Farmers in Mindanao to Explore Agri-biotech Farming

Over 120 farmer leaders around Mindanao agreed to explore and use modern biotechnology as an alternative way in farming.

Asian Farmer Regional Network-Davao Region representative Eduardo V. Bernadas, in an interview with SunStar Davao on Wednesday, September 5, said he and his fellow farmers are highly interested in growing biotech products now that they have a clearer and better understanding about science-based farming.

Bernadas, who also serves as head of Farmers Action Council in Davao del Norte, said farmers need to understand the importance of biotechnology in addressing food security and farm productivity.

“By using agri-biotech, our problems in food security and yield will be addressed slowly,” he said in vernacular at the sidelines of the Mindanao Agri-Biotechnology Farmers Congress at the D’Leonor Resort in Buhangin, Davao City.

Mr. Edwin Paraluman, Asian Farmer Regional Network (ASFARNET) Asian Coordinator (Image Credit:
Mr. Edwin Paraluman, Asian Farmer Regional Network (ASFARNET) Asian Coordinator (Image Credit:


The congress gathered farmer leaders from Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The event has given farmers with relevant updates on biotechnology and allowed them to discuss various issues confronting modern agriculture. The farmers also came up with congress resolutions for the National Farmers Agri-biotechnology Congress happening sometime the first quarter of 2019.

Asian Coordinator Edwin Paraluman, in a separate interview said the participating farmers in the congress are tasked to re-echo what they learned during the confab to their member farmers.

“All these are part of our information dissemination efforts in debunking myths about biotechnology. We want to let everyone to know that this is safe to the environment and human health,” Paraluman said.

Department of Agriculture-Davao chief information officer Noel Provido emphasized that they support biotechnology but it does not necessarily mean that it will be the sole way in championing agriculture. “We are pushing this (agribiotech), but we also promote organic farming. We want to give farmers a range of options in agriculture,” he said.

At present, the Philippines has a total of 642,000 hectares planted with BT Corn as of 2017. Bt Corn is the only genetically modified crop grown in the country. Other GM Crops like Bt eggplant and Golden Rice are currently in the process of being commercialized.


Written by Ace June Rell S. Perez in Sun Star Davao. See original article link here