BUTUAN, Agusan del Norte – Farmers, fisherfolk, investors, representatives from local government units, and other stakeholders gathered here in a three-day event called the Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA).

Conceptualized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), FIESTA completes the sphere of research and development from production to processing to technology mainstreaming.

 The local FIESTA, which was spearheaded by the Caraga Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (CCAARRD), in collaboration with the City Government of Butuan, showcased Industrial Tree Plantations (ITPs) and Sago. 

The event aimed to showcase the innovations generated by the consortium on the said agricultural commodities, discover opportunities for technology transfer and commercialization, and strengthen linkages between technology generators and their beneficiaries.

Held from May 16-19, 2018 at the City’s Sports Complex in Barangay Libertad, in cooperation with the City Government of Butuan, the Caraga FIESTA ran simultaneously with the Balanghay Festival.

The Balanghay Festival commemorates the coming of the early migrants on board the Balangay boats to settle in the Philippines. 

The Caraga FIESTA adopted the theme, “Celebrating the Balanghai Spirit through the FIESTA: Panagtagbo ug Kukabildo Para Sa Kalamboan sa Industriya sa Kahoy ug Sago.” 

ITPs are large-scale, intensively managed plantations that will eventually undergo industrial processes to produce paper, palm oil, among others. ITP products are among the export earners of the Caraga region.

Sago, on the other hand, refers to an edible starch obtained from a palm and is considered as a staple food in parts of the tropics.

Technologies that improve the quality of ITP planting materials for lumber, furniture and fixtures, paper, veneer and plywood were highlighted in the event. 

The ITP Action Program in Caraga is a project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which is funded by DOST-PCAARRD. 

Being endemic in Butuan and in many swampy areas of Caraga Region, Sago has a huge cultural value among the Butuanons. It is also now receiving increasing attention especially because it has a wide range of eco-friendly industrial uses. 

Technology fora, investment forum, technology education and demonstration, and other pocket events also formed part of the activity.