Research and development (R&D) Centers to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of zero hunger, life below water, and life on land are bannered during the first Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER) Summit on December 3, 2021 via Facebook Live.

The R&D centers or NICERs that address Zero Hunger are focused on potato, sweetpotato, pili, citrus, halal goat, native pig, native chicken, garlic and other condiments, queen pineapple, cacao, and tamarind.

The R&D centers or NICERs that address Zero Hunger are focused on potato, sweetpotato, pili, citrus, halal goat, native pig, native chicken, garlic and other condiments, queen pineapple, cacao, and tamarind.

Meanwhile, R&D centers that address Life below Water focus on seaweeds, mollusk, crustaceans, and sea cucumber. Finally, the R&D centers that address Life on Land are focused on biodiversity, caves, and bamboo.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) facilitated the establishment of these R&D centers under the NICER sub-program of DOST’s Science for Change program.

“The NICERs in the AANR sector are expected to further strengthen partnerships and collaboration between and among the R&D institutions across the country working on common commodities through complementation of efforts and sharing of information and expertise,” said Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director.

NICER equips higher education institutions with knowledge and equipment to be able to conduct commodity-focused and collaborative research and promote regional growth in all 17 regions of the country.

The establishment of the NICERs will assist the country in achieving UN’s SDGs 2, 14, and 15. “To help us achieve the SDGs, we are pursuing: to further strengthen technology transfer;  develop inclusive value chains; promote science-informed policies for accelerated AANR development and digital inclusion support. These initiatives complement the NICER,” said Ebora.

The said centers were bannered during the NICER Summit, themed,  Accelerating STI in the Country through a Regionally Inclusive R&D, organized by the DOST-Office of the Undersecretary for R&D (DOST-OUSecRD) in partnership with three DOST Councils: DOST-PCAARRD, the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

NICERs addressing SDG of Zero Hunger

The NICERs that aim to address SDG of zero hunger are the following:

  • Potato R&D Center led by Dir. Cynthia Kiswa of the Benguet State University;
  • Sweetpotato R&D Center led by Dr. Lilibeth Laranang of Tarlac Agricultural University;
  • Pili R&D Center led by Dr. Marissa Estrella of Bicol University;
  • Citrus R&D Center led by Dr. Dumale, Wilfredo Arellano of Nueva Vizcaya State University;
  • Halal Goat Science and Innovation Center led by Dr. Ruby Hechanova of Sultan Kudarat State University;
  • Native Pig R&D Center led by Dr. Arnold Monleon of Marinduque State College;
  • Native Chicken R&D led by Dr. Elderico Tabal of Western Mindanao State University;
  • Garlic and Other Condiments R&D Center led by Dr. Dionisio S. Bucao of Mariano Marcos State University;
  • Queen Pineapple R&D Center led by Dr. Arlene Alegre of Camarines Norte State College;
  • Cacao R&D Center led by Dr. Edward C. Barlaan of University of Southern Mindanao; and
  • Tamarind R&D Center led by Dr. Virgilio Gonzales of Pampanga State Agricultural University.

NICERs addressing SDG on Life below Water

The NICERs that aim to address SDG on life below water are the following:

  • Seaweeds R&D Center led by Dr. Sitti Zayda B. Halun of Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography;
  • Mollusk R&D Center led by Dr. Karen Villarta of University of the Philippines Visayas;
  • Crustaceans R&D Center led by Dr. Jesus Racuyal of Samar State University;
  • Sea Cucumber R&D Center led by Dr. Wilfredo Uy of Mindanao State University-Naawan; and
  • Freshwater Fisheries Center led by Dr. Isagani Angeles of Isabela State University.

NICERs addressing SDG on Life on Land

The NICERs that aim to address SDG of life on land are the following:

  • Biodiversity R&D Center led by Dr. Archiebald Malaki of Cebu Technological University;
  • Caves R&D Center led by Dr. Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez of the University of the Philippines Los Baños; and
  • Bamboo R&D Center led by Mr. Lowell G. Aribal of Central Mindanao University.

(Written by: Rose Anne M. Aya, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services)