discovered in Compostela Valley and reported to infest coconut trees.
The team of Mario V. Navaseroof the National Crop Protection Center visited the area last February 2016 and observed that thecoconut trees were having a symptom of yellowing from tip to near base of leaflets on affected fronds; those with severe infestation have leaves that appear brownish to brown in color, which will result to drying up. Also, damaged fronds had presence of profuse growth of sooty molds, and severely damaged trees showed reduced nut production.
This finding, published in the Zootaxalast April 27, is important because the new species could be a threat to the coconut industry. After the devastating damage by the coconut scale insect, coconut farmers do not deserve another pest outbreak. The identification of this new pest could provide a way of managing it.
According to the researchers, Virgiliacocovoradoes not transmit diseases, but is involved because of its feeding habits; andappears therefore to damage the plant tissue, making it vulnerable to drying and lowering of the plant vigor.
Furthermore, another new species of lophopid planthopper was described from Imugan, Nueva Vizcaya; however, no report of their damage has been recorded. This new species was discovered from the collection of Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France and Zoology Museum collection in Amsterdam.
With the reorganization of the college, the Institute of Weed Science, Plant Pathology, and Entomology (IWEP) initiated a strategic planning and graduate degree program workshop last April 12-15 at the Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City.
The 4-day workshop, attended by IWEP faculty, REPS, and staff, aims to set the course of the institute in line with the direction of the college and the university.
A new mission and vision as well as a new organizational structure was formed during the workshop.
According to the new structure, the institute will have three divisions:Weed Science, Plant Pathology, and Entomology; each with a defined set of functions and programs.
A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) was also done and the keypoints raised were the availability of experts and facilities, research concerns, social media and cyberspace presence, and overlap of functions and researches with other university units.
Moreover, a review of the IWEP graduate program offeringswas initiated and a need for developing courses exclusive for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and new courses for Master of Science (MS) programs on plant pathology and entomology was identified.
Faculty members committed to propose new courses and revised existing ones to fit the needs of the graduate students. Also, the faculty members agreed to develop graduate degree programs (both MS and PhD) on Weed Science to cater to the needs of the industry and other sectors.
In her closing remarks, Dr. Sheryl A. Yap, IWEP OIC-director, rallied the participants with her tagline “Team work makes our dream work”. She emphasized the need for everyone’s cooperation to realize the institute’s plans and goals. (Aaron Paul A. Aguas/Roden Carlo M. Lizardo, with photos courtesy of Clare Hazel R. Tabernilla)
by Mark Paul S. Rivarez
01 Dec 2017
The Institute of Weed Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology (IWEP) conducted a two-day Academic Program Improvement (API) workshop on Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2017, in collaboration with the private business sector or ‘industry partners’, government agencies, retired staff, professor emeriti and other state universities and colleges (SUCs). The activity has the theme, “Revisit for Matching Academic Programs of the IWEP Through Conduct of Collaboration Meeting and Workshop with the Stakeholders”.
Some of the eminent academicians that graced the activity were, Dr. Romulo G. Davide, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology, Dr. Augustin B. Molina, retired Professor of Plant Pathology, Dr. Avelino D. Raymundo, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology, Dr. Narceo Bajet, former Professor of Plant Pathology and Dr. Aurora M. Baltazar, retired Professor of Weed Science. Executive officers and representatives from various pest control, seed and agricultural companies also participated in the workshop, which includes BASF, East-West Seed Company, Del Monte, Bayer and Dole. Faculty members from State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) namely, Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) and Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) also participated the said event.
IWEP officials, led by Dr. Sheryl A. Yap (OIC-Director), felt the need to conduct a dialogue and workshop with the industry partners particularly those involved in crop pest and diseases management to further improve the courses. They also recognize the importance of the inputs from the stakeholders that serve as employers of the graduates from IWEP. The stakeholders also participate in collaborative research, technology extension and in catering students’ internship programs. Thus, in order to improve the academic programs of the institute, curricular assessments were conducted and identified some points for improvement. The activity also welcomed contributions such as pledges for infrastructure and facility support. The workshop is followed by plenary sessions and synthesis discussions to finalize the outputs of the activity and future plans for implementation.
During the presentation of the outputs of the groups, Dr. Joey I. Orajay, Research Director of Del Monte Philippines and former Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, emphasized the importance of having an end goal in mind when IWEP do the revisions of their curricular programs. Competencies must be tailored with the needs of the current state of the industry, in terms of research and operations, sales, regulatory and policy-making. Institution of courses focusing on general pesticide science, crop protection biotechnology and incorporation of more field activities in order to enhance practical capabilities of the students in field research and data analysis were also emphasized. Setting up of molecular biology laboratory and other facilities were also discussed.
IWEP currently offers two major programs under the BS Agriculture degree, namely Entomology and Plant Pathology programs and a soon-to-be-offerred Weed Science program. The institute wants to revitalize their objectives and the topics of courses to strengthen its academic programs in accordance with the needs of the future employers. The API workshop is funded by the Office of the UPLB Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs through the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) Dean’s Office.