University of the Philippines Los Baños
Thursday, 02 November 2017 10:23

Speakers underscore postharvest extension, linkages at PHTRC anniv symposium

The Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center (PHTRC) conducted a symposium on the current issues and challenges facing the postharvest horticulture industry, including research and development, during the Center’s 40th anniversary celebration on Oct. 27 at the PHTRC building, UPLB.

With the theme “Advancing the horticulture industry through postharvest research and extension,” the program aimed to identify opportunities for further collaboration and co-innovation for the advancement of the horticultural industry in the country.

“Since its establishment in 1977 through the ASEAN-Australian Economic Cooperation Program, PHTRC has grown extensively — complete with new facilities, as well as current and responsive R&D programs that continue to address postharvest food losses,” said Dr. Crisanto A. Dorado, vice chancellor for administration, during the opening remarks that he delivered on behalf of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr.

“This year’s theme underscores the fundamental role of extension in advancing and effectively disseminating postharvest technologies, protocols, and processes to its stakeholders. This also, in many ways, mirrors UPLB’s mandate, which is to ensure that the University’s numerous developed technologies are used by its intended stakeholders,” Dr. Dorado added.

Nardia Simpson, economic counsellor at the Philippine Australian Embassy, encouraged the participants to work together in solving postharvest problems. “Like any development challenge, it takes collective effort and commitment. It cannot be solved alone,” Simpson said.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar, in her keynote speech, emphasized the need for more extension work in research institutions. “What will research do if we cannot show it to the people?” she asked.

“Strengthen your linkages with other industry and never stop discovering ways on how to improve our agricultural sector,” urged Sen. Villar, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

The symposium’s discussion on industry partner’s perspective was led by Dr. Ji Gang Kim, director of Asia Postharvest Research Center in Korea; Dr. Rosa S. Rolle, senior enterprise development officer from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Italy; and Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, acting executive director of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development.

Also present during the event were Dr. Enrico P. Supangco and Dr. Jocelyn D. Labios, dean and associate dean for research and extension of the College of Agriculture and Food Science, respectively; and Dr. Elda B. Esguerra, director of PHTRC. (John Glen S. Sarol)