Author: Ace June Rell S. Perez
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
BIOTECHNOLOGY can be the key to the country's food security and development issues. Gil Saguiguit, director of Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) said that this scientific technology gives farmers a fighting chance to cope with the many challenges and obstacles they face in farming.
He reiterated the increasing importance of safe, and evidence- and science-based agricultural technologies in promoting agricultural productivity and food and nutrition security amid climate change and dwindling production resources.
Among these technologies is biotechnology, including both traditional (such as selective breeding and fermentation techniques) and modern (genetic engineering) techniques, which Searca looks at as an important tool in addressing most of the agriculture challenges.
He made these statements following the Philippine launch of the annual report of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) on the global status of commercialized biotech crops last May.
Saguiguit, however, emphasized that biotechnology will never be a lone solution to the problems but an essential tool to complement with the existing solutions. Hence, Searca's push for “coexistence.”
According to a report by the US Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, coexistence “is the concurrent cultivation of conventional, organic, identity preserved and genetically engineered crops consistent with underlying consumer preferences and farmer choices.”