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2016 Agrilink opens, BAR booth visited by gov’t and DA officials

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Dubbed as the country’s largest annual international agribusiness event, the “2016 Agrilink/Foodlink/Aqualink” opened on 6 October 2016 and will run until 8 October 2016 at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila.

Gracing the first day of the event were Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Vice Chairperson Cynthia A. Villar, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, DA Undersecretary for Agribusiness and High Value Crops Evelyn G. Laviña, DA Assistant Secretary for the Visayas Atty. Hansel O. Didulo, and Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar, along with other government officials and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

As one of the major sponsors and exhibitors of the three-day event, BAR featured in its booth a Philippine map showcasing champion commodities from each region wherein BAR has provided R&D support. The map was inspired by the “Color Coded Agriculture Guide Map” of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and DA Secretary Piñol that will serve as a guide for farmers on the appropriate crop to be planted in a specific location.

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Also showcased was the Technology Commercialization on Wheels (TCOW), an initiative of BAR under its National Technology Commercialization Program, together with the University of the Philippines Los Baños-College of Development Communication that seeks to improve local agricultural conditions and enhance the social marketing appeal of agricultural commodities by bringing Package of Technologies (POTs) to communities through a mobile exhibit truck.

DA Secretary Piñol appreciated the TCOW initiative and said that further intensification of extension-related activities in the agriculture department will be pushed early next year. Aside from the agriculture secretary, other officials who visited the BAR booth included Senator Villar, Undersecretary Laviña, Assistant Secretary Didulo, and Director Eleazar.

During the first day, BAR likewise conducted three seminars with topics on herbs and spices, indigenous crops, and mushroom production. ### (DA-BAR)

“Tilapia ice cream” breaks new ground for business ventures

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After successfully bagging the Gold Medal as an Innovation-World Winner Awardee during the Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire (SIAL) ASEAN Manila 2016, and going viral over the internet, new business opportunities now await the trend-setting tilapia ice cream.

Developed by Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and packaged as Daerrys tilapia ice cream, this will soon be available in Ka Tunying’s Café in Quezon City owned by known news anchor, Anthony Taberna. Professor Dana G. Vera Cruz, project leader and chair of the CLSU-Department of Hospitality Management, excitedly shared that in November of this year, the tilapia ice cream will also be sold along with various ice cream product lines found in a supermarket in FisherMall, Quezon City.

“We are overwhelmed with the positive feedbacks regarding our tilapia products. We are happy sharing such innovative technologies and putting a twist to the conventional way of preparing tilapia,” Prof. Vera Cruz shared. She is also delighted that the tilapia ice cream will be providing additional income to fisherfolk in the Central Luzon region with the additional volume of raw materials that will be needed to meet the expected demand for tilapia ice cream.

Prof. Vera Cruz attributes a major part of tilapia ice cream’s success to the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) which provided funding support through the project, “Technology Enhancement and Commercialization of Tilapia Ice Cream”. According to her, “It is really DA-BAR who supported the commercialization of tilapia products under our R&D activities that started way back in 2002 continuing until now with the development of more product lines,” she added.

Funded under DA-BAR’s National Technology Commercialization Program, CLSU was able to develop various tilapia products including tilapia ice cream with tilapia praline, tilapia ice cream sans rival, and tilapia ice cream with tilapia cookies. There are also thin plain tilapia cookies, tilapia cookies with tomato jam, and tilapia hermits dipped in lemongrass-pandan chocolate.

Currently, CLSU is producing 5,000 units (cups and other variants) of tilapia ice cream per month. “Hopefully, in the months ahead, its commercialization will emerge so more and more Filipinos will be able to taste it,” the project leader said. With success in hand, Prof. Vera Cruz wishes to encourage researchers and other individuals who want to venture into the business of agricultural products. “Being innovative also means you have to take the risk and, at the same time, believe in your product. Surround yourself with creative people. Daerrys tilapia ice cream would not be successful without the help of the whole R&D team, from the proponents led by CLSU President, Dr. Tereso A. Abella, down to the laborers and, of course, to funding agencies like DA-BAR who helped us along the way. May this also be the start where we Filipino researchers would be known as innovative and creative, and our Philippine products become recognized and competitive in the local and international markets,” she said.

SIAL ASEAN Manila 2016 was held on 31 May–2 June 2016 at the World Trade Center in the City of Manila in which 350 exhibitors from 25 countries around the world participated. Part of Prof. Vera Cruz’ privilege as a winner is their team’s upcoming participation in SIAL Paris 2016 Food Exhibit in October 2016 on top of using the SIAL logo in their product labels. ### (Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)

BAR enhances official logo

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The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) enhances its official logo this year.

Attached to the Department of Agriculture (DA) logo, the enhanced BAR logo contains the bureau’s name curved at the bottom for easier recognition and recall among its partners and stakeholders.

The main colors represent the three major sectors that contribute to Philippine agriculture: green for the crops sector, blue for the aquaculture and fisheries sector, and brown for the livestock and poultry sector.

The farm family at the center highlights the bureau’s logo, recognizing the significant role of each member and of the family as a whole in providing food and augmenting income through the development of a family enterprise. It also signifies that the family is the ultimate beneficiary of the efforts of the agriculture and fisheries R&D system.

