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Monday, November 17, 2008

DA holds 4th National Biotechnology Week

Department of Agriculture announced the celebration of the 4th National Biotechnology Week from November 23 to 29 Institute for Small Scale Industries at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
DA, which chairs the committee preparing for this year's celebration, said many activities have been scheduled under the theme "Making Biotechnology Work for You."
A key event for the celebration involves the unveiling of 17 biotechnological products that the various scientists and researchers from UP Los Banos, UP Diliman, Central Luzon State University, Philippine Coconut Authority, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Carabao Center, and the Department of Science and Technology have been working on.
DoST said the scientists responsible for these advances will discuss their work, which have applications for food, biofuels, agriculture and the environment and an exhibit will be mounted to allow the public a peek into the economic benefits derived from biotechnology.
Among these are biofertilizers, ethanol production-inducing bacteria, micronutrient enhancement, improved crops like corn, abaca, rice, sugarcane and coconut, abaca and vegetables.
All of these biotechnology products will be open for private investments.
An International Symposium on Biocontrol and Biotechnology hosted by the Central Luzon State University will also be conducted from November 26 to 28 at the Philippine Carabao Center, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
A parallel celebration will also be observed at the University of the Philippines-Los BaƱos, where work on molecular biology and biotechnology has led to the production of biofertilizers and enhanced crop yields.
An investor's forum will also be conducted to encourage entrepreneurs to travel through the "biotechnology highway," DA said. Stakeholders, local government officials, farmers and educators are expected to participate in the forum.
One of the highlights of the celebration will be the Moringa Congress on November 24.
This will gather private sector players engaged in the malunggay business, as well as prospective entrepreneurs who want to enter into marketing moringa byproducts and malunggay planters and growers who want to market their produce.
Malunggay is the source of moringa oil, a biofuel, which is in high demand in the United States, Japan and South Korea.
Speaker for this event will be Sen. Loren Legarda, who is advocating malunggay planting throughout the country to combat malnutrition and promote a greener country.
The 2nd National Biotechnology Information and Organization Network Congress on November 25 will gather biotechnology advocates, farmers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, educators, local government units and other stakeholders interested in learning how biotechnology can strengthen the economy.
Trade Secretary Peter Favila will give keynote the Congress.
Honoring the great newsman-turned-farmer Jose Burgos, Jr., the Jose G. Burgos Awards for Biotechnology Journalism will be held on November 27.
The annual award recognizes outstanding newsmen who have written extensively about biotechnology. Winners will receive plaques and cash prizes. Newspapers publishing the most number of news stories and features about biotechnology will also be given institutional awards.
The event was institutionalized last year through Presidential Decree 1414, which proclaimed the last week of November as the National Biotechnology Week.
The celebration is also sponsored by the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). biolife news service

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