On Mar 12-16, a total of 56 participants from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, attended the 12th Pan-Asia Farmers Exchange Program in the Philippines.
On Mar 12, the organizers, Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, CropLife Philippines and CropLife Asia, welcomed the participants at Manila Hotel. DA Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano, graced the event.
On Mar 13, a brief seminar on modern biotechnology was given and each country shared their status, challenges and experiences on agricultural biotechnology.
On Mar 14, the participants visited the International Rice Research Institute at Los Banos, Laguna. They learned more about IRRI’s role in helping farmers and the community through maintaining the viability of different rice varieties from different countries in their genebank facilities; and by developing improved rice plants, such as golden rice and iron-fortified rice.
On Mar 15, the participants visited the GM Corn Learning Center of Syngenta & GM corn commercial farms, where they were able to see and touch actual GM corn planted. Moreover, they were able to interact with actual GM corn farmers, who shared their fruitful experience in planting GM corn. In the afternoon, they also visited the Monsanto RIB Plant in Pulilan, Bulacan, where they were able to see the tests and processes undergone by the seeds prior to distribution to the farmers.
The participants gave positive feedback on this event, as they were able to gain knowledge and learned to appreciate more about genetically modified crops.
Take a quick look of the short movie made by the Vietnam media crew, one of the participants of the program.