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Crop Biotech Update

Filipino Farmers Ratify Resolution Supporting Bt Eggplant Trials

May 6, 2011

Farmers from Mindanao, Philippines confirmed their position to continue the multi-location trials of the fruit and shoot borer resistant Bt eggplant during the 1st Mindanao Agri-biotech Farmers' Conference last April 28, 2011 at the Grand Caprice, Lim Ket Kai, Cagayan De Oro City.

The farmers' resolution from the Isabela conference last October 5, 2010 was ratified by the farmers and other participants present  during the conference. Before the endorsement of the resolution, experts presented topics on biotechnology and its importance, particularly in agriculture in the Philippines.

Dr. Antonio Laurena, Research Professor at the Institute of Plant Breeding University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), presented the basics of biotechnology and biosafety in the Philippines. The global status and benefits of agri-biotechnology was discussed by Dr. Rhodora Aldemita of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Dr. Jinky Lu, professor from the National Institutes of Health, UP Manila, shared some significant findings in her study on pesticide residues in eggplant farms. The upcoming Bt eggplant in the country was introduced and explained by Dr. Randy Hautea, SEAsia Center Director of ISAAA.

Meanwhile, Isabela farmer Mr. Isidro Acosta shared the benefits he reaped and his successes from planting biotech corn. Mr. Acosta said that his yield and income significantly increased when he started planting Bt corn. Also supporting the adoption of biotechnology was Mr. Roger Navarro, who, as president of the Philippine Maize Federation, pointed out the importance of corn and the valuable contribution of the biotech corn in the Philippines.

The conference was organized by the Asian Farmers' Regional Network (ASFARNET), the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Unit X, DA Biotechnology Program Office, Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II, ISAAA, and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture – Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC).

For more information about the conference, visit SEARCA BIC's website http://www.bic.searca.org or e-mail bic@agri.searca.org.