University of the Philippines Los Baños
Thursday, 16 March 2017 00:00

Dutch envoy expresses support for Ph agri at lecture in UPLB


UPLB continues to provide avenues for knowledge sharing and partnership about food safety and security and agricultural modernization.

The recent agri-food lecture found UPLB’s College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), College of Economics Management, and the Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship might just lead to a collaborative agreement with an agriculture powerhouse in Europe - The Netherlands – through its Embassy in the Philippines. The lecture was entitled “Innovation for sustainability: What can the Philippine-Netherlands partnership contribute?”

Marion Derckx, ambassador of the Netherlands to the Philippines, who delivered the keynote message, expressed her country’s willingness to help the Philippines develop and modernize agriculture through the sharing of knowledge and technology. She emphasized the importance of strengthening agriculture to reduce poverty, achieve sustainability, and attain general improvement among the population.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Enrico P. Supangco, dean of CAFS, said that the lecture has long been planned between UPLB and the Netherlands Embassy and pointed out its timeliness, coinciding as it has with the celebration of the 108th foundation day anniversary of UPLB and CAFS.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., who gave the welcome message during the event, said that UPLB has always prided itself in contributing to national development through exceptional research and extension work, such as in agriculture, for the benefit of Filipinos. He pointed out the many challenges in Philippine agriculture, encouraged everyone to form creative and inspiring solutions, and expressed his hopes that the lecture will challenge everyone’s ways and perspective.

Among the speakers was Dr. Ir. Gert Kema, a professor from The Netherlands’ Wageningen University. He discussed how the Netherlands has successfully attracted its youth to participate in the agriculture sector by incorporating science and technology. He said that through better research and practices, farmers could increase yield and income.

Another speaker, Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc, general manager of East-West Seed Philippines, discussed the overlooked benefits of producing and consuming vegetables, such as improved population health and increased profit for small farmers, and how it could be further integrated among Filipinos.

Lastly, Dr. Fenton Beed, regional director for East and Southeast Asia operations of World Vegetable Center, talked about agriculture and food, the full scale from production to consumption, and the steps to prevent or minimize postharvest losses.

Joining UPLB students, faculty members, and alumni in the lecture were Dr. Rex B. Demafelis, vice chancellor for research and extension; and college deans, namely: Dr. Isabelita M. Pabuayon (economics and management); Dr. Felino P. Lansigan (arts and sciences); Dr. Willie P. Abasolo (forestry and natural resources); and Dr. Raden G. Piadozo (human ecology). (Jessa Jael S. Arana