ATI Supports Phil – Netherlands Partnership for Agri-Food Programme

Participants and guests during the 2017 Agri-Food Lecture Programme held in Laguna (Photo Courtesy of UPLB)

LOS BANOS, Laguna -- “Amidst all challenges that our country’s agriculture finds itself in, I remain optimistic that we are all capable of finding solutions to these challenges. Solutions that are efficient, innovative and inspiring. After all, challenges allow us to think out of the box and explore possibilities that we may not otherwise consider.”

These were stated by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Chancellor Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez Jr. during the Agri-Food Lecture Programme held recently. 

Representing the ATI, OIC-Director Dr. Luz A. Taposok and Supervising Agriculturist Elsa A. Parot attended the activity, together with the representatives from various government agencies, educational institutions and private sector. 

Keynote speaker Marion Derckx, Ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy in the Philippines, noted that the partnership of the countries can improve the agriculture sector by imparting relevant information. “I am positive that The Netherlands can help the country modernize agri-food sector by sharing knowledge and technology.” She provided examples of such technologies including intelligent greenhouses floating on water and innovative lighting.

The Dutch Ambassador also explained the double burden disease which is composed of the undernourished and over nourished population and further noted that the said disease is not just a talk of food sufficiency but also of food quality. She emphasized the modernization of farming and horticulture which is the field of expertise of the Netherlands, and can be applied in the Philippines.
This was reinforced by plenary speakers including Dr. Mary Ann P. Sayoc, General Manager of East West Seed Philippines, who then discussed the trends in vegetable consumption and production. The second plenary speaker Dr. Gert HJ Kema from the Wageningen University, talked about how the Netherlands made the agricultural sector attractive to young people by applying high-end technology in the field and how these technologies guaranteed a stable and relatively high income for farmers.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fenton D. Beed from the World Vegetable Center provided the full picture of agriculture, from production to consumption and how one can best prevent or deal with post-harvest losses.
The activity was organized by the UPLB Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, College of Agriculture and Food Science and College of Economics and Management. It was held at the SEARCA Umali Auditorium in Los Baños, Laguna last March 10, 2017.