Part 1: Workshop
Rural development experts have been espousing about agricultural technology transfer and commercialization being complementary stimulators of rural economic growth. Both endeavors are aimed to generate additional farm income, train and increase farmers’ knowledge and benefit the entire stakeholders of the agricultural food chain—from producers to the consumers.
However, approaches and methodologies in technology transfer and commercialization vary depending on the agricultural commodities and specific locations where the products are going to be commercialized. The whole process encompasses a wide range of disciplines from the scientific to the sociological interspersed with theories and techniques in communication and advertising. Over the years, the challenges of agricultural technology transfer and commercialization became more pronounced with issues like climate change, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), private company regulations (or private sector’s deregulation) and knowledge management coming into the picture.
While experts continue to test and develop innovative and promising models for agricultural technology transfer and commercialization, a big challenge faced by most developmental agencies and bureaus is the creation of complementary activities which will justify their given budgets.
There is a need to assess and explore the challenges and potentials of agricultural technology transfer and commercialization. This will help various stakeholders participating in the entire food chain to better understand the mechanics and technicalities involved in technology transfer, product promotion, marketing, etc.
The proposed workshop seeks to gather experts in the fields of technology transfer, intellectual property rights, communication and extension, knowledge management, development studies to help consolidate the sharing of knowledge and experiences and steer the direction of agricultural technology and commercialization.
Part 2: Field Evaluation
In 2006, the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture, through its Bureau of Plant Industry’s Los Baños National Crop Research and Development Center (BPI-LBNCRDC) entered a tie up with FFTC on an agricultural technical assistance program on modern corn cultivation techniques and introduction of hybrid corn varieties which was initiated in Caraga region, Mindanao, Philippines. Four years later, in 2010, BPI-LBNCRDC conducted one season field evaluation of Taiwan yellow corn in four municipalities in Laguna, Philippines. The growth and yield of yellow corn was found to significantly outperform the yield of two local varieties.
The recommendation of the said evaluation went : “Taiwan yellow corn was found to be acceptable among farmer cooperators and local government agencies. It is recommended that registration of the yellow corn hybrids in the National Seed Industry Council of the Philippines be done prior to commercialization of the variety in the country.
FFTC and BPI-LBNCRDC have mutually agreed to continue the project and planned to conduct advanced yield trial to evaluate new lines (cultivars) of corn for their performance under optimum condition in the Philippines.