PCARRD, PCC conduct livestock biotech forum for media representatives

In response to the request of media representatives to have a deeper understanding on animal biotechnology research and development, a “Livestock Biotechnology Advocacy Forum for Media Representatives” was conducted at the SM Mall of Asia (SMA MOA) IMAX 2/F last November 22.

The said forum, which is one of the activities lined-up in the weeklong celebration of the National Biotechnology Week at the SM MOA from November 22-28, was sponsored by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development-Livestock Development Division (PCARRD-LRD) and co-sponsored by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

PCC executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz served as the resource speaker. His presentation focused on the potentials of livestock biotechnology in the Philippines, current applications of livestock biotechnology and future considerations on biotechnology application.
Dr. Cruz’ presentation underscored the importance of biotechnology in the social program of the government to help farmers earn additional income through livestock-based livelihoods.

Improving the genetics of swamp buffaloes to produce more milk through reproductive biotechniques as anchored in the national genetic improvement program is one of the steps of the government to realize this goal.
Dr. Cruz said that the Philippines spends about $720 million for imported meat and milk products abroad, making foreign farmers even richer and Filipino farmers in arrears.

Through advances in animal biotechnology research and development, livestock farmers are provided opportunities to earn more income out of owning genetically-improved animals that offer higher productivity.

However, application of biotechnology in agricultural production in the country is not yet fully adopted, which can be attributed to the lack of information dissemination about the technology, thus, the conduct of the advocacy forum.

In his message delivered by PCARRD-LRD director Dr. Edwin Villar, PCARRD executive director Dr. Patricio Faylon said, “In this modern time, it is most urgent to discuss, understand, promote and apply outputs of high-end research to be able to achieve significant improvements in livestock productivity in order to meet the increasing demand for livestock and poultry products.”

“I believe that a good understanding and appreciation of animal biotechnology by our media representatives would motivate them to promote modern biotechniques that will empower our animal raisers to shift from the traditional subsistence production system to profitable enterprises,” he added.

LRD assistant division head Dr. Synan Baguio said that the forum was organized to create a venue for media to interact with the guru of animal biotechnology in the Philippines and hopefully develop an informed opinion about the topic.
About a hundred media representative from various media outfits and the interested public participated in the said forum.