October 14, 2008
UPLB and IRRI, Philippines
Around 50 farmers from Mindanao visited biotech learning institutions in Los Baños, Laguna. At the Institute of Plant Breeding, the farmers were oriented with basic concepts and applications of modern agricultural biotechnology. Research professors at the Institute discussed their activities to develop papaya with delayed-ripening property, papaya that is resistant to the papaya ringspot virus, and eggplant that is resistant to fruit and shoot borer. The three biotech crops under development are currently undergoing field testing.
Next stop was the International Rice Research Institute. At the visitor’s center, the farmers were acquainted with IRRI’s activities on the Vitamin A rice, also called Golden Rice. The rice is a genetically enhanced rice to contain the gene for beta carotene or pro-Vitamin A, a substance which is converted to Vitamin A upon intake.