Not even the non-stop monsoon rains all over Luzon deterred the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and other participants of the 8th Agricultural and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition in showcasing their respective products and technology breakthroughs at the SM MegaTrade Halls 1 and 2 at Mandaluyong City from August 9 to 12.
Held yearly by the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), the technology and product exhibition is now a tradition among various regional DA units, state universities and colleges and development partners in promoting agricultural and fishery products developed all over the country. This year, the exhibition served as a very special event, as it highlighted the bureau's 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Formally opening the exhibition were DA Secretary Hon. Proceso J. Alcala and Director General Dr. William D. Dar of the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), who also served as Keynote Speaker and Guest Speaker, respectively. DA-BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar and Assistant Director Dr. Teodoro S. Solsoloy assisted during the ribbon-cutting. UPLB also gave support to the opening ceremonies by fielding the awarding-winning UPLB Chorale Ensemble to render the invocation, National Anthem and several intermission numbers.
The UPLB booth, coordinated by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension, featured several technologies and products. Among those sold were BIOTECH's microbial rennet, probiotic white and cream cheeses, and biofertilizers; CSC-IPB's corn grits and coffee, vegetable seeds and SNAP hydroponics technology; ADSC-DTRI's fresh and chocolate-flavored milk and kesong puti; CA-FSC's ubi powder and tropical fruit wines; and UPLBFI-published books. The UPLB Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepeneurship participated in the UPLB booth by selling the products of its business locators such as BioSpark Trichoderma, O' Mark's Virgin Coconut Oil products, Philhybrid Macapuno and Tobee's Organic Roasted Chicken.
Booth visitors flocked at the UPLB booth several times during the whole exhibition because of its “free-tasting” activities where people actually got to taste some of the products.
Three other booths, which featured projects funded by DA-BAR and helmed by UPLB experts, were put up at the exhibition. The technologies presented there were on projects on sweet sorghum for bioethanol, native organic pig production and bee and honey production.
Aside from the exhibit, four distinguished experts from the university gave separate lectures during the exhibition's popular and technical seminar series. Prof. Rex B. Demafelis (CEAT-ChemEng) presented the potentials of sweet sorghum as a complementary bioethanol feedstock during the first day of activities. On the other hand, UPLB's “queen bee,” Dr. Cleofas Cervancia (CAS-IBS) discussed beekeeping technologies in relation to organic agriculture on the second day. Dr. Rene Rafael Espino (CA-CSC) gave a technical lecture on biochemical genetic markers as a tool in the identification of onion varieties, while Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Development, Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr. discussed the art of edible landscaping on the last day.