Seminars At Agrilink 2012

Daughter of Nilo Casas and her
baby goat pet at the Agrilink Expo.

The good thing about the forthcoming Agrilink trade show is that there are free seminars on timely topics on crops, farm animals, fisheries, food processing, animal nutrition and others.

The 2012 edition of this most popular agricultural expo will be held at the World Trade Center – Metro Manila at the corner of Gil J. Puyat Avenue and Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City.

Experts from UP Los Banos will be conducting a series of seminars on postharvest handling of major fruits, animal growth promotion and safety practices for meat handling and preparation.

The seminars are in line with the event’s theme, which is “Improving Animal Productivity Beyond Medication” which will focus on good animal health practices, inputs and technologies that contribute to sustainable farming and economic stability among farmers and the Philippines as a whole.

Dr. Edralina Serrano of UPLB’s Postharvest and Seed Sciences Division of the Crop Science Cluster of the college of agriculture said they will highlight strategies in reducing postharvest losses so as to improve food availability and enhancing food security.

Dr. Serrano said that data on fruit losses after harvest are useful in creating awareness of the need for government and industry to allocate resources for programs and activities that will reduce postharvest losses, and to identify priority areas for action, and applied research and extension.

The seminar will provide baseline information on the extent and nature of postharvest losses in major fruit crops with the end in view of creating public awareness and stimulating action that will reduce huge wastage after harvest. The information will also serve as basis in the formulation of relevant government policies and programs. It also includes the factors, and handling and marketing problems affecting these losses.

In addition, experts of UPLB’s Food Science Cluster, also of the college of agriculture, will discuss safety practices in meat handling and preparation for consumption. Ma. Josie V. Sumague said that meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Fresh meat is also highly perishable because of its high nutrient and water contents. It can be prepared into various dishes and is well liked by almost everybody.

However, meat can also be a medium of food poisoning if not handled and cooked properly. Several cases of food poisoning were reported in the past involving meat. Food poisoning means losses for the producer or manufacturer of the involved meat product due to recall, fines and litigation. Safe practices must be applied starting from growing the hogs, cattle and chicken in the farm, slaughtering, processing and preparing for consumption to assure the safety of the meat. Production of safe meat products will also mean more income and market connections for the producer or manufacturer, according to Sumague.

Further, experts of UPLB’s Animal and Dairy Sciences Cluster will talk about alternative natural compounds for animal growth promotion. Prof. Amado A. Angeles, speaker for the seminar, said: “Safe meat from animals starts with safe feedstuffs. The global pressure against the use of antibiotic for growth promotion will necessitate alternative compounds that will have similar effects on animal feed conversion efficiency and health. This seminar will focus on the current technologies that will reduce, if not completely, eliminate the use of antibiotics in animal production.

One of the seminars that will surely draw the interest of  raisers of sheep and goats is the lecture to be conducted by Rene Almeda of the Alaminos Goat Farm in Laguna.

He will be talking about his practical Salad Garden for his goats. These are actually 30 long plots that are planted to forage crops like Indigofera, napier, centrosema, ipil-ipil, madre de agua and others. Every day, they harvest the leafy twigs and branches from one plot and give them to their animals which are of the dairy type and  meat type.

One new development that is being studied closely is the use of pelletized Indigofera and malunggay leaves. Initially, Almeda says that the use of pellets is very promising. The feed is more efficient than when it is given as fresh grass or legume.

The Agrilink trade show will also feature other seminars. One is Le Club’s “Turkey Production in the World: Brooding, Growing Commercial Turkey, Biosecurity and Poultry Treatment” by Aviagen. Another is “Handpump Technology and Rural Water Supplies in Asia as a Sustainable Alternative to Conventional Lever Action Pumps” by Vergnet Hydro.

Agrilink will highlight the latest technologies and inputs that will improve efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability of the interconnected industries of food, agriculture and aquaculture.
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