Modern Biotechnology and Agriculture: A History of the Commercialization
of Biotech Maize in the Philippines
Quezon City (29 January) -- A highly informative book on the
history of commercialization of Biotech Maize in the Philippines
written by noted scientists and professionals in the agriculture
sector was recently launched in Manila.
The book titled "Modern Biotechnology and Agriculture:
A History of the Commercialization of Biotech Maize in the Philippines,"
by Dr. Leonardo A. Gonzales, Dr. Emil Q. Javier, Dr. Dolores
A. Ramirez, Dr. Flerida Cariño, and Mr. Arthur Baria
discusses modern biotechnology as it narrates the events preceding
the safe commercialization of GM Corn in the Philippines.
The book vividly recounts the successes and challenges behind
the commercialization of Bt corn and provides insight on the
collective effort of government, scientists, members of the
academia and the media, industry associations and groups, including
corn farmers to foster public understanding and acceptance of
Published by the Society Towards Reinforcing Inherent Viability
for Enrichment (STRIVE) Foundation, the book, which is written
for easy understanding by non-technical readers, is organized
into nine chapters. The first chapter deals with the structures
and protocols established in the Philippines for the introduction,
testing and propagation up to the commercialization of biotech
Chapter 2 and 3 provide the technical details of Bt corn and
herbicide tolerant corn NK603 and how they complied with the
stringent biosafety risk assessments of the National ommittee
on Biosafety of the Philippines (NCBP). Chapter 4 discusses
the need for public information on biotechnology and the struggles
of both anti and pro-Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) during
the process of commercial approvals.
Meanwhile, chapter 5 describes the corn farming systems within
the context of Philippine agriculture while chapters 6 and 7
provide the determinants for GM corn adoption and the empirical
evidence on better performance of GM corn over ordinary hybrid
in terms of yield, net farm income, subsistence level carrying
capacity, global competitiveness and return on investment. Chapter
8 deals with the technological challenges to Philippine crop
agriculture and discusses the great potential offered by biotechnology.
Finally, the last chapter of the book, proposes policy measures
that are vital to optimize benefits offered by biotechnology,
especially the corn sector.
Government has been fully supportive of responsible use of
biotechnology as a tool to modernize Philippine agriculture.
Furthermore, the strong campaign to be food secure has resulted
in non-government and private institutions rallying behind the
safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology. This is reinforced
by testimonies of resource poor farmers on the positive impact
in their livelihood of biotechnology products.
The book is a good read, especially for policy-makers, government
officers and private individuals in the agriculture sector,
members of the corn industry, members of the academia and the
scientific community, and policy makers. Limited copies of the
book are available at SIKAP/STRIVE Foundation Office. Please
contact Joyce Ignacio at (049)536-5535 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.