The contents of this Special Issue of the Southeastern Philippines Journal of Research and Development focuses on food and agriculture: technologies to improve production, detection and management of plant and animal diseases, remedying ill conditions of both crops and animals, locating the most suitable areas to plant crops, and most importantly finding smart, innovative and sustainable means to enhance the country's agricultural sector. In a nutshell, the authors of the studies in this issue forward ways on how we could further live and survive, as the need for food is heightened by a health crisis that, as everyone by far already knows, has struck the world's systems.
Conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic became a byword to most Filipinos, these studies “ brought in large part by agricultural scientists, engineers and student researchers from USeP “ are products of a scientific conference themed Sustainable Agroecosystems and Emerging Innovations (SAEI). Presented in this issue are eleven discussions and contributions on grassroots-based innovations, clean energy, food preservation, crop health, among other agricultural technologies and discoveries. In a way, these researches are part of the pursuit to address a nation's health and survival.
A question on the adequacy of food cannot be pinned down to a mere Yes or No without further explanation. As conference organizers and Journal editors, we hope that these studies would make the best sense as answers to a curiosity raised in the time of pandemic: do we have enough food?
We hope then that the individual articles prod readers to recognize the importance of agriculture and how it responds to the needs of the future. Though the pandemic creates significant blows to the economy, our resources, and people's lives, the promise of agricultural science continues, engendering ideas and delivering technologies to communities. The future is assured that scientific curiosity and advancements in food science and engineering will find ways to take care of humanity's needs. Truly, there is no better time than now to read and be reminded of the possibilities of hope that these researches bring.
Here is the rundown of articles in this Special Issue, covering agroecosystems and innovations:
An integration of solar-powered pumps in the irrigation system in rice-fish farming, by Ryan M. Abenoja; Development of a provincial land suitability map of solar-powered irrigation system for local farmers and LGUs, by Sheila C. Cogay, Ireneo P. Amplayo, Roland R. Bayron and Ruben V. Cantones; Effect of absorbent polymer in improving moisture retention in the soil and on the growth response of banana, by Ruel F. Tuyogon;
A study on the physicochemical characteristics of soils under cacao production, by Nelvin A. Villason and Dernie T. Olguera; Preharvest application of the compound 1-MCP on postharvest quality of banana, by Bryl I. Manigo and John Paul Matuguinas;
An investigation of the potential of vermicompost drippings as foliar fertilizer for lettuce by Ulysses P. Besas, Sinneth Caniones and Larry V. Aceres; Testing of a locally made vermitea vortex brewer, by Kzyl Mae S. Albiso;
An examination of the storage quality of fresh yacon, by Joyce C. Limbaga and Katherine C. Israel; and, articles dealing with diseases, such as Identification of the severity of anthracnose in Carabao mangoes using the DigiMango mobile app, by Louie G. Simbajon, Gia C. Mata, Dessa L. Ybanez and Dhally A. Ilisan; plus a Survey on the extent of usage of traditional medicine in controlling parasites in native chicken, by Hyde D. Nadela. We would like to give a special mention to Belly T. Dionio, Carlo Jun M. Bacoba, Cecirly G. Puig and Fernan A. Ramos's First Report on Fusarium heart rot on pineapple in South Cotabato and Davao City.
We are grateful to the specialists and experts who shared their insights during the SAEI International Research Conference and played critical roles in the vetting process.
May this collection of articles not only facilitate and add to the academic community's knowledge on agricultural science and engineering but also contribute to the creation of development projects to impact marginalized communities in Mindanao and the country as a whole. Readers interested in contributing articles along the theme of sustainable agroecosystems and emerging innovations, as well as the other themes reflecting the University's research agenda (see Information for Authors, last page), are highly encouraged to submit their manuscripts for review (for a 2021 Journal release date).
With our readers support and future contributions reaching our editors desks, the SPJRD shall strive to carry on creating a niche for scientific research from the peripheries.
Anne Marie Jennifer E. Eligio, Editorial Adviser
Sajed S. Ingilan, Editor-in-Chief