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DA: Biotechnology can help stop PH malnutrition

Secretary of Agriculture William Dar has emphasized the importance of biotechnology in achieving food security and addressing malnutrition in the country, according to the DA.

“Biotechnology has the potential to help Filipino children overcome malnutrition,” Dar said in a message at the start of Biotechnology Week on Monday, adding that the DA and its affiliate agencies are taking the necessary steps to disseminate accurate biotechnology information.

Dar believes in a modernized and inclusive agriculture sector, having received the prestigious Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) Special Award in 2014.

The advancement of 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, as well as consumers in terms of quality and affordable food,” he previously stated.

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

He recently presided over the opening of the state-of-the-art Crop Biotechnology Center (CBC), which will develop a variety of plant products to help ensure food security and boost Philippine agriculture’s competitiveness.

This year’s National Biotechnology Week (NBW), which runs from November 22 to 26, emphasizes the critical role of biotechnology innovations in helping the country recover from the coronavirus disease pandemic of 2019 (Covid-19).

Physical and virtual exhibits during the celebration, with the theme “Kapit-bisig na Pagtutulungan, Bioteknolohiya Ating Paghusayan!” aim to focus on the efforts of the government, non-government sectors, and private institutions working together to bring forth milestones and technologies achieved through Philippine biotechnology.

The QuickCArE Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus Test Kit developed by the DA-Philippine Carabao Center is one of the featured Pinoy Agricultural Biotechnologies (PCC). This pen-side DNA-based test with a high detection rate can be completed in four simple steps without the need for specialized equipment.

The DA has made the event open to the public. Register at https://bit.ly/RegistrationVirtualTechnoForumOnAgBiotech for more information on the featured biotechnology products.

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