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Philippines Advances to the Third Decade of Yellow Corn Production
Sunday, 2024/02/18 | 07:08:46

ISAAA Inc. joins 20 Years and Onward: Advancing the Future of Philippine Yellow Corn, a forum organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and Bayer CropScience Philippines at Makati Diamond Residences on February 8, 2024. Various stakeholders were invited to the event, including business groups, regulators, policymakers, local governments, farmers, members of the academe, researchers, and non-governmental organizations.


The event consisted of two panel discussions that aimed to foster engagement in discussing the current developments in biotech corn, popularly known as the Philippine yellow corn, to ensure its sustainability in the long term. The first panel discussion explored the 20-year journey of yellow corn in the Philippines. The topics also touched upon the importance of crop biotech regulations and the potential benefits of public-private partnerships in advancing biotech corn adoption. The panel includes Dr. Abraham J. Manalo, Executive Secretary of the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines; Dr. Candido B. Damo, Senior Technical Advisor of the National Corn Program of the Department of Agriculture; and Mr. Ramon S. Abadilla, Executive Director of CropLife Philippines.


The second panel discussion delved into topics about the impact of unlicensed GM seeds, the necessity of trait stewardship and responsible use of crop protection, inclusive value-chain approach, and regenerative agriculture. Dr. Gabriel O. Romero, Executive Director of the Philippine Seed Industry Association; Dr. Analiza Henedina M. Ramirez, an associate professor from the College of Agriculture and Food Science; Mr. Edwin Mapanao, President of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers, Inc.; and Mr. Iiinas Ivan T. Lao, Country Commercial Lead of Bayer CropScience, joined the second panel discussion.


Aside from panel discussions, the forum also featured Farmer Adriel Dave "AD" Alvarez, who amplified the experiences and challenges of farmers in the yellow corn industry. Farmer AD echoes the plight faced by biotech corn farmers in their journey. According to him, poverty impedes the adoption of biotech corn as they don't have the economy to buy and maintain the technology. Aside from capital assistance, he also emphasized the need for programs dedicated to mentoring, demonstrating, and facilitating technology adoption with the farmers on the ground.


The discussions stirred conversations and raised important points among invited stakeholders. During the open forum, Dr. Manalo said, "The battle cry is the safe and responsible use of technology." Along those lines, he emphasized the importance of dialogue, networking, and evidence-based policy-making in ensuring the advancement of yellow corn in the Philippines. The program concluded with final remarks from SEARCA Director, Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio. To ensure the sustainability of the yellow corn industry, Dr. Gregorio said, "Academe, industry, and government interconnectivity [are needed] to make this happen, and the farmer is in the center."


For more information, watch the recorded session on SEARCA's Facebook Page.


See https://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=20657

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