The Fulbright-Philippine Agriculture Alumni Association (FPAAA) held its 2016 National Conference on Agriculture and Fisheries last September 4-7 at Venue 88 Resort and Events Place, General Santos City. A series of lectures was lined up revolving on the theme: “Achieving Food Security through Inclusive and Sustainable Climate Resilient Agri-Fishery Systems.” The 2016 FPAAA National Conference was hosted by the Mindanao State University-General Santos, with Dr. Mimi Abierra, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and a Fulbright-Agriculture alumna headed the MSU-GenSan conference coordinating team.
During the opening program of the conference, Dr. Williamn Dar, former Department of Agriculture Secretary and currently the President of Inang Lupa Movement delivered the conference keynote speech. Inang Lupa is a social movement promoting scientific, resilient and market-oriented Philippine agriculture. Dr. Canacan, MSU-GenSan Chancellor, FPAAA President Dr. Shirley Agrupis, PAEF Executive Director Esmeralda Cunanan, and CBFAR Regional Director: Mr. Samy A. Malvas (representing DA Secretary Piñol) highlighted the relevance and timeliness of the conference to address the continuing demands/challenge of achieving agricultural production and food security & sustainability in our country.
On the first conference day, several FPAAA members shared their expertise on various fields, sharing them with farmers and fisher folks from nearby communities. PhilRice Chief Research Specialist Dr. Marissa Romero who talked about climate-resilient rice technologies was the first speaker under the Agri-Fishery Technology session. Central Luzon University Dean of the College of Fisheries Dr. Emmanuel Vera Cruz and Isabela State University Dr. Francis Baleta presented their research on tilapia and sea weeds.
In the afternoon, lectures on Post Harvest Techology were done by OIC Executive Director Dr. Dionisio Alvindia, Franklin Baker Manufacturing Manager Miss Hazel Jane Joaquin and PhilRice Acting Deputy Director for Development Dr. Flordeliza Bordey. Four sessions on Technology Utilization, Marketing, and Linkages were presented by Faculty and Institutional Development Manager for USAID STRIDE Dr. Fiorello Abenes, Friends of Hope, Inc. Program Director for Agriculture Mr. Jorgen Abellera, Dr. Shirley Agrupis of Mariano Marcos State University, and Tarlac Agricultural University Dean of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Ma. Asuncion Beltran.
The second day was the hands-on seminar-workshops for farmers and fisher folks on organic farming, coffee production, carabao/goat raising, and fisheries. The alumni presentors and facilitators included Dr. Jocelyn Zarate, Researcher II at the University of the Philippines- Los Baños, Dr. Ma. Carmen Lagman an Associate Professor of De La Salle University, Mr. Gil Carandang of Herbana Farms, Dr. Vera Cruz of CLSU, Dr. Baleta of Isabela State University, Dr. Daniel Aquino of Philippine Carabo Center, Dr. Zayda Halun of MSU-Tawi-Tawi. The workshops afforded the farmers and fisher folks to learn and to consult with the Fulbright-Agriculture alumni.