Making sure that the outputs and results of research reach their intended beneficiaries, the Filipino farmers and fisherfolk — thus the focus of Senator Cynthia Villar’s message during the opening ceremony of the 14th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition (NTF) on 30 August 2018 at SM Megamall, wherein she was the guest of honor.
He commended the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) for choosing “agripreneurship” as its theme this year and hoped that as the lead coordinating agency for research and development (R&D), the bureau will really ensure that the outputs and results of research will really reach the intended beneficiaries.
“Bakit ka magre-research kung hindi mo ma-iiapply sa buhay ng ating mahihirap na Pilipinong magsasaka at mangingisda. Di ba kaya nagreresearch para matulungan natin sila. Kaya pinopondohan ng gobyerno ang R&D, it is because the results of research will help uplift the lives of people in their practical applications,” said the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.
She also mentioned that the NTF is relevant because it highlights the R&D outputs and technology of BAR under the NTCP which really play a vital role in the development of enterprises and improvement of agri and fisheries-related industry. “I hope BAR will not waver in its commitment to consolidate, strengthen, and develop the agriculture and fisheries R&D system for the purpose of improving its effectiveness and efficiency,” she added.
On the issue of food security and importation, the senator said that, “no matter how hard it is, we have to improve our production of food so that we will produce enough food for our people and we produce it in competitive prices.”
Also present during the opening was Agriculture Assistant Secretary Roldan G. Gorgonio, who represented Secretary Emmanuel F. Pińol. In his message, he commended the bureau for showcasing to the public the results of R&D and stressed the importance of mainstreaming food, non-food products, and generated technologies to the market through technology commercialization.
Asst. Sec. Gorgonio also said that in this technological era, farmers and fishers must also be equipped, trained and capacitated with modern technologies and must have access to right information in order for them to be truly competitive. He likewise posted a challenge to all agricultural R&D workers to adhere to the vision and mission of the Department of Agriculture on food security and sustainability. And in the pursuit of the mission, reducing poverty and making Philippine agriculture sustainable and globally competitive sector is a must. ### (Rita T. dela Cruz and Patrick Raymund A. Lesaca)