DA-BAR marks 36 years of public service, conducts nat’l agri-fisheries tech exhibit

“Ngayong araw, ipinagdiriwang natin hindi lamang ang mga kalalakihan at kababaihan na bumubuo ng ating institusyon. Ngunit, pati na rin ang ating mga kaagapay sa larangan ng pananaliksik at pagpapaunlad sa sektor ng agrikultura at pangisdaan, na patuloy na nag-aabot ng kanilang suporta. Higit sa lahat, ating ipinagdiriwang ang puno’t dahilan ng ating mga pagsisikap — ang mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” said DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) director Junel B. Soriano in his opening remarks.

As the lead coordinating and funding agency for agriculture and fisheries research for development (R4D), the bureau affirmed its commitment to serve the public as it commemorated its founding anniversary, with the theme Shaping Agri-Fisheries Technologies for a Better Future, on 15-17 August 2023 at Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

This year’s celebration highlighted the key role of the bureau in mobilizing partner R4D institutions who develop innovative  technologies and products for our farmers and fisherfolk. DA-BAR recognized the importance of partnerships and collaboration among national and local government agencies, state universities and colleges (SUC), and farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and associations to achieve Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya. The cooperation and solidarity of these institutions paved the way for improvement and continuous progress of the agriculture and fisheries R4D sector.

“Today, 36 years after the signing of the executive order creating the bureau, most farmers in the region have learned to use modern high yielding seed varieties and cultivation methods. They are more mindful of the environment and they use only enough fertilizers and inputs as they need,” said DA senior undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, as delivered by DA-BAR assistant director Joell H. Lales during the opening program.

Meanwhile, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chair Cynthia A. Villar congratulated the bureau and expressed her support, “I am one with DA-BAR in achieving our common goal to improve the lives of our Filipino farmers and fisherfolk.”

DA-BAR also conducted the first National Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Exhibition (NAFTE) at the FPJ Hall, CLSU. A nod to its 15-year old predecessor Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition, the renewed NAFTE featured 30 exhibitors from selected DA regional field offices, DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources regional fisheries offices, SUC, non-government organizations, and partner private institutions. 

They showcased R4D initiatives and highlighted innovative products  developed and validated through research. This activity served as a venue for technology developers to link with stakeholders and takers, as well as foster new opportunities. 

“I am confident that the technologies on exhibit here today will help to increase the efficiency, sustainability, and production of Filipino agriculture and fisheries in the region for years to come as well,” said Panganiban.

Following the opening of the NAFTE, a two-day seminar series was also held at the Teacher’s Hall, CLSU and broadcasted live through the bureau’s social media accounts. Attended by more than 240 people on average, the topics included pest management on mango cecid fly, goat production technology, solar-based hose reel irrigation,  off-season onion production, oyster culture using floating bamboo raft, WaterRice in action, and the significance of Food Development Center services to agriculture and fisheries R4D.

Other activities during this three-day celebration were the launching of the CLSU-produced book, InPEELnity: Turning Waste into Things with Good Taste and the National Agricultural and Fisheries Research for Development and Extension Agenda 2023-2028, as well as the recognition of the bureau’s loyalty awardees and best performing officials and staff.(### Rena S. Hermoso)