By Cora F. Navarra, Ph.D., Capiz State University, RACG Coordinator
With reports from Vishia Tolcidas, Niño Manaog & Sally Villasis
Science and technology in every product.
This was the theme of the first Regional Techno Gabay (TG) Summit and Technomart hosted by the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) on May 25–26, 2011 at the Amigo Plaza Mall on Iznart Street in Iloilo City.
To promote the products of its member institutions and farmers centers across the region, and link them to bigger markets, WESVARRDEC led by Director Joseph Edward Idemne, the coordinators and staff, assisted by some 15 partner member agencies (PMAs) and their Farmers Information & Technology Services (FITS) centers, showcased for two days some 80 products and technologies from the FITS centers and Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) or the farmer scientists of Western Visayas.
The regional initiative has been fully backed by WESVARRDEC's mother agency, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) under the leadership of Executive Director Patricio Faylon.
And supported by one of its consortium member agencies, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 6 led by Regional Executive Director Rowen Gelonga, the summit drew some 200 participants from the different partner member agencies across Western Visayas in a two-day expo which also featured technology and business forums for farmers, extension workers, researchers and the general public.
Products and technologies from the participating FITS Centers were featured in the booths of PMAs, namely: Aklan State University, Capiz State University, Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, Agricultural Training Institute Region 6, Bureau of Plant Industry - National Mango Research and Development Center, Central Philippine University, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 6, Guimaras State College, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, Philippine Coconut Authority Region 6, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, West Negros College Research and Development Foundation, Inc., University of Antique, University of the Philippines Visayas and the West Visayas State University.
In a farmers’ forum, WESVARRDEC featured MS Rebecca C. Tubongbanua of FITS OPA Guimaras who shared her skill in mango processing technology and business and MS Ramon D. Peñalosa, Jr. of FITS OPA Negros Occidental who shared, among others, his farming practices and practical wisdom in integrated natural farming systems.
In the business forum, WESVARRDEC featured representatives from a number of local and national business organizations. Mr. Emmanuel Reyes of the Philippine Food Processors & Exporters Organization (Philfoodex) briefed participants on market matching; Mr. Robert Gasparello, program manager of the Negros Island Certification Services (NICERT) shared on organic product certification, and Engr. Reynaldo Ambao, director of the Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc., spoke on product development.
Professor Cesar Frias, assistant director of PCARRD's Applied Communication Division briefed the participants on the Technomart modality bannered by PCARRD, while Dr. Emelyn Flores, DOST 6’s assistant regional director for technical operations, promoted their S&T assistance for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Highlighting the TG summit was the Techno Gabay Awards, which gave recognition and prizes to outstanding Magsasaka Siyentista, Techno Gabay Team Leader and Regional Applied Communication Group Representative. This year’s TG Awards also recognized the best FITS Center and Best Partner Member Agency (See separate article for the awards).