Regional agri-fisheries R4D highlights Research Management Meeting for 2022

To discuss and strengthen the implementation of agriculture and fisheries research for development (R4D) in the regions, DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) led the conduct of the Research Management (RM) Meeting on 5-7 July 2022 at the Crop Biotechnology Center, DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. 

Institutionalized in 2014, the RM meeting also allows research managers to learn from the experiences of the other regions in project implementation and research management. 

Attending the meeting were regional technical directors and research managers of DA and DA-BFAR Regional Field Offices; and key staff from DA bureaus and attached agencies. 

DA-BAR director Dr. Junel B. Soriano underscored the role of the bureau in developing and empowering national agricultural research plans and priorities in line with the national goals and objectives. 

“We must continue to propel and inspire our researchers, managers, and administrators to continue working and innovating despite and in the face of changes and challenges,” he said. 

To provide updates and directives on Research for Development and Extension (R4DE), DA-BAR presented the following: R4DE Continuum, updated Guidelines and Sustainability Plans for Regional Research for Development Extension Network (RR4DEN); and National and Regional R4D Programs, Activities, and Projects. There was also a brief presentation on the Scientific Career System and Magna Carta for DA Science and Technology personnel. 

A two-day workshop was held where regional offices worked on and presented their respective major accomplishments on R4DE-related proposed programs, activities and projects (PAPs) for 2024.

Joining director Soriano in the opening program were DA-BAR assistant directors Joell H. Lales and Dr. Anthony B. Obligado, DA-Central Luzon regional technical director for Research and Regulations Dr. Arthur D. Dayrit, and DA-PhilRice executive director Dr. John C. de Leon. 

“The able assistance of DA-BAR assures us of better and stronger partnerships which outcomes will redound to empowering R4DE in the region,” said director DA-Central Luzon OIC-RTD Dr. Dayrit on behalf of regional executive director Crispulo G. Bautista, Jr. 

DA-BAR Research and Planning Development Division head Raymond Patrick Cabrera synthesized the activity and provided the ways forward. He emphasized that participation of local stakeholders and local government units; the private sector and implementing agencies must be part of the bottom-up approach. These include setting, planning, and prioritization of programs, activities, and projects.  R4DE activities and scaling of technologies must be reported and documented, particularly its outcome and impact. 

The bureau, together with the DA attached agencies and regional field offices, believes that food sufficiency and affordability should be the main bases of the R4D thrusts. DA-BAR shall align and craft strategies, programs, and activities based on the new DA administration’s thrusts and priorities. 

DA-BAR assistant director for Research Support Services Dr. Anthony Obligado further encouraged the research group to provide the needed support to the new administration. “I believe that he [the President and new DA Secretary]  will also provide changes, through programs and strategies, that will benefit farmers, fisherfolk, and stakeholders,” he said. 

Culminating the RM meeting, field visits to the Precision and Digital Agriculture Center at Central Luzon State University, DA-BFAR National Freshwater Technology Center, and the National Livestock Cryobank facility at DA-Philippine Carabao Center were conducted wherein said R4D implementing agencies showcased their respective R4D initiatives and technologies. (### Angelo Padura & Diwa Velasquez)