Wednesday, May 09, 2012

WESVARRDEC celebrates Mango FIESTA

By Deodith Grace Honrado-Baticbatic and Sally R. Villasis

“Celebrate life with science and technology.” This is according to Dr. Edna Anit, Assistant Director, Crop Research Division of Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, Forestry Research Resources and Development Council (PCAARRD) in her message during the opening program of the Farms and Industry Encounter through Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) sa Manggahan Festival on April 16-20, 2012 in the Province of Guimaras.  

Dr. Anit, with Guimaras Governor Felipe Hilan A. Nava and Dr. Joel P. Limson, Chair of the Regional Research Development Coordinating Council (RRDCC) led the cutting of ribbon to formally open the week-long Manggahan Festival 2012 and agro-trade fair.

The activities started with street dancing competition participated by different towns and barangays of Guimaras. Participants boasted their colorful and attractive costumes as well as their graceful dance steps and styles.

Representing PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Patricio Faylon, Dr. Anit, in her message, said that PCAARRD promotes the science behind the success of the mango industry in the Province. She added that the success of the island’s mango industry did not happen by chance and among other factors, science underpinned the successful mango industry  of Guimaras.

According to Dr. Anit, FIESTA, as a strategy of PCAARRD celebrates life with science and technology.  It conveys the message of abundance and prosperity in the agricultural industry as well as its various business opportunities to a focus agricultural S&T that is synonymous to a progressive agriculture food industry.

Exhibits of mangoes and other Guimaras products overcrowded almost eighty percent of the agro-trade fair area. Likewise, in the Western Visayas Agriculture Resource Research and Development Consortium’s (WESVARRDEC’s) exhibit booth, products from different Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Centers and Partner Member Agencies were schowcased  for the whole week.

On the same day, a Technology Forum on Mango was conducted as part of the week-long event. The forum aimed to promote the S&T initiatives of the different partners in mango industry, in addressing the problems in producing mango in the Province as well as in making in making it a worldclass export of the country.  

Some 100 participants attended the forum composed of students, farmers, mango growers and producers, investors, representatives from government agencies and media personnel. Forum topics inlude Regulatory Support for the Guimaras Mango Industry discussed by Mr. Ronnie Morante, Provincial Agriculturist of Guimaras; Status and Updates of Mango Industry by Mr. Yondre J. Yonder, OIC Center Chief of the BPI-National Mango Research and Development Center; and Value Chain of Mango Industry in Guimaras by Ms. Ma. Carmen Ituralde, Provincial Director of DTI in Guimaras. WESVARRDEC’s Magsasaka Siyentista Rebecca Tubongbanua also talked on how Science and Technology helped her innovate and improve her business on mango based products, titled “Bugay sang S&T”.

During the event, various FIESTA contests were conducted on the 18th of April.  The contests include Cookfest, a cooking contest of different delectable mango recipes that are testaments of the value-adding aspect for mango; photojournalism and on-the spot essay writing contests featuring the Manggahan festival and the FIESTA.  Participants were students from national high schools, state colleges and universitities from all over Guimaras and Iloilo.

For the cookfest competition, school category, the Central Philippine University won 1st place while Guimaras State College won 2nd place with the main dish “Fried Fillet with mango salsa”. For the open category, “Valenciana de Mangga” of Ronnel Gaborno & company won 1st place and the “Seafod Sweet & Sour with Mango” of Glenn Gadut & company won 2nd place.  Other winners of the contests are:

1. On-the-spot- Essay Writing Contest (High School Category)
1st place – “The Best that Guimaras Ever Has” by Christian Kent Ceriola of Guimaras State College
2nd place – “Guimaras: Blessed by Golden Sweet Fruit” by Jethro Terence Gobuyan of Jordan National  High School
3rd place – “The Golden Gift from Above” by Gay Margarett Gange of Jordan National High School

2. On-the-spot- Essay Writing Contest (College Category)
1st place – “You’ve Caught the Yellow Fever” by Katrina Mae Sencil of West Visayas State University
2nd place – “Guimaras Golden Fruits: Competing to the World Market through S&T” by Rozie Mae Gepaya of Western Visayas College of Science and Technology

3. Photojournalism
1st place – Krezyl Joyce Pugna of West Visayas State University
2nd place – Patti Marie Ferrer of Guimaras State College
3rd place – Jhona Mae Gouzon of Jordan National High School

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