Isabela State U benchmarks with UPLB, AGORA for solar-powered compost digester

Five researchers of Isabela State University (ISU) Cabagan Campus visited the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) on June 26, for a benchmarking activity to develop their solar-powered compost digester that makes use of agricultural wastes.

The group was led by Dr. Ambrose Hans G. Aggabao (ISU Cabagan Cluster Executive Officer), together with Dr. Maria Teresa R. Aggabao, Dr. Michelle Ann M. Calubaquib, Engr. Jolan B. Sy, and Engr. Jake D. La Madrid.

On behalf of Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Nathaniel C. Bantayan, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for R&E Fides Tambalo welcomed the ISU Cabagan delegates at the OVCRE Annex Office for a brief orientation and discussion of UPLB’s R&E initiatives.

“Every time people submit their research proposals, kasama sa aming forms na i-identify nila kung saang AGORA Focus Area and UN SDG sila… On top of that, mayroon kaming Hub for the AGORA na nandoon ang iba-ibang rooms, with TTBDO, BAO, FabLab, one-stop shop na DTI-assisted, social enterprise café…” AVC Tambalo highlighted during their discourse of the UPLB AGORA. AVC Tambalo and Ms. Czarli Magnata (OVCRE Knowledge Management, Extension, and Public Service Section Head) also shared OVCRE’s and UPLB’s best practices on knowledge management, extension, digital transformation, and project monitoring and liquidation.

The welcoming session was followed by a short tour at the Organic Fertilizer Composting and Demonstration Farm, a project led by Dr. Gina V. Pangga from the Agricultural System Institute of the UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science.

At the Agribiosystems Machinery and Power Engineering Division of the UPLB College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology, they met with Dr. Omar F. Zubia (Division Head) and Engr. Marife R. Santiago to know more about the “Improved UPLB Contained Rapid Composting Technology” study.

In the afternoon, ISU Cabagan also visited the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) for the BIO-QUICK and BIO-FIX composting inoculants developed by the team of Dr. Mannix S. Pedro (BIOTECH Deputy Director for RDE) and Ms. Lovely B. Willauer, and the Nature’s Way compost developed by Dr. Jocelyn T. Zarate (Biotechnology for Agriculture and Forestry Program Leader).

“Ang concern namin is, if this will be put in some sort of mass production, then we would like to develop a machine that would automate those processes… Ma-mechanize po namin yung proseso, and maging mas economic so magiging cheaper yung production cost,” Dr. Aggabao emphasized during the benchmarking sessions.

Moving forward, OVCRE and BIOTECH have expressed their interest in exploring future collaborations with ISU Cabagan on R&E management as well as training sessions on composting.