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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Occidental Mindoro Mayors Back biotech, Support Establishment of Information Centers

It is only when farmers realize that agriculture is an enterprise from which they can derive larger incomes that they are encouraged to take the plunge to entrepreneurship.
This much was observed by officials of Occidental Mindoro who saw the potential of their farmers being key players in local and regional agricultural trade since their town is major food producer.

Occidental Mindoro actually boasts of a high 9.4 percent annual economic growth among the provinces in Mimaropa, which is comprised of Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.

Mayor Sonia Pablo of Rizal, Occidental Mindoro, who has taken the role of champion as far as biotechnology advocacy is concerned, was instrumental in launching the Biotechnology Information and Organization Network-BIOCommerce in her province.

Pablo says the establishment of the BIONet Resource Center in their province is a great opportunity not only for farmers but for all inhabitants of the province. "It pays to have a resource center where you can access new information like biotechnology"

One example of the importance of having access to information is the case of Mayor Vincent Festin of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Festin is actually a convert to biotechnology, having been skeptical about its benefits and surprised even more by what he initially thought was meddling or modifications of God's creations.

It was when he participated in a Biotechnology Seminar for the Local Government Units that he realized that biotechnology had been in existence for thousands of years, starting with beer making, wine making, and bread making.

Surely, it did not start with the discovery of the laws of genetics by Fr. Gregor Mandel, a Jesuit priest.

"Our town's growth rate will surely get better than what we have now, because of the presence of the BIONet-BIOCommerce Center at the heart of our town," he said.

BIONet-BIOCommerce Center in San Jose aims to help farmers achieve a better quality of life by helping them increase their profit through biotechnology. Some of the organization's target products are corn, like Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, and Round up ready corn and malunggay, which has become a profitable venture for residents.

Not only will BIONet provide information on the latest information on biotechnology, moreover, but it will also link up the province with other BIONet Centers in the country, like those in Tarlac and Butuan, to provide a national database on agricultural biotechnology information.

The best thing is that BIONet aims to serve as a link between the farmers and the private sector, which is their ready market. (biolife news service)

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