TAGBILARAN CITY, May 30 (PIA)--The Central Visayas Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (CVAARRDEC) held their first Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) featuring seaweed in Bohol last May 29-30, 2019.
The two-day event showcased research and technologies developed by the consortium members in the fields of agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources.
With the theme "CVAARRDEC: Moving towards Seaweed Industry Transformation in Region 7," the event was aimed to contribute in transforming the seaweed industry into a sustainable enterprise that will help enhance the economic standing of seaweed farmers in Region 7.
As a newly revived consortium for research, development and extension, CVAARRDEC, which implements the activity, is currently chaired by the Bohol Island State University (BISU).
Dr. Edwin C. Villar, Acting Deputy Executive Director for R&D of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), led the opening program on Wednesday at the Reyna's the Haven and Gardens in Tagbilaran City.
"Through S&T, we would like to improve seaweed productivity as well as the income of seaweed farmers," Villar said in his message.
According to Villar, the Philippines was once the world's top producer of seaweeds. However, Indonesia replaced the country as top producer since 2008.
To address the decline in the country's seaweed production, PCAARRD initiated the Seaweed Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP). Villar said that the program was able to develop various technologies and innovations on seaweeds.
The challenge now, he added, is to bring these breakthroughs to seaweed farmers and producers.
Villar also extended the Council's pride in partnering with CVAARRDEC and its collaborators in their effort to promote and commercialize technologies and innovations on seaweeds. He added that seaweed has high potential to contribute to the economic development in Region 7.
Meanwhile, the event's keynote speaker Ronald Simbajon, Director of Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP) said that seaweed has ready market for local and international.
"We have to expand seaweed farming. There must be collaboration between the seaweed researches of the government agencies and the industry," according to Simbajon.
The technology forum on the first day of the event tackled seaweed health management, organic liquid fertilizer from seaweed extract, and radiation-modified Kappa-Carrageenan as foliar fertilizer.
Other seaweed production and processing-related concerns were tackled on the second day of the event which includes Caulerpa spp "Lato" production, good management practices in seaweed farming, and seaweeds processing.
Also present during the opening program were BISU President and CVAARRDEC President Dr. Regucivilla A. Pobar, PCAARRD Applied Communication Division Director Marita Carlos and other officers of the council and Anthony Damalerio, representing Gov. Edgar Chatto who delivered a message in the opening program. (ecb/PIA7-Bohol)