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Located at DARUARS station in Marahan, Marilog District, Davao City, the PGR facility serves as repository of crop germplasm for conservation and management of genetic diversity in the region.

Funded by the DA - Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) the new facility will protect quality seeds from deterioration so that it can be used by future generations.

"It is important to preserve our indigenous crops especially that seeds available today are mostly hybrid. Indigenous crops have good characteristics such as resistance to pests and diseases," said PGR focal Prospero Tanutan adding that the facility will also help conserve crops cultivated by indigenous tribes in the station's nearby communities.

BAR Assistant Director Digna Sandoval stressed the need to preserve agricultural resources amid climate change.

"Our agri biodiversity is [also] under threath due to chemical and environmental pollution. It is a priority of the global agriculture to conserve its resources not only on crops but also in livestock and fisheries," Sandoval said.

She said the PGR center is a catalyst to attain food security of various crops such as corn, upland rice, vegetables and other high-value crops.

"It's a big leap for Davao Region to strengthen research and development to benefit farmers, extension workers, and students," she said. | via RAFIS11