August 3 to 7, 2008
Los Baños and Isabela , Philippines
Considered as a pioneer in the production of genetically modified crops in Asia, the Philippines was the venue for the Regional Farmers Exchange 2008. Participated in by around 30 farmers from the Philippines, India, Thailand, Vietnam and China the event not only showcased the successes of the Philippines in biotechnology, but sought also to promote an exchange of learning among the participants. The four day event started with a tour at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, Laguna where they learned of the development of Golden Rice, a GM crop that has the ability to produce beta-carotene. The participants also saw the efforts of the country’s scientists from the Institute of Plant Breeding in the development of PRSV-resistant and Delayed ripening papaya.
After the tour in Los Baños, the farmers then went to visit cornfields at the province of Isabela. The farmers saw first hand the economic viability of producing genetically modified corn, a variety resistant to the devastating borer, compared to traditional varieties. Talks were also given to increase the knowledge of the participants. The farmers exchange program is an annual activity sponsored by CropLife Asia.