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Agricultural Research Day: food security and sovereignty

The directors of the research units of the Faculties of Agronomy and Zootechnics of Unalm, PhD. Raúl Blas Sevillano and the PhD. Edwin Mellisho Salas, respectively, argue that the challenges for agricultural research are based on increasing productivity without neglecting food security.

In the case of research in Agronomy, the PhD. Raúl Blas points out that the challenges are based on improving the productivity and quality of the harvested and environmentally friendly products. Likewise, face the effects of climate change, the impact of the prices of inputs and technology. Food security and sovereignty, the substitution of crops and agro-exports, as well as the improvement of the production of family agriculture are also important.

“At the Faculty of Agronomy, in its nine research programs we have contributed new varieties of crops, as well as hybrids with higher yields, those that are grown in the country and benefit our farmers and consumers. For example, UNA-1 cotton, hybrids of hard yellow corn, purple corn, among others. Also, the Yungay potato variety; in barley we have quinoa, kiwicha, beans, etc. Even cultivation technology is generated, with the aim of increasing their productivity ”, said Blas.

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Similarly, he argued that the management of germplasm banks is carried out, which allows generating knowledge and technology on the genetic, agronomic, economic and social value of the germplasm of native crops and of the wild relatives of priority crops.

In addition, the development of awareness systems on the sustainable use of biodiversity in harmony with the ecosystem, the intraspecific classification for the sustainable use of the genetic diversity of important crops in the country are carried out.

Let’s add the diversity of flora and fauna associated with agricultural and natural ecosystems, and their importance in the conservation of the biological and ecological balance and their environmental impact.

“For example: 4500 corn accessions are conserved in the Unalm Corn Research Program,” informed Dr. Blas.

«At the Faculty of Agronomy, in its nine research programs we have contributed new varieties of crops, as well as hybrids with higher yields, those that are grown in the country and benefit our farmers and consumers. For example, UNA-1 cotton, hybrids of hard yellow corn, purple corn, among others ”.

The scientific studies carried out by the Unalm Faculty of Agronomy are based on 11 lines of research: biodiversity; climate change in agrarian systems; diagnosis and integrated management of plant diseases; fertilization, mineral nutrition and irrigation; crop physiology; agricultural innovation; integrated pest management; Management and soil conservation; genetic improvement of plants; plant and seed propagation; and finally agricultural production systems.

Sustainable productivity increase

“For decades our country has depended on the importation of meat, milk and other foods, this deficiency being one of the main challenges faced by our professors, researchers and future graduates of the Faculty of Animal Science. Increasing the productivity of cattle, sheep, pigs, camelids, guinea pigs and birds in a sustainable way is crucial for the country’s food security ”, highlighted the PhD. Edwin Mellisho from the Faculty of Animal Husbandry.

Dr. Mellisho indicates that the development of native productive species, such as camelids and guinea pigs, requires multidisciplinary R & D & i work in search of new knowledge that improves productive and reproductive performance.

The management of germplasm banks is carried out, which allows generating knowledge and technology on the genetic, agronomic, economic and social value of the germplasm of native crops and of the wild relatives of priority crops.

“The Faculty of Zootechnics, through its eight programs, 14 groups and 11 research circles and made up of 51 professors in 2020, has contributed with the publication of 57 scientific articles in indexed journals and 33 theses in repository to opt for the title of zootechnical engineer and degree of teacher and doctor ”, indicates the PhD. Edwin Mellisho.

“The agriculture and livestock sector are supports of the economy of our Peruvian society,” said Mellisho.

And it affirms that many of the investigations of the Faculty of Zootechnics are financed by Fondecyt, PNIPA, Innóvate Perú and international funds. Among these projects, the following aspects are strengthened:

—Strengthening of the paiche value chain in the Loreto region.

—Strengthening of the rainbow trout value chain in the Sierra de Lima.

—Automation of dairy cow nutrition to improve profitability and productivity.

—Exploring the genomic diversity of native Peruvian guinea pigs (erythrocyte) from high Andean areas.

—Morphokinetic selection in bovine embryos according to implantation potential.

—Improving the sustainability and resilience of the Peruvian Amazon systems through silvopastoralism.

—Improve the sustainability of extensive sheep production systems in the Peruvian Andes.

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