MANILA, Philippines – Forty-three delegates from 10 Asian countries composed of farmer-leaders, scientists and the academia, media, as well as representatives from government and private institutions gathered for the week-long 13th Pan-Asia Farmers' Exchange Program held last 1-5 April 2019 in Manila, Philippines.
Discussions focused on communicating biotech in the Philippines, the country's biosafety regulations for biotech crops, insect resistance management program, the current status of agri-biotech in each country, and plant breeding innovations. The group also went to a commercial Bt Corn farm in the province of Tarlac and paid a visit to the International Rice Research Institute as well as the Corteva Seed Processing Plant to learn about their projects and see the research facilities first-hand.
The exchange program, which started in 2007, was organized by CropLife Asia, CropLife Philippines, and the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines. It aims to serve as a platform of knowledge sharing and exchange on agricultural biotechnology where the delegates learn how biotech crops go through a stringent, science-based regulatory process to ensure their safety to humans and animals and to the environment, how they are managed at farm level, and how they benefit the farmers and their communities.
The Southeast Asian regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), through its Biotechnology Information Center (BIC), is represented in the activity by Ms. Danellie Joy O. Medina, Project Associate, SEARCA BIC.