MANILA, Philippines – With the theme, Pambansang Hamon, Pambansang Solusyon (Our Nation's Challenge, Our Nation's Solution), the 14th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) highlighted the contributions of biotechnology in agriculture and food security, equitable health care services, development of industries and business enterprises, sustainable environment, and economic development, among others.
The week-long event hosted by the Department of Science and Technology featured trade fairs, career talks, fora, competitions (i.e., poster-making contest, speech choir contest, jingle-making contest), and exhibits. SEARCA was among the many organization, which participated in the exhibit held on 13-17 November 2018 at the World Trade Center, Manila.
The SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC) booth, which featured its learning resources and outreach activities, was particularly a favorite among students and teachers from various schools and universities who wished to learn more about agri-biotechnology, agriculture, and science through fun and games. SEARCA BIC also conducted the BIOTEKasayahan, a series of interactive and educational activities for the NBW guests and exhibitors, on November 16. BIOTEKasayahan was organized in collaboration with the UP Genetic Researchers and Agricultural Innovators Society (UP GRAINS) and UP League of Agricultural Biotechnology Students (UP LABS). Both UP LABS and UP GRAINS are academic, student-based organization composed of students taking up BS Agricultural Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Meanwhile, the SEARCA booth showcased various publications and knowledge products relevant not only to agri-biotechnology, but also crosscutting challenges and issues such as climate change, food and nutrition security and food safety, and agroforestry, among others. SEARCA also highlighted its knowledge portals— the Knowledge Center on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in Southeast Asia (KC3) and the Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia Knowledge Portal (FANSSEA). The Southeast Asian AgriMuseum was likewise in the spotlight, with guests expressing their desire to visit the museum once it is launched.