Conferences on investments, catfish, genetics

Region 12 1st investment conference

Dr. Aralar (seated, 3rd from left) with other resource persons and staff of DTI Region 12, one of the conference co-sponsors Scientist Dr. Ma. Lourdes Aralar represented AQD at the Region 12 first investment conference (ICON) held last July 22-23.

The conference, adopting the theme Channeling substantial resources towards investments, was conducted at General Santos City.

Dr. Aralar presented the available technology for the larval rearing, nursery and grow-out of the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii, locally known as ulang.

At the end of the break-out session for ulang, P4 million worth of investments have been tagged by interested participants/investors who want to venture into the culture of the commodity. It was noted that the supply of ulang cannot keep up with the demand, hence, investments on its culture was included in the ICON.

Also included were lectures on the technology, financing and market matching for investors on eco-tourism site development; coconut sugar; sap and honeybee production; barako coffee; sunflower farming; engineering and architectural designs; pineapple; moringa (malunggay); and cardava banana. 

The conference was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center (NERBAC) Region 12, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council of General Santos City, and the Department of Tourism.

2nd hito conference in GenSan

Dr. Catacutan talks about formulating feeds out of indigenous materials for catfish; (From left) Ms. Rochelle Otoc, Pangasius Industry Desk Officer of Region XXII; Ms. Evangelista, and Mr. Lao, President of the Mindanao Business Council AQD’s Dr. Mae Catacutan and Ms. Antonietta Evangelista participated in the 2nd hito conference held in General Santos City last July 21.

Dr. Catacutan was on hand to present a paper on Formulated feeds out of indigenous materials for catfish, while Ms. Evangelista talked about the Status of catfish aquaculture industry in the Philippines and Natural food for freshwater species.

Both were able to present AQD’s contribution to the the catfish industry in the Philippines which includes studies on the hatchery, nursery as well as grow-out technologies for the culture of the native catfish Clarias macrocephalus. Because of this, AQD was officially identified by the Mr. Vicente Lao, president of the Mindanao Business Council, as one of the lead agencies to help the catfish industry.

Queries on disease management and feed cost were raised and answered by Dr. Catacutan and Ms. Evangelista.
Problems on the slow growth and low survival of hatchery produced fry (Pangasius species) were also brought up. 

The Department of Trade & Industry 12, Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources 12 and the SOCSARGEN Catfish Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SOCAFAMPC) were the main sponsors of the event.

Forum on GM technologies in Quezon City

AQD scientist Dr. Maria Rowena Eguia presented a paper on the current Local situation on GM technology: focus on GM tilapia during the Forum on GM (genetic modification) technologies organized by the Network Opposed to Genetically Modified Organisms (NO2GMOs!) last July 20 in Diliman, Quezon City.

Dr. Eguia’s presentation, entitled Are we ready for ‘Franken’ tilapia, was well-received by the audience. The attendees were relieved to know that farmed GM fish have not been commercially approved for distribution. The NO2GMOs was pleased to note that AQD upholds the Code of conduct for responsible aquaculture, which states that the use and propagation of GMOs is not encouraged in SEAFDEC member-countries.

Also discussed were the international trends on new GM technologies and modern biotechnology applications (GM tree, GM virus, GM pharma, GM fish) and research done in the Philippines on genetically modified rice, papaya, eggplant, papaya and peanuts, among other crops.

Dr. Eguia hopes that in the future, AQD resource persons continue to participate in similar fora so that the general public is made aware of the issues/problems that arise from the use and/or misuse of modern biotechnologies.

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