Biotech Updates

PH Launches 2023 Biotech Outreach Program, Highlights Int'l Trade and Transfer

July 5, 2023

Researchers, farmers, professors, and students participated in the Current State and Opportunities for Biotechnology in International Trade and Technology Transfer on June 30, 2023. The event was a joint effort among The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), in partnership with ISAAA Inc., Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Crop Biotechnology Center (CBC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The hybrid event aimed to examine the global status of biotechnology trade and transfer and how recent developments in the field support academic researchers and technology developers to transfer new biotech innovations from the laboratory to the public. The event was attended by about 372 participants at the venue and 204 participants via Zoom.

Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, Executive Director of ISAAA Inc., welcomed the attendees and gave the opening remarks. Welcome messages were given by Mr. Jerome Cayton Barradas, who read the message of SEARCA's Executive Director, Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, and Mr. Mark Hanzel from USDA. The current state of biotechnology in the Philippines was discussed by Mr. Panfilo De Guzman from ISAAA, Inc. Among the resource speakers were Dr. Rey Ordonio from DA-CBC, Mr. Agus Heri Setyo Wahyudi from PTPN XI, Dr. Keitaro Kato from Aquaculture Research Institute at Kindai University, and Dr. Gabriel O. Romero from Tropic Inc.

In their messages, the speakers shared the benefits of biotechnology and urged the stakeholders to support and adopt biotechnology. According to Mr. Mark Hanzel, "There are a lot of misunderstandings and misinformation regarding biotechnology." "However, when farmers see the benefits of biotechnology to their crops, they are motivated to adopt the biotechnology," said Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita. "Based on the data, the adoption of biotech crops is actually increasing," said Mr. De Guzman.

Dr. Ordonio discussed the science of genetic modification and gene editing. Mr. Wahyudi shared about the Initiatives in sugarcane biotechnology in Indonesia. Dr. Kato discussed their research about gene-edited fish in Japan. Dr. Romero from Tropic Inc. shared about their research in reduced browning banana.

The panel discussion featured most of the resource speakers, and also included Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita and DA-CBC Chief Dr. Roel Suralta. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Zabrina Bugnosen of ISAAA, Inc.

At the end of the discussions, participants and organizers were invited to sign a declaration of support to biotechnology.

For inquiries about the event, email

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