By Estrella Z. Gallardo
With the theme, “CVAARRDEC: Moving towards Seaweed Industry Transformation in Region 7,” the Central Visayas Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (CVAARRDEC) held its first Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA), specifically for seaweed at Reyna’s the Haven and Gardens in Tagbilaran City.
Seaweed is one of the great resources for the people of Region 7, particularly for seaweed farmers, thus the need to provide the industry with the right technology.
The two-day Seaweed FIESTA was expected to contribute in transforming the seaweed industry into a sustainable enterprise that would help enhance the economic standing of seaweed farmers in Region 7.
Just like other FIESTAs, the event aimed to provide a venue for the discussion of new opportunities, challenges/issues in the seaweeds’ supply chain.
Exhibits, lectures, farmer’s forum, business matching, and other ancillary activities were part of the two-day event.
Technologies from culture systems up to product manufacture that would benefit farmers and entrepreneurs were showcased during the activity.
As a newly revived consortium for research, development and extension, CVAARRDEC, which implements the activity, is currently chaired by the Bohol Island State University.
The technology forum in 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. These are Caulerpa spp “Lato” production, good management practices in seaweed farming, and seaweeds processing.
The Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP), Seaweed Farmers Associations/ Cooperatives, and consortium member agencies collaborated in the conduct of the activity. Mr. Ronald S. Simbajon, SIAP Director, served as the keynote speaker (Philippine Press Club, Inc. (PPCII)).