Biotech Updates

Experts Discuss the Role of Biotechnology in Sustainable Agriculture

November 29, 2023

ISAAA Inc., in collaboration with the Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA Biotech), Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, Inc. (BCP), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and Corteva Agriscience, successfully conducted the webinar series on Biotech Innovations for A Sustainable Agriculture from November 8 to 10, 2023, via Zoom. This webinar series is a build-up activity for the 19th National Biotechnology Week (NBW), which aims to promote biotech innovations and their potential to help build a sustainable food system in the Philippines. During the three-day webinar series, nine experts from various organizations shared their knowledge and expertise in biotechnology.

The first day of the webinar series highlighted the different plant breeding innovations (PBIs) in agriculture, presented by Dr. Reynante L. Ordonio, a Senior Science Research Specialist at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). The discussion is followed by the presentation of Dr. Gabriel O. Romero, the Executive Director of the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA), about the role of pesticides in crop protection. The last session of the day provided an overview of the regulatory status of PBIs in the Philippines, which was presented by Ms. Geronima P. Eusebio, the Officer in Charge - Head of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Biotechnology Office. The first day of the webinar was filled with 566 viewers and reached up to 1,858 people on Facebook.

For the second day, the discussion focused on the role of biotechnology in the animal industry. Dr. Marvin A. Villanueva, the Center Chief of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Livestock Biotechnology Center, provided an overview of the developments in research and policy framework in Genetically Modified (GM) animals. This is followed by the presentation of Dr. Casiano H. Choresca Jr., the Center Chief of DA Fisheries Biotechnology Center (DA-FBC), discussing the role of biotechnology in the aquaculture industry. After Dr. Choresca's presentation, Dr. Claro N. Mingala, the Director of DA Biotech, provided an overview of the regulatory status of GM animals in the Philippines. The second day of the webinar was attended by 475 participants and reached 1,455 people on Facebook Live.

The last day of the webinar series is devoted to the discussions about the potentials and challenges of bio-innovations in the country as presented by Dr. Paul S. Teng, the Dean and Managing Director of the National Institute of Education International (NIEI) and ISAAA Chair. Following Dr. Teng's presentation, Dr. Wayne Parrot, a research professor at the University of Georgia, introduces the concept of social license and how communication changes perception. On that day, Dr. Ronan G. Zagado, the Chief Science Research Specialist and Lead of the Golden Rice Program at PhilRice, also presented the efforts of PhilRice in the production of Golden Rice, also known as Malusog Rice. The webinar had 462 participants and reached 1,219 people on Facebook.

Every year, NBW is celebrated in the third week of November to showcase the latest biotechnology research and development efforts of various public and private organizations nationwide. The theme for this year's NBW is "Empowering Innovation for Sustainable Future with Biotechnology." The event concluded last week, November 24, 2023, at the SM Seaside City Cebu.

Visit the ISAAA Webinars page to watch the recorded live sessions. For questions about the webinar series, send an email to

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