DA: Biotechnology can deter PH malnutrition

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar has highlighted the importance of biotechnology to hasten the agency’s goal to achieve food security and address malnutrition in the country.

“Biotechnology could help halt malnutrition among  Filipino children,” Dar told the Biotechnology Week opening in a message, assuring that DA and its affiliate agencies are taking necessary steps to spread correct information about biotechnology.

Dar, who was honored with the prestigious Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) Special Award in 2014, said he believes in a modernized and inclusive agriculture sector.

Previously, he stressed that advancing biotechnology “makes us particularly excited about the future of biotechnology in the Philippines and its enormous benefits to producers in terms of improved productivity and higher incomes, and consumers in terms of quality and affordable food”.

“Our scientists are eager to learn about the intricacies of these new breeding techniques and unleash their full potential to feed the world,” he added.

Dar recently led the opening of the state-of-the-art Crop Biotechnology Center (CBC) that will develop various plant products to help ensure food security and enhance the competitiveness of Philippine agriculture.

This year’s National Biotechnology Week (NBW) runs  run from November 22 to 26. It highlights the crucial role  biotechnology innovations play in healing the nation from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The week-long observance has “Kapit-bisig na Pagtutulungan, Bioteknolohiya Ating Paghusayan!” for its theme. It features physical and virtual exhibits which  focus on the efforts by all sectors working together to bring forth milestones and technologies achieved through Philippine biotechnology.

One of the featured Pinoy Agricultural Biotechnologies is the QuickCArE Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus Test Kit developed by the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (PCC). This rapid, low-cost, pen-side DNA-based test with a high detection rate can be performed in four easy steps without the use of specialized equipment.