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“We should adopt a market-driven research approach to ensure sustainable agricultural development in the region.”

This was given emphasis by Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON during the meeting of the Regional Research, Development, and Extension Network (RRDEN) for Agriculture and Fisheries held on July 19, 2019 at DA-Lipa Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (LARES) Training Room in Batangas.

Through agricultural research, new and improved technologies and techniques of production which help increase agricultural productivity are developed. But, agriculture has a long tradition for being production-based. For this reason, Director de Mesa encouraged the group to focus more on creating researches that are market-related.

“Being the vehicle in the systematic development and implementation of RD&E agenda and programs in the region, we should conduct market-driven researches. There is really a need to combine technology promotion and productivity enhancement with market support. Shifting towards commercialization will support farmers and their enterprises to earn a better income,” Director de Mesa explained.

The meeting also served as a venue to bring together insights and recommendations, and discuss DA CALABARZON collaborative projects with network members, to wit: 1) five-year development plan (human resource infrastructure) of LARES with Batangas State University (BatSU), 2) field verification testing of carrageenan plant food supplement for enhanced growth and induced pest and disease resistance in rice in CALABARZON with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), 3) establishment of makapuno in Alabat and Perez, Quezon with DOST and the Department of Trade and Industry, 4) sustainable community-based agricultural livelihood project with indigent women of Brgy. Maraouy and the University of Batangas Lipa Campus (UBLC), and 5) Lipa liberica coffee R&D program with De La Salle Lipa.

Regional and provincial collaborators who attended the activity were superintendents of research and experiment stations and other research specialists of DA CALABARZON; heads and representatives of DA attached agencies – Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Philippine Coconut Authority, DOST, and state universities and colleges – BatSU and UBLC; and provincial agriculturists of Laguna and Batangas. ● ARC, DA-RAFIS