Research agenda for the next medium term; dragon fruit utilization and product dev’t book launched

As among the highlights of the first National Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Exhibition (NAFTE), DA-BAR launched two publications aimed to serve as useful reference and provide relevant information to R4D partners and stakeholders on 16 August 2023 at Teacher’s Hall, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz.

The National Agricultural and Fisheries Research for Development and Extension Agenda (NAREA) 2023-2028 was previewed and introduced during the activity. The soft copy is now available at DA-BAR’s website, while the physical copies will be distributed to stakeholders at a later date. Meanwhile, the InPEELnity: Turning Waste into Things with Good Taste was discussed by Dr. Dana G. Vera Cruz.

In collaboration with the University of the Philippines Los Baños and produced through an extensive stakeholder consultation process, the NAREA 2023-2028 provides an updated research agenda for eight priority commodity groups, considered crucial for food security and expanding economic opportunities in the agriculture and fisheries sector. These include cereal crops, root crops, vegetables and legumes, fruits, plantation and biofuel crops, livestock, and aquaculture and capture fisheries. 

The expanded portfolio of thematic and also cross-cutting areas serves as reference in which DA can lodge R4DE investments, hence, the bureau in prioritizing support for its R4D programs, projects, and activities. Various research and development institutions and other agencies that form part of the National Research and Development System for Agriculture and Fisheries can also make use of the document in mapping out their R4DE programs, projects, and activities.

The CLSU-produced book InPEELnity: Turning Waste into Things with Good Taste presents the utilization of discarded dragon fruit peel into food products, potential food supplement for children, and good source of indigenous materials for handicrafts. The information was generated through funding support from DA-BAR and the active collaboration of the research team led by Dr. Vera Cruz, REFMAD Farms, and SoaPure Inc. The book intends to benefit dragon fruit growers and farmers by providing value-adding technologies for additional income and market.

Leading the launch were DA-BAR director Junel B. Soriano and assistant director Joell H. Lales. DA-Central Luzon regional technical director Dr. Arthur A. Dayrit, representing regional executive director Crispulo G. Bautista, Jr., and Provincial Tourism officer Atty. Maria Jose Cesar San Pedro, representing Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija governor Aurelio M. Umali also graced the second day of the NAFTE and book launch.(###Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)