DA-BAR eyes possible upscaling of abalone with MSU Tawi-Tawi

DA-BAR, together with Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography (MSU TCTO) eyes the possibility of upscaling abalone, which is one of the high value commodities produced in Tawi-Tawi. 

DA-BAR OIC-director Dr. Sailila E. Abdula, together with Research Program Development Division (RPDD) head Raymond Patrick L. Cabrera and Research Coordination Division head Amavel Velasco; and Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) director for Research and Development and Extension Services Tong Abas met with MSU TCTO officials and faculty led by its chancellor Dr. Mary Joyce Z. Guinto-Sali. 

During the meeting, Cabrera presented the bureau’s functions and mandates to give the university officials a glimpse of how the bureau determines R4D projects and programs to fund. RPDD technical staff Marnelie Subong, meanwhile, highlighted the fisheries-related programs and projects the bureau is currently undertaking. 

Cabrera said that he is looking forward to possible R4D collaborations with MSU TCTO, since DA-BAR is intensifying its efforts to reach out to state universities and colleges that need further assistance. 

“We are looking at how we can strengthen not only our collaboration, but also ensure harmonization within R4D networks,” he added. 

After a series of discussions, it was established that MSU TCTO may consider refocusing R4D interventions on upscaling high-value aquaculture commodities that will be competitive with other provinces. 

Ang importante kasi from our perspective ay ‘What [projects were] done? What needs to be done?’ tapos doon kami papasok. Kasi we are the ones who will boost, empower your project,” said DA-BAR OIC-director Abdula. 

MSU TCTO highlighted that while the hatchery facility of abalone is capable of producing, it still needs funding support for its upgrade. 

Aside from the possible upgrading of the hatching facility, DA-BAR OIC-director Abdula suggested the inclusion of enhancing technical capacities that will ensure and sustain the institutional capacities of the university. 

“Actually, ito ‘yong isa sa mga possibilities na pwedeng mag-provide ng assistance [ang BAR], pero ang nakikita namin, kung sa expansion ng hatchery, there should be (an) aspect later on, on how we can transfer the technology to the growers outside the university,” said RPDD head Cabrera. 

“We see the SUCs as important partners of the Department of Agriculture, not just in the technology generation aspect but also technology transfer initiatives as emphasized by Sir Sai,” he added. (### Kathleen Mae B. Bulquerin and Marnelie G. Subong)