Student leaders from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and six other agricultural-based colleges and universities got updated on the potential of biotechnology in improving the local agricultural sector. This was at the four-day National Biotech Summit in Los Baños spearheaded by the UP League of Agricultural Biotechnology (LAB) headed by Jacov Abelido.
This is a welcome development because the event could provide the delegates a clear understanding of the critical role of agricultural biotechnology in feeding the country’s growing population. The discussions also aimed to equip the students with communication skills they need to become biotechnology ambassadors in their communities, according to Matthew Ty, co-head of the Summit.
Ty said: “It’s more of teaching the youth on how to communicate biotechnology to their family, friends, farmers and little children in a way they would understand and not misunderstand the concept of biotechnology.” Ty added there were also short communication workshops conducted which provided students trainings on how to effectively address biotechnology issues and concerns at the community level.
The Summit included several lectures given by speakers from prominent organizations of different fields, including scientists, university professors and government officials. Speakers tackled current landscape of the local agriculture biotechnology, the misinformation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as well as emerging trends and biotechnologies that improve local food production.
In a new development, UP LAB’s president Jacov Abelido is planning to form a national student alliance on agriculture biotechnology as the next step after the Summit. The alliance, according to him, will target to involve more colleges and universities from different agriculture areas in the country. They will be tasked to form a shared vision in biotechnology and build a stronger student voice speaking about the relevance of agriculture biotechnology.
Aside from UP Los Baños, the delegates came from Emilio Aguinaldo College, the Xavier University, Rizal Technological University, Central Luzon State University, Cavite State University, Visayas State University and Central Mindanao University.