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Publication Detail
ISPPS WP 2002-03: Ex-ante Assessment of Diagnostic Kit for Abaca Viral Diseases

The Philippine abaca has remained a potential source of export earnings as it contributed an average of US$80 million annually for the past ten years. Majority or 85% of the total abaca world supply comes from the Philippines. However, one major perennial problem that beset the industry is the occurrence of pest and diseases, particularly the virus causing abaca bunchy top and abaca mosaic diseases in abaca. This causes increased production costs and significant economic losses to abaca farmers. The Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) and other institutions that are concerned with the abaca industry initiated various programs and projects to control the widespread of the abaca bunchy top and abaca mosaic diseases caused by viruses. The National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) at the University of the Philippines at Los Baņos (UPLB) developed a technology in the form of diagnostic kit wherein the virus is detected early enough even if symptoms are not yet manifested in the plants. The gain from abaca virus diagnostic kit is the guarantee of propagating good quality planting material and the resulting increase in crop yield and income. Abaca planting materials that have undergone virus diagnostic test is expected to yield 1,125 to 1,850 kilograms per hectare, much higher, than the 529 kilogram abaca fiber yield from current practice of using non-tested planting material. Economic gains from the abaca diagnostic kit depend on the adoption rate and on the extent by which it will be disseminated. Policies and institutions are important in the achievement of these economic gains. These include a national information dissemination strategy, sustainability of existing FIDA diagnostic laboratories, and support of local government units in extension activities especially in the dissemination of clean abaca planting materials.

UPLB Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies
Authors Keywords
Dumayas, Elvira; biotechnology; agricultural technology; agriculture sector; plant diseases; viral diseases; diagnostic kits technology;
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