Making Biotechnology Acceptable to More Filipinos

To address the  problem of  providing food to a rapidly growing population,  the  scientific  communities  worldwide including the Philippines are  advocating a balanced, safe  and sustainable approach  using the best conventional  crop technology and the best of biotechnology to achieve sustainable food production.  Biotechnology is a modern technology that makes use of organisms (or parts thereof) to make or modify products; improve and develop microorganisms, plants or animals; or develop organisms for specific purposes in a more precise manner.

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Rice Farmers In For More Bountiful Harvests With DOST-formulated Growth Promoter

Greater harvests are forthcoming for Filipino farmers with the availability of the radiation-processed Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP) formulated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

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Legacy Monsanto, Cagayan PLGU hold agri-related seminars

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, July 22 (PIA)–Legacy Monsanto Philippines recently partnered with the Cagayan Provincial Learning and Resource Center (CPLRC) under the Office of Governor Manuel Mamba for the conduct of an agricultural biotech seminar for farmers and an agri-counselling seminar for senior high school students. Read more

13 Filipino Living National Scientists Celebrated Through Virtual and Digital Tech

The launching of the Salinlahi Science Centre honours and pays tribute to esteemed scientists of the Philippines, who are considered the super heroes of science.

This is achieved through futuristic exhibits on the careers and life stories of the scientists.

According to a recent press release, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines unveiled the Science Centre.

Celebrating the National Scientists

Doing so had revealed a new world of virtual and digital celebration of the works and valuable contributions of the 13 living National Scientists. NAST is one of the advisory bodies of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The interactive exhibits, managed by DOST-NAST Philippines, is housed at the Philippine Science Heritage Centre or Salinlahi at the DOST Complex in Bicutan, Taguig City. The 13 National Scientists featured in the centre come alive in avatar where visitors will discover their minds and their careers, which reflect their unquenchable curiosity and thirst for learning. The displayed avatars of said science super heroes will hopefully serve as inspiration to the next generation of scientists.

Image credit: www.opengovasia.com
Image credit: www.opengovasia.com
The Salinlahi Science Centre

The upgrading of the Centre is a project that will be divided into three phases. It is envisioned to become the country’s hub of scientific pride, where the 13 National Scientists dedicated their work of science to make a better society and stronger country.

The Philippine Science Heritage Centre or Salinlahi, which means heirloom of a generation, was created under Republic Act 9107 or the Philippine Science Heritage Centre Act.

It was to be the repository of the achievements and outstanding accomplishments of the Filipino community in the areas of science and technology. More of the works of these 13 National Scientists and other experts will be featured in the upcoming celebration of the 2019 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) from 17-21 July 2019 at the World Trade Centre, Pasay City.

National Science and Technology Week

As reported, the NSTW is celebrated every third week of July to highlight the significant contributions of science and technology (S&T) to national development.

Additionally, the celebration has become a platform for heralding S&T advocacy in the country.

This year’s theme, “Science for the People: Enabling Technologies for Sustainable Development,” underpins the event’s showcase on the latest innovations in technologies, products, and research that can help achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This annual event of the DOST will feature the latest technologies and innovations in the fields of agriculture, enterprise development, industry, emerging technologies, health and nutrition, information and communication technology, and disaster preparedness.

It is the perfect venue for the science community and science enthusiasts, particularly the technology developers and investors, including the S&T service providers and clients, to interact, exchange ideas, and pursue potential opportunities in technology commercialization and linkages.

 

Written by Teresa Umali in Open Gov. Read original article here.

Making PHL Agriculture Sexy

We have to make farming sexy,” asserts Emmanuel Ansah-Amprofi from Ghana, quoted in a New York Times article last week. A former immigration lawyer-turned-farmer, he is among a growing number of young, college-educated Africans out to show that agriculture can be exciting and profitable, and not the poor man’s profession it is commonly known to be.

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Department of Agriculture Pushes Accurate Info on Biotech Crops

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is preparing its regional offices to disseminate accurate information on biotech crops, so that negative perceptions against their promotion could be addressed.

Agriculture workers from the regional field offices (RFO) of the DA in Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon participated in a two-day workshop on biotech crops in San Fernando, Pampanga and Ilagan City, Isabela, respectively. The participants were briefed about the DA Biotech Program, biotech principles and applications, regulatory system, and locally developed biotechnology products such as Bt Talong (Bacillus thuringiensis) and Golden Rice.