The white flask formed at the back of the family represents BAR’s role in R&D, particularly with its mandate to lead, support, and coordinate national R&D for agriculture and fisheries in the country.

These elements are enclosed in a circle to represent the dynamic relationship of the agriculture and fisheries sector with research and development activities towards achieving sustainable development.

With the enhanced logo, BAR encourages all its partners to affix it to any BAR-related communications, official documents, and other printing materials.

BAR extols the virtues of native pigs with research initiatives

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In 2005, Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and the National Swine and Poultry Research and Development Center (NSPRDC) of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) collaborated with other livestock agencies on projects that will beef-up the promotion, conservation, characterization and the commercialization of potential strains of native pigs. This led to series of gradual development of Philippine native swine particularly in the conservation, promotion, and commercialization.

The BAR-NSPRDC collaborative projects, “Development and Commercialization of Selected Strains of Philippine Native Pigs” and Commercialization, Evaluation and Commercialization of Philippine Native Pig”, were funded under the National Technology Commercialization Program (BAR-NTCP), a BAR banner program. Dr. Rene C. Santiago, center chief of the NSPRDC and the project proponent, has partnered the center with the local government units (LGUs) of Quezon and selected farmer-cooperators in Laguna and Quezon for promoting native swine.

The projects cover the establishment of baseline data for native pigs; recommending proper feeding rations; the generation of information on the existing native pig gene pool, breeding management and production, and selected strains of native pigs; and the development of processing technologies for meat and skins from selected strains. It also seek to strengthen the sector and, more importantly, empower the farmers to be locally-and internationally-competitive.

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Production of native pigs can be a viable alternative for swine producers who cannot cope with the costly input requirements of commercial swine and those who do not have enough capital for housing and feeding. These animals can be raised without the use of chemical inputs and, as a desirable breed (for lechon and for its low-fat meat); it has high market potentials for those planning to engage in organic swine production. In addition, native pigs are very rich sources of genetic materials for local breed development and improvement programs, hence the necessity to conserve and preserve this breed.

Government support is an essential component in order for native animal’s production to be sustainable for the farmers. BAR supports the DA in ensuring the country’s native animals conservation through the provision of proper information and technologies generated through R&D.

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As it continues to support the livestock program and that of the Philippine Native Animals Development (PNAD) of the DA, the bureau has coordinated and funded, as of September 2016, a total of 21 livestock and poultry related projects for the generation of reliable technologies on livestock production, management and post-production in collaboration with the various project proponents and farmers organization. Included to these are the bureau’s support to the center’s R&D facilities such as the upgrading of Native Pig Grower Pens and acquisition of audio-visual equipment. BAR also funded the establishment of PNAD Information System and Showroom through the Center for Environmental Law and Policy Advocacy, Inc. (CELPA Inc.).

BAR is the research and development (R&D) arm of the DA and the mandated national agriculture and fishery R&D coordinating agency, while the NSPRDC is under BAI’s Farm Operation Group dedicated to the development of the swine and poultry industries. The station is located in Tiaong, Quezon. ### Patrick R.A. Lesaca

BAR to highlight agricultural R&D initiatives in AgriLink 2016

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For over a decade now, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been a constant partner in the annual conduct of AgriLink/ FoodLink/AquaLink. This will be done anew in the 23rd staging of AgriLink on 6-8 October 2016 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The interesting feature of this year’s AgriLink is the continuation of its local focus with the theme, “Negros Island: A Model of Agribusiness Resiliency.” Many of the communities in Negros Island have been hotbeds for agribusiness, long before others even became aware of this school of thought. The Negros Island communities are particularly receptive of innovations introduced by agricultural research and development (R&D) and the island plays host to several agricultural research institutions, both public and private.

One instance of adoption of new technology, where BAR and its partners played a big role, is the utilization of sweet sorghum as a bioethanol feedstock by the San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI) in San Carlos City for the production of fuel-grade ethanol with the sweet sorghum crop sourced from first-time growers in Sagay City. It is under such settings that BAR has been providing funding and other support for locally-implemented R&D projects under its two banner programs.

As the DA’s lead arm for agricultural research coordination and as one of the sponsors of AgriLink, BAR will participate in the activity with an exhibit and conduct of seminars. The exhibit will showcase R&D projects that are focused on technology ready for commercialization and on products resulting from such technologies. Most of these were developed under the BAR banner program, National Technology Commercialization Program, which is geared towards the development of micro enterprises and agribusiness ventures with BAR providing technical as well as financial assistance. Its other source of locally-developed technology is the banner program, Community-Based Participatory Action Research, which is a location-specific research cum extension that makes use of the participatory approach involving farming communities in designing research activities to ensure specificity and success of research-generated technologies under local conditions.

With both programs promoting agribusiness development at the regional level, BAR continues to support crop, livestock, and fisheries projects conducted by its local research partners with whom the bureau is in constant coordination with. These partners include the Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Centers, Regional Fisheries Research and Development Centers, Regional Field Offices, DA bureaus and attached agencies, local government units, state universities and colleges, and private sector institutions.

BAR will also be holding seminars on the first day with topics on homemade remedies from herbs and spices, indigenous crops in the Philippines, and mushroom production. ### (Victoriano B. Guiam, DA-BAR)