BUTUAN CITY, Agusan del Norte The spirit of cooperation among our partners in the Caraga region inspires a dynamic development and promotion of science-based know how and tools that will boost the productivity of the country's agricultural sector. As such, this cooperation should bring us beyond mere farm production to product creation and commercialization.
This was how Marita A. Carlos, Director of the Applied Communication Division (ACD) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) related the importance of the ongoing Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) in the region as a technology diffusion platform.
Carlos and other key research and development officials from the region, as well as a local executive graced the press conference in connection with the conduct of the first FIESTA in the region. This is being implemented by the Caraga Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (CCAARRD).
Featuring Indigenous Tree Plantations (ITPs) and Sago, the said FIESTA, a sidebar of the city's Balanghay Festival, is spearheaded by the Caraga Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (CCAARRD) in collaboration with the City Government of Butuan.
The press conference followed the ribbon cutting ceremony signaling the opening of exhibits at the city's sports complex in Brgy. Libertad.
Press conference panelists, aside from Carlos included Congressman Lawrence H. Fortun of the First District of Agusan del Norte; Dr. Racquel M. Balanay, Caraga Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (CCAARRD) Consortium Director; City Agriculturist Engr. Pierre Anthony D. Joven, Officer-in-Charge; and Regional Research and Development Coordinating Council (RRDCC) Chair and Caraga State University President, Dr. Anthony M. Penaso.
Aside from explaining the FIESTA concept, Carlos also informed the Manila and Caraga-based media practitioners of DOST-PCAARRD mandates and its banner programs.
Adopting the theme "Celebrating the Balanghay Spirit through the FIESTA: Panagtagbo ug Kukibildo Para Sa Kalamboan sa Industriya sa Kahoy ug Sago," the event values cooperation among the consortium member agencies towards the development of ITPs and sago as two of the regions priced agricultural commodities.
Negotiations are ongoing in connection with the membership of the City Government of Butuan to CCAARRD.
The Philippines was once one of the top world timber producers until the mid-90s when it began importing wood and pulp and paper products after decline in production.
Addressing this concern, DOST-PCAARRD provided the necessary science and technology interventions through the Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) on ITP.
For sago, the Council has partnered with Caraga State University (CSU), Aklan State University (ASU) and Visayas State University (VSU), in coming up with science and technology-based strategies in ensuring the availability of quality planting materials of sago palms for plantation establishment and in helping manage existing natural sago palm stands.
"DOST-PCAARRD will continue to support programs and projects on the Council's focused commodities with its partners, especially the SUCs and the LGUs, not only on joint R&D but also on technical assistance, generation of information and exchange of strategies/technologies," Carlos said.