Bt Eggplant (Image Credit: SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center)
Bt Eggplant (Image Credit: SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center)

Crispulo Bautista Jr., officer in charge and regional executive director of DA-Central Luzon, said it was imperative for agriculture workers to have accurate and useful information on biotechnology to ensure that the public receives factual and truthful information about biotechnology.

“I requested this biotech briefing for Region 3 from [former] director Mamaril so that our staff can learn about these technologies. Rest assured that the DA-RFO 3 (Central Luzon) will cascade the right information about biotechnology,” he said.

Golden Rice (Image credit: Philippine Rice Research Institute)
Golden Rice (Image credit: Philippine Rice Research Institute)

Safety, efficiency, effectiveness, market price and regulations of genetically modified organism crops and other biotech-related products were discussed.

Biotech products have to undergo rigorous and evidence-based assessments provided by the current regulatory system to be considered safe and effective, the resource speakers, including Segfredo Serrano, emphasized.

Serrano, the retired DA undersecretary for policy, planning, project development and research, also urged participants to engage and empower farmers to make evidence-based decisions on the use of biotech products in improving their livelihood.

“[Our regulatory system ensures] that only biotechnology initiatives that can benefit our people, demonstrate environmental integrity and respect farming practices will be approved. Our farmers [need] to have appreciation of science, so that they won’t have a culture of fear,” he said.

The DA-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO), the Philippine Rice Research Institute and the International Rice Research Institute led the initiative.

DA-BPO plans to continue coordinating with the other regional offices of the Agriculture department to conduct more biotech seminars and training to bridge the information gap among agriculture workers.

 

Written by Conrad M. Cariño in The Manila Times. Read original article here.

Is Philippine Agriculture Ready for Industry 4.0?

Is the country’s agriculture sector ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0 (ID4)? So far there are no clear answers, but let me explain what advantages ID4 can offer to the country’s farming and fisheries industries. ID4 offers a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, thus impacting businesses, economies and industries, including agriculture.

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Agri-Biotech Stakeholders Convene For Pan-Asia Farmer’s Exchange Program

Forty-three delegates from 10 Asian countries composed of farmer-leaders, scientists and the academia, media, as well as representatives from government and private institutions gathered for the week-long 13th Pan-Asia Farmers’ Exchange Program held on April 1-5, 2019 in Manila, Philippines.

Discussions focused on communicating biotech in the Philippines, the country’s biosafety regulations for biotech crops, insect resistance management program, the current status of agri-biotech in each country, and plant breeding innovations. The group also went to a commercial Bt corn farm in the province of Tarlac and paid a visit to the International Rice Research Institute as well as the Corteva Seed Processing Plant to learn about their projects and see the research facilities first-hand.

Participants of the 13th Pan-Asia Farmers' Exchange Program
Participants of the 13th Pan-Asia Farmers’ Exchange Program

The exchange program, which was first conducted in 2007, was organized by CropLife Asia, CropLife Philippines, and the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines. It aims to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing and exchange on agricultural biotechnology where the delegates learn how biotech crops go through a stringent, science-based regulatory process to ensure their safety to humans and animals and to the environment, how they are managed at farm level, and how they benefit the farmers and their communities.

 

Written by Danellie Joy O. Medina, SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center

Legislators Apprised on PHL Biosafety Regulations

More than 100 Legislative officials from the House of Representatives and selected members of the Philippine Judicial Academy (Philja) were apprised on the Philippine regulatory system for genetically modified crops in a briefing held at the House of Representatives on February 27.

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Lawyers favor agri-biotech in food and medicines

Filipino lawyers favor the application of agri-biotech in food and medicines, a study conducted by the University of the Philippines Los Baños-College of Development Communication (UPLB-CDC) found. Read more

Science for Change

Beyond the stellar performance and numerous achievements of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2018, such as the launch of the country’s second microsatellite Diwata 2 and the signing of the Balik Scientist law, among others, Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña expressed his drive to improve three key areas: manpower, infrastructure and innovation.

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GMO Corn is Transforming Farmers’ Lives in the Philippines 

“Before now, I didn’t sleep well when I planted corn in my field,” recalled Edwin Paraluman, a farmer from the Philippines. “I was always afraid that I would wake up one day to find my corn field destroyed by the corn borer. This is because the corn borer in the Philippines does not respect any season, it is always there in the corn field.”

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