University of the Philippines Los Baños
Friday, 09 March 2018 20:43

CAFS showcases food security R&D at 109th Foundation Day

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The College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) officially opened its 109th foundation anniversary celebration with a symposium that highlighted the College’s long-time and long-term commitment to food security research and development (R&D).

With the theme “Research innovation, development and entrepreneurship towards inclusive growth,” the symposium opened on March 5 at the PHTRC Annex Building. The directors and managers of the College’s academic, research, and specialized units presented their respective mandates, program thrusts, and accomplishments since the College’s restructuring and paradigm shift from primary production to a value chain perspective.

According to Dr. Jocelyn D. Labios, associate dean for research and extension and chair of the Research Committee of CAFS, the symposium is a venue to update University constituents on R&D work and to promote collaboration among stakeholders.

Dr. Lotis Mopera of the Institute of Food Science and Technology discussed their research and extension goals for food processing, including the development of functional food that can give further health benefits to consumers.

Dr. Elpidio Agbisit, Jr. of the Institute of Animal Science, on the other hand, talked about the Institute’s plans to produce high quality and safe animal products for the public. Dr. Edna Aguilar of the Institute of Crop Science presented their unit’s thrusts in the study and development of crops to sustain food and nutrition security. 

Dr. Virgilio Villancio who represented Dr. Pearl Sanchez of the Agricultural Systems Institute discussed the unit’s programs for sustainable agricultural production. Dr. Sheryl Yap of the Institute of Weed Science, Entomology and Plant Pathology (IWEP) presented IWEPS’ initiatives and accomplishments in studying and preventing plant diseases.

Meanwhile, Dr. Pompe Sta. Cruz of the Institute of Plant Breeding showcased advancements in developing improved plant varieties that provide more livelihood opportunities, bigger incomes to farmers, and higher food supply to the market. Dr. Gil Magsino of the National Crop Protection Center detailed how their unit has utilized knowledge and technologies in managing pest problems that have plagued farmers and their livelihoods.

Dr. Elda Esguerra of the Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center presented solutions to keep food safe and palatable until it reaches food distribution centers, while allowing famers to earn more and minimize postharvest losses. Dr. Amado Angeles of the Dairy Training and Research Institute, on the other hand, discussed the Institute’s aim to produce enough quality milk to satisfy nutrition needs of Filipinos.

On the other hand, Dr. Emmanuel Samson of the La Granja Training Research Station provided a glimpse of how it manages the University land in Negros Occidental as a testing site for projects, programs and activities; while Dr. Mafeo Bejo of the Central Experiment Station identified points for improving the Station’s land management functions.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in his inspirational message, commended CAFS for initiating such event that enabled them to communicate their research breakthroughs. These research, he said, realize the purpose of the College and the University to contribute to national development.

The R&D Symposium continues on March 7 and 8, and will showcase the research outputs and technologies from the nine degree-granting and research institutes of the College through lectures, poster presentations, and exhibits.

Present during the event were Dr. Enrico P. Supangco, dean of CAFS; Dr. Jose V. Camacho, dean of the Graduate School; Dr. Josefina T. Dizon, officer-in-charge of the College of Public Affairs and Development; and Dr. Erlinda S. Paterno, Professor Emeritus of CAFS. (Jessa Jael S. Arana)