By Estrella Z. Gallardo
In spite of the growing popularity of oyster mushroom and sea cucumber in the domestic and global communities, there are very few farmers and fisherfolk who engaged themselves on these commodities, thus the need to promote their economic value as well as the technologies to enhance their production and use.
To do this, the Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (ILAARRDEC) conducts the Uong-Balat Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) from March 13-15, 2019 at the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in this city.
The event highlighted uong and balat, the Ilocano equivalent for oyster mushroom and sea cucumber, respectively, in relation to its potentials and R&D concerns.
The event bannered the theme, “Agri-aqua industry for sustainable growth and collective prosperity,” and highlighted activities concerning the production, marketing, and value adding of the featured commodities.
The FIESTA adopted several strategies, among which is a cookfest featuring the best menu for oyster mushroom and sea cucumber; a dance showdown conceptualized according to the theme of the event; a techno forum, technology matching, and field visits.
Meanwhile, Marcylyn Manuel of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 1 (DA-RFO 1) presented the species of oyster mushroom and its health benefits. She explained that oyster mushroom is a super food, functional food and is beneficial to the immune system. It is said to have anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. It also lowers blood sugar and blood pressure.
Rich Milton Dulay of the Center for Tropical Mushroom Research and Development, Central Luzon State University (CLSU), presented the Center’s programs and projects as well as the different technologies on mushroom production and conservation. He also discussed the Center’s Tuklas Lunas project, which taps the potential medicinal properties of mushroom.
FIESTA, is a technology promotion, transfer and commercialization platform initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD)
Hundreds of attendees from the academe, farmers, fisherfolk, youth, and women’s organizations joined the event. (MegaManila Science Journalists)