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BAR R&D Digest Features AFACI Projects in the Philippines
Established last November 2009, the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI) is a joint undertaking of 13 member countries that seek to foster sustainable agricultural growth in the region. Its network includes Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. The partnership involves collaboration, linkage, and sharing of technologies and best practices in furthering sustainable agriculture and food technology, as well as economic development amidst climate change.
In the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Agricultural Research is leading the projects under the AFACI, specifically, the Integrated Management System for Plant Genetic Resources (IMPGR) and Agricultural Technology Information Network in Asia (ATIN). The IMPGR is focused on strengthening the management system for plant genetic resources conservation, exploration, collection, characterization, evaluation, distribution, monitoring, and documentation for its sustainable use. The ATIN project, on the other hand, is more on developing a standardized web-based platform on agriculture science and technology information through collaboration with existing agri-based networks and systems.
The IMPGR and ATIN, along with some ten AFACI-supported projects in the country are featured in this April-June 2015 issue of the BAR Research and Development (R&D) Digest. Its cover story, “Minimizing Losses through Effective Postharvest Handling” underscores the AFACI project on the Establishment of Network and Model Manual on Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops in Asia which is being implemented by the Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). This project sought to reduce postharvest losses, improve the quality, and enhance food safety of fresh horticultural crops by developing a network and practical model manual on postharvest technologies. As such, among the major outputs of this undertaking are two manuals on postharvest handling of cabbage and chili pepper, and tomato.
Other AFACI projects featured in this issue are: Assessment of Rice Planthoppers Populations and Viruses in the Philippines; Genetic Improvement for Upland Rice through MAS for Tolerance to Phosphorous Deficiency; Agricultural Land Management for Improving Soil Fertility in the Philippines; Establishment of a Lignocellulosic Databank and a single Agriculture and Forestry Bioenergy Network; Enhancing Agricultural Mechanization Technologies for Crop Production and Postharvest Processing of Cassava; Development of Locally Appropriate GAP Programs and Agricultural Produce Safety Information System; Asian Network for Sustainable Organic Farming Technology (ANSOFT); and the Production and Services of Agro-meteorological Information for the Adaptation to Climate Change in the Philippines; among others. These projects are managed by various government agencies and institutions in the country such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice); Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corporation (PADCC); Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech); Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards; Bureau of Soils and Water Management; and UPLB’s Agricultural Systems Cluster and Chemical Engineering Department.
The BAR R&D Digest is a quarterly publication that features latest technologies, research results, updates, and breakthroughs in agriculture and fisheries R&D based on the studies and researches of the National Research and Development System for Agriculture and Fisheries (NaRDSAF). As the DA’s lead agency in terms of agriculture and fisheries research and development in the country, BAR is mandated per Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) to provide leadership in enhancing, consolidating and unifying the national and regional agriculture and fisheries research and development programs of the NaRDSAF.