DA unit backs development of biotech sector

Published by rudy Date posted on April 19, 2009

MANILA, Philippines–The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Department of Agriculture plans to strengthen partnerships with the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (Biotech) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) to increase the value and competitiveness of traditional crops intended for local and world markets.

In a statement, BAR director Nicomedes P. Eleazar said that biotechnology application in agriculture was seen as a solution to problems with agricultural productivity and food security.

He said the tie-ups were meant to fast track agricultural productivity that positively and directly increases farmers’ incomes, provide access to nutritious and safer food, and help achieve a healthy environment.

Based at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Biotech has been promoting agricultural biotechnology that improves the ability of the industry to turn out products that cost less and are safer for family consumption.

The BAR statement, citing Dr. Ida F. Dalamacio of Biotech, also said there was more to agri-biotechnology than genetically modified organisms or GMOs and expounded on how biotechnology could be applied to agriculture.

“If applied to agriculture, it simply means the use of living organisms or part of it, to improve the productivity of crops, livestock and the fisheries,” Dalamacio said in the statement.–Riza T. Olchondra, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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