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DA-BAR holds 28th National Research Symposium; underscores role of R&D

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With the theme, Sustainable Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity through Research and Development towards Food Sufficiency and Competitive Enterprises, the National Research Symposium (NRS) was successfully conducted by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) on 26-27 October 2016. For this year, “BAR chose to focus on the role of research and development (R&D) in enabling the agri-fishery sector to become highly productive, globally competitive, climate resilient, and sustainable,” said BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar.

Now on its 28th year, the NRS has consistently sought out high impact researches that can contribute to the achievement of the DA’s goals and objectives serving as a prestigious event where researchers and their work are given due recognition with citations and awards.

Highlighting the first day were presentations by the authors of the 24 research paper entries competing for the AFMA Best R&D Paper under the following categories: Applied Research in Agriculture, Technology Generation/Information Generation (TG/IG); Applied Research in Agriculture, Technology Adaptation/Technology Verification (TA/TV); Applied Research in Fisheries, TG/IG; Applied Research in Fisheries, TA/TV; Socio-economics; and Development in Agriculture. To qualify for presentation in the symposium proper, a research paper must have scored an average of 85 percent and above in the initial screening. Simultaneously conducted was the competition for Best Poster. This year, BAR received 134 research paper entries, a 21.8 percent increase as compared to last year’s entries which was only 110.

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The winners were announced during the Closing Program of the 28th NRS at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Convention Hall, Diliman, Quezon City on October 27, 2016.

In the “AFMA Best R&D Paper” category, five (5) papers brought home Gold Awards under various categories. These were:

  1. Applied Research TG/IG, Agriculture: “Inclusive and Sustainable Village-and Nypa-Based Bioethanol Industry Development” of Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU);
  2. Applied Research TA/TV – Agriculture: “Development and Performance Evaluation of a Village Level Coconut Water Processing System” of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).
  3. Socio-Economics: “Philippine Rice Competitiveness: Status, Prospects, and Directions” of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice);
  4. Development in Agriculture(two awardees): “Technology Commercialization on Slaughter Goats (Triple Cross) in Pangasinan” and “Pinoy GOURmix Technology Commercialization in Region 02” of DA – Regional Field Offices 1 and 2, respectively.

Four (4) silver and seven (7) bronze awardees of the AFMA Best R&D Papers were also named.

For the “AFMA Best R&D Poster”, PhilMech won this year’s Gold and Bronze Awards for their posters on “Design, Testing, and Evaluation of Compact Rice Mill with Impeller Huller,” and “Development and Performance Evaluation of a Village Level Coconut Water Processing System,” respectively. The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) bagged the Silver Award with their poster, “The Only Freshwater Sardinella (Sardinella tawilis) in the World: Its Spawning Patterns and Larval Distribution.”

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Gracing the Closing Ceremony were Ariel T. Cayanan, DA Undersecretary for Operations and National Project Director of the DA-Philippine Rural Development Project representing Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol and Dr. Victor C. Atienza, representing DA Assistant Secretary for Livestock Dr. Enrico P. Garzon, Jr.

In the keynote message of Secretary Piñol, read by USec. Cayanan, he emphasized the pressing need to invest more in scientific research to improve productivity and ensure global food security and that the way to address agricultural challenges such as climate change, diminishing natural resources, rapid population growth, and yield losses is the insistence for greater technology innovation. He had words of encouragement for researchers from the DA regional offices (DA-RFOs) as well as from the State Universities and Colleges where he said, “Do what will make food available and affordable, and develop the tools for farming and fishing that will make a mark in the lives of the ordinary farmer and fisher.”

Two publications funded under the Scientific Public Grant of the Bureau of Agricultural Research were launched during the program. The first book was “Adlay Recipes” which aims to promote various recipes on the new staple, adlay, that was produced by DA-RFO 4A. The second was, “A Decade of Success: A Compendium of Agriculture and Fisheries R&D Projects Supported by the Bureau of Agricultural Research from 2005 to 2014” which is a compilation of various BAR-funded projects implemented by the DA-RFOs, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and state universities and colleges through these years. The seven finalists for the Gawad Saka Outstanding Agricultural Researcher (OAR) and Outstanding Agricultural Scientist (OAS) were likewise recognized.

The 28th NRS was spearheaded by the Institutional Development Division of the Bureau headed by Ms. Digna L. Sandoval. ### (DA-BAR)