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MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF AGRICULTURAL

The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST, Phl) will hold its 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) on July 13 and 14, 2011 at the Manila Hotel. Revolving around the theme MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY, COMPETITIVENESS, AND SUSTAINABILITY, this year’s ASM follows up and build upon Philippine Agriculture 2020, a strategic plan developed out of a series of consultations and workshops convened by the Academy among the various stakeholders of the agriculture and fisheries sector.

Philippine agriculture had been stagnant during the last three decades. Its share of GNP has progressively declined and large sections of the rural population continue to be mired in poverty. Nevertheless the sector stakeholders, including the Members of the Academy, have a great deal of faith in the potential of Agriculture to reduce poverty in the countryside, achieve food security for all, attain global competitiveness, ensure ecological sustainability and contribute to justice and peace.

These aspirations are embodied in Philippine Agriculture 2020 which looks forward to a “vision of robust and vibrant agriculture and natural resources production systems and ecosystems services that improve and sustain well being in the Philippines.”

In preparation for ASM 33, the Academy conducted a series of roundtable discussions (RTDs) on key concerns vital to the ability of a modern agricultural sector to meet the challenges of greater productivity, enhanced global competitiveness and sustainability and resilience in the face of deteriorating and declining availability of natural resources as well as climate change.

The RTD’s themes were:

  • Managing the Marine Frontier, in recognition of the potential of fisheries and marine industry
  • Further Intensification of Agriculture, in the face of inevitable decline in per capita availability of arable land and water
  • Sustainability of Organic Agriculture, debate on the ability of organic agriculture to meet the tests of economic, ecological and social sustainability
  • Strengthening the Supply Chains, in recognition of the imperative of organized supply chains to reduce losses, to maintain food quality and safety, improve farm gate prices, moderate retail food prices and to attain competitiveness
  • Sustaining Ecological Services, recognizing that the future of agricultural productivity and profitability hinge upon continuing ecological services, and
  • Agriculture Extension, Communication and Statistics i.e. bringing all the components together especially to the farmers.

The outcomes of these RTDs will be presented and discussed in the 33rd ASM Plenary Sessions.

The Annual Scientific Meeting is a yearly gathering of scientists from all over the country to discuss how science and technology can be made to bear on important national goals and purposes. More than 700 scientists and researchers from key institutions and agencies are expected to attend this year’s ASM.

This year’s Host of the Annual Scientific Meeting is the NAST Agricultural Sciences Division. ASM 33 will be co-chaired by National Scientist Dolores A. Ramirez and Academician Emil Q. Javier.

This 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of NAST aims to provide analyses and science-based solutions/policy recommendations to the government, the private sector and society at large on the modernization and further development of Philippine agriculture. Specifically, it aims to:

  1. Present and discuss the outcomes of roundtable discussions among stakeholders on pressing issues and concerns in Philippine Agriculture
  2. Draft resolutions, recommendations, action plans and submit the same to concerned institutions, and agencies.
  3. Publish proceedings and monographs on selected topics
  4. Conduct post ASM activities such as public science and technology fora, presentations to legislators and media, and similar activities that would disseminate the ideas and recommendations of the 33rd ASM to stakeholders.

Part of the two-day program is the recognition ceremonies for the following awards: Investiture of the new Academicians, Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS), TWAS Prize for Young Scientists in the Philippines, NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists, Outstanding Scientific Papers, Outstanding Books and Monographs, NAST-Hugh Greenwood Environmental Science Award, and NAST-LELEDFI Award for Outstanding Research in Tropical Medicine. Luningning Samarita, Executive Director, NAST

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