VSU spearheads a conference on rehabilitating typhoon-damaged agriculture and hosts the 6th PSAI Biennial Convention | Visayas State University

The Visayas State University (VSU) Main Campus in Baybay City, Leyte organized a conference on Experiences and Lessons Learned in Rehabilitating Typhoon-Damaged Agriculture and hosted the 6th PSAI Biennial Convention on July 30 – August 1, 2015 at the VSU Convention Hall.

Participated in by more than 100 participants from various government agencies, state universities and colleges, and local government units from the different parts of the country, the conference aimed to document the rehabilitation activities for agriculture by the different agencies following Haiyan, compile challenges/constraints that agencies have to deal with in rehabilitating agriculture in their respective sites, and solicit suggestions to mitigate constraints and problems encountered so that Eastern Visayas will be more efficient and ready in rehabilitating its agriculture after a strong typhoon.

In his welcome message, Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, VSU President, acknowledged the work of the various aid agencies, government instrumentalities and other kindhearted groups and individuals that provided hope to the people who survived the strongest typhoon ever recorded in the history. 

The occasion was graced by Dr. Jocelyn E. Eusebio, Director of Crops Research Division of PCAARRD.  She encouraged the participants to look back and revisit how far have we accomplished to mitigate risk reduction and developed management strategies when our country, specifically in Leyte, was wrought by typhoon Haiyan.  She even mentioned the partnership that emerged from different foreign and local donors to help rebuild the areas devastated by the typhoon. 

Sharing of experiences were also delivered by the representatives of some aid donor organizations such as the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) Rebuild, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); experiences by nongovernment organizations like Plan International, Catholic Relief Services, Oxfam GB; and experiences by government agencies and local communities which include DA-Regional Field Office-8, Philippine Coconut Authority Region 8, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 8, Barangay Villaconzoilo in Jaro, Leyte, and the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

Moreover, Dr. Bacusmo discussed the different rehabilitation projects initiated by VSU with funding from PCAARRD.

On the other hand, the gathering of DOST and PCAARRD scholars under the leadership of Dr. Bacusmo, being the president of the PCAARRD Scholars Association, Inc. (PSAI), also took place immediately after the first day of the conference.  Dr. Bacusmo pointed out that the convention was designed to serve as a venue for discussion of initiatives and future strategic moves to make the Philippine agriculture an active player in the ASEAN and global markets.

The affair also provided an update on the status of the Philippine agriculture’s competitiveness, served as a venue for the exchange of ideas among PSAI members and DOST scholars on issues related to ASEAN integration, determined research gaps in terms of global competitiveness of the Philippine agriculture, and proposed strategic R&D programs to improve Philippine agriculture’s global competitiveness.

A plenary session on Philippine agriculture and ASEAN integration and an open forum with Dr. Patricio S. Faylon, former PCAARRD Executive Director, also took place.  The opening of exhibits and poster presentations were also held in the said activity.  A conference tour in Ormoc City, Tacloban City, and in VSU clinched the two-day PSAI convention. JFMBaldos