The Highland Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium (HAARRDEC) joins the celebration of Benguet’s Adivay Festival with its own Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA).
Since 2005, Benguet has celebrated its founding anniversary through its Adivay Festival, highlighting the history, culture, the arts, trade, and industry of the province. This year’s theme, ”Benguet Culture, Our Future: Sustaining Cultural Identity amidst Global Changes,” aptly captures this purpose. This year marks Benguet’s 117th founding anniversary.
HAARRDEC FIESTA adds flavor to the whole festivities by showcasing potato, coffee, strawberry, and sweetpotato – four of the top agricultural commodities of the Cordillera Administrative Region – in the three-day event held at the Benguet Sports Complex, Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
The four high value crops, identified by the Technology Transfer Group of HAARRDEC, manifest promising economic potentials across the region.
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority - CAR report on the 2016 crop production, potato, for instance, is one of the important high-value vegetable crops in the Cordillera, specifically in the provinces of Benguet and Mountain Province. It is one of primary crops of the highlands with a production of 99,981 metric tons in 2016. Top potato producer in the region was Benguet with 88.8 percent or 88,771 metric tons of the total potato production in the region. Mountain Province harvested 11.1 percent or 11,090 metric tons while Ifugao only shared only 0.1 percent of the total production in the region.
The FIESTA aims to further boost production by promoting new trends in production and marketing of these crops.
In his message during the opening of the 2017 Agri Trade Fair, Dr. Melvin B. Carlos, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management and Support Services (ODED-ARMSS) of PCAARRD, expressed his gratitude to the Province for giving the Council the opportunity to be part of the research, development, extension, as well as commercialization activities in Benguet.
He also expressed the hope that the “the Provincial Government, HAARRDEC, and PCAARRD’s enduring collaboration will sustain our common efforts and aspiration towards achieving our goal of modernizing agriculture so that we are able to give our farmers a prosperous life and more reasons for them to celebrate our culture.”
As conceptualized by DOST-PCAARRD, FIESTA aims to show the complete sphere of research and development as it treats with equal importance the whole agricultural value chain from production to processing to technology mainstreaming.
Through FIESTA, PCAARRD and its partners gather the various players of agricultural R&D, primarily the technology generators, farmers, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to showcase regional AANR technologies, innovations, products, and services; assist in the diffusion of technologies for better farming opportunities; and provide a true encounter of various research and development beneficiaries to maximize the benefits of particular products and commodities.