Queen of PH fruits gets boost in first-ever FIESTA – Manila Bulletin

Mango, the queen of Philippine fruits, started Friday, Dec. 3, taking the spotlight in the first-ever virtual Cluster Farms and Industry Encounters through Science and Technology Agenda or FIESTA which aims to promote the adoption and commercialization of technologies on mango production.

(Screengrab from DOST-PCAARRD Facebook page)

Led by Southern Mindanao Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMAARRDEC), the virtual Mango FIESTA is anchored on the theme, Sustainable, Well-Enhanced and Efficient Technologies (SWEET) on Mangoes.”

FIESTA is held by SMAARRDEC, in collaboration with the Visayas Consortium for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Program (ViCARP) and the SOCCSKSARGEN Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (SOXAARRDEC).

FIESTA is one of the event-based technology promotion and transfer modalities initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) “to enhance the transfer of technology from research to their intended beneficiaries.”

DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora said initially, FIESTAs can be implemented by one Consortium, however, in 2019, the Council initiated a Cluster modality wherein multiple Consortia can implement a single FIESTA.

Aside from the Cluster modality, FIESTA has focused on promoting commerciable technologies to achieve a bigger goal and create a bigger impact, he said. FIESTA was first conducted in 2014 aimed at disseminating and commercializing matured technologies generated by regional or local experts.

“Through promoting commerciable technologies, FIESTA connects our technology generators with potential investors so that the gains of our research and development or R&D will be enjoyed by a larger audience and hopefully, the whole country.”

He hailed the lead Consortia for FIESTA — SMAARRDEC, SOXAARRDEC, and VICARP for their own marks in using the FIESTA modality, and for being first to implement the virtual FIESTA on Mango.

“VICARP was one of the Consortia that led the very first Cluster FIESTA on Sweetpotato while SOXAARRDEC and SMAARRDEC led the Halal Goat FIESTA, which enabled technology generators to mingle with potential investors,” Ebora said.

SMAARRDEC, ViCARP, and SOXAARRDEC are three of the Council’s 15 regional Consortia.

Mango Fiesta will also be held on Dec. 9 to 10 and 16 to 17. Around 100 mango farmers, particularly from Eastern Visayas, Davao and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, General Santos) were expected to participate in the FIESTA.

“We hope that mango growers will find the technologies and information presented in this Mango FIESTA helpful for them. But most of all, we hope that our technology generators will interest our investors for these technologies to be commercialized,” the PCAARRD chief said.

Mango, a high value commercial crop, provides livelihood to about 2.5 million farmers nationwide.

The DOST-PCAARRD said it has so far invested about P15 million for the development of ready-for-commercialization technologies implemented in the three regions.

The development of technologies on Molecular Markers for Mango Cultivar Identification and Genetic Characterization of University of Southern Philippines (USM), the Dipstick Kit to Detect True-To-Type Philippines Carabao Mango of Visayas State College (VSU) and the Pre-and Postharvest Technologies of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), has given the mango industry hope for a better and enhanced productivity,” it said.

The Council funded the projects to elevate livelihood of the small-scale mango farmers using the low-cost technologies generated.

“With the conduct of this virtual cluster Mango FIESTA, adoption and commercialization of these technologies will potentially increase mango production in the country,” the PCAARRD said.





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