Farmer leaders pass resolutions on agri-biotechnology
One hundred eighteen farmer leaders recently attended the Visayas Agri-biotechnology Farmer’s Congress Series conducted by ASFARNET-Philippines at the Cebu Business Hotel in Cebu City and consolidated their position on key issues in agriculture for policy development.
The event was spawned from the success of three clustered farmers’ IEC training conducted in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao which sought to enhance stakeholder responsiveness on the issue of biotechnology in agriculture. The event which builds capacity through information and discussion of developments in biotechnology also sought to empower the participants in crafting positions to be submitted to congress and the Department of Agriculture for policy-making.
Among the sessions discussed in the conference were “Philippine Agricultural Biotechnology” focusing on hybrid Biotechnology and spearheaded by Dr. Vivencio R. Mamaril, Director of DA BPO. Golden Rice and the challenges of communicating about the GM crop was presented by Dr. Reynante Ordonio of PhilRice and Aileen Garcia of IRRI.
Charina Ocampo, of Bayer Philippines shared CropLife Philippines’ experience in communicating Biotechnology and Biosafety and provided some perspective of the business side of the industry.
The Visayas event resulted in the passing of seven resolutions on Biotechnology and other issues on agriculture.
“As a partner in this endeavor, we are happy because of the huge turnout of this event because it clearly shows that agriculture stakeholders, most especially those on the frontlines are serious about learning about biotechnology and its implication on the industry as a whole,” CropLife Philippines Executive Director Edilberto de Luna said. “Biotechnology is a huge game changer in many parts of Asia and the rest of the world and while there are plenty of challenges it is currently faced with, we are optimistic that with the proper capacity building measures, we will erase the stigma and allow it to fully make an impact on production.”
Plant science industry commends governments supporting the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology