WMSU President Ho pushes for revitalized regional AFNR sector PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 May 2012 14:24

Dr. Milabel E. Ho, newly-elected president of the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and con-current chair of the Western Mindanao Resource and Research Development Economic Consortium (WESMARRDEC), vowed to lead consortium member agencies (CMA’s) towards a reinvigorated and more vibrant AFNR sector in the region.

Ho made this commitment, in collaboration with other CMA’s during the WESMARRDEC quarterly meeting held on May 7, 2012 in Zamboanga City.

Foremost in the consortium’s agenda this year is the packaging by CMA’s of project proposals that would highlight the five priority AFNR commodities, based on the Regional Science and Technology Agenda (RSTA) which WESMARRDEC identified together with commodity experts in the region in 2010. These priority commodities are coconut, rubber, banana, native chicken, and environmental concerns.

Dr. Teresita Narvaez, Director of WESMARRDEC, announced to consortium members that, to date, two projects proposals in line with the RSTA are being refined for final approval by PCAARRD and for possible implementation in 2013. One of the projects is the “Assessment of Vulnerability and Climate Change Impact on Selected Watersheds in Zamboanga City”. It aims to conduct a comprehensive vulnerability assessment on selected watersheds in Zamboanga City; and assess the impact of climate change on productivity of selected crops and poultry within identified vulnerable areas.

Moreover, a preliminary native chicken study was formulated to establish baseline information on native chickens widely raised in Zamboanga Peninsula as springboard for its conservation, breeding, and utilization. Thematic areas centered on phenotypic characteristics of most common native chicken strains raised, farmers’ production and marketing practices as well as traders’ marketing practices, and consumer preferences. Furthermore, insights generated from breeding, management, and marketing practices provide good input in policy formulation and generation of best practices supportive of local farmers. It shall promote training and capability building of program stakeholders to ensure that breeding contributes to poverty and hunger reduction, and ultimately, improved socioeconomic status of ZamPen farmers.

Director  Cesario R. Pagdilao, PCAARRD Representative to the WESMARRDEC who attended the meeting, announced that proposals for funding in 2013 should be submitted to PCAARRD not later than October, this year.

WESMARRDEC is a consortium of government agencies which have committed to share their respective resources, expertise, facilities and budget in order to build a resilient AFNR sector in the region and ensure food security. It was organized 25 years ago.

WESMARRDEC member agencies include PCAARRD; DA-BAR; DA-RFU IX; DENR IX; DOST IX; FIDA IX; NEDA IX; PCA-ZRC; JRMSU- Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte; JRMSU –Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte; JHCSC – Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur ;JHCSC – Mati, Zamboanga del Sur, ATI-RTC IX and WMSU.

With the current inclusion of the fisheries sector in the consortium’s agenda, WESMARRDEC will now invite the participation of the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and other related agencies  — PR