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Crop Biotech Update

Senior High School Students and Teachers Take Part in Agri-biotech Boot Camp

November 22, 2017

Twenty-nine (29) senior high school students and their science teachers from Isabela, Laguna, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan De Oro were enlightened on the issues and trends in agriculture and agri-biotech through lectures on biotech principles and applications in crops, livestock, and fisheries; the agriculture landscape in Southeast Asia; and hands on exercises on DNA extraction and edible landscaping during the Agri-biotech Boot Camp for Senior High School Students on November 15-17, 2017 at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna.

The activity was conducted to create awareness and build interest in agriculture and introduce traditional and modern biotech as a career among the students. The boot camp is a build-up activity for the 13th National Biotechnology Week celebrated on November 20-24, 2017 at Fisher Mall, Quezon City.

The activity also involved briefings and study visits to the biotech laboratories and facilities of the University of the Philippines Los Baños - Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB) and UPLB-National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (UPLB-BIOTECH), and the Rice World Museum of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Interactive games related to biotech were also facilitated by student organizations University of the Philippines League of Agricultural Biotechnology Students (UP LABS) and UP Genetic Researchers and Agricultural Innovators Society (UP GRAINS) for both student and teacher participants.

The boot camp was organized by the SEARCA – Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC), UPLB-IPB, Philippine Genome Center for Agriculture, Department of Agriculture - Biotech Program Office (DA-BPO), UP LABS, and UP GRAINS.

The National Biotechnology Week this year is spearheaded by the DA. Congresswoman Sharon Garin served as guest speaker in the opening program and acknowledged that biotech is indeed one of the solutions to food security. She said that farmers who choose to plant biotech corn reap benefits through increased yield and low production costs.

For more information on biotechnology in the Philippines, visit the SEARCA BIC website.