Agri scientist pushes creation of separate fisheries dept
Rudy A. Fernandez (The Philippine Star) - August 8, 2015 - 10:00am

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – A Ramon Magsaysay awardee is pushing for the creation of a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Dr. Romulo G. Davide has called on the University of the Philippines to fully support a bill filed in Congress which seeks to create a separate  department that would  focus on the development of the country’s fisheries sector.

Davide urged the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) from the UP Marine Science Institute (MSI) to help sharpen the bill to make it more responsive to the needs of poor fisherfolks.

“Our sea area is larger than our land area and therefore a Department must be created with UP taking the challenge to ensure the passage of such a bill,” said Davide, professor emeritus of UP Los Baños and 2012 Ramon Magsaysay awardee.

Davide likewise urged UP Visayas to develop public service programs similar to or even better than the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) which gives priorities to the development of small and poor fishermen.

UP Visayas is  the country’s premier tertiary institution for fisheries whose main campus is in Miag-ao, Iloilo (the two other UP units are in Iloilo City and Tacloