Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Vegetables Industry Profile

The Philippines has a total plant area for vegetables of around 675,726 hectares (ha) in its three major islands, a total production of 5.58 metric tons (MT) and average yield of 8.26 t/ha (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2019). Its industry is a significant contributor to the economy which contributes 4.1% of the share of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. Also, it is an important source of livelihood and food source of Filipino households and farmers (Department of Agriculture, 2022). 

Problems in the Industry

Vegetable production in the country is mired by high incidence of pests and diseases, poor access to modern varieties and production inputs, inadequate farmer skills, and inefficient marketing and distribution losses which contributes to overall production losses. These constraints result in low yield and quality, and expensive production inputs resulting in high prices of vegetables. Moreover, due to concerns on health and environmental pollutants that can affect the vegetable industry and absence of an available monitoring system for food safety, Filipinos are not assured if available vegetables in the market are safe for human consumption. Considering that vegetables are important sources of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and proteins, and are part of the food basket of Filipinos, these are serious challenges to food security and safety.

ISP for Vegetables

The PCAARRD ISP for vegetables aims to increase the yields of priority vegetables, reduce pests, diseases, and postharvest losses. Currently, the ISP is focused on improving the industries of eggplant, tomato, garlic, onion, carrots, bell pepper and ampalaya, and other vegetables through research and development (R&D).

Strategic R&D

Strategic R&D is DOST-PCAARRD’s banner program comprising all R&D activities that are intended to
generate outputs geared towards maximum economic and social benefits


Technology Transfer Initiatives

Technology transfer initiatives ensure that the outputs of R&D and innovations are transformed
into viable and applicable technologies that help intended users

Capacity Building

Capacity building efforts of DOST-PCAARRD seek to develop and enhance the R&D capabilities of researchers
and academic or research institutions through graduate assistantships & non-degree trainings
and development and/or upgrading of research facilities

Infrastructure Development

Potato R&D Center Molecular Laboratory

Policy Research & Advocacy

Analysis of policy concerns and advocacy of science-informed policies ensures that the AANR policy environment is conducive for S&T development
and investments

Promoting Food Safety Standards for Cabbage and Eggplant through an Internal Control System (ICS)

In the context of vegetable production, the ICS ensures the good quality of produce, with the premise that farmers follow the concept of Good Agricultural Practices or GAP. The success of the ICS is therefore dependent on the farmers’ basic knowledge on GAP. That being said, an important component in the development of an ICS, apart from mobilizing and clustering farmers, is capacity building. Initial assessment and baseline information from surveys revealed inefficiencies in the farmers’ mode of conventional production, particularly on the use of unregistered pesticide products, inconsistencies in pre-harvest intervals, mismatched application of pesticide on targeted pests, and overdosage of chemical applications resulting in discoloration of certain vegetables harvested. This became the basis for training and workshops which focused on the following topics: (1) Concept of Residues, (2) Optimal Pre-harvest Interval, (3) Label Recommendations, (4) Food and Pesticide Authority (FPA)- registered Pesticides, (5) Use and Misuse of Products, (6) Right Identification of Insect Pests (7) Diseases, Weeds and Other Pest Management Choices, and (8) Resistance Development.

This policy brief is based on the results of the DOST-PCAARRD-funded project titled “Development of Internal Control System (ICS) for Conventional Cabbage and Eggplant Production that Meet Food Safety Standards (2017).” The project was implemented by University of the Philippines Los Baños led by Dr. Cristina Bajet and Mr. Eric Jhon Cruz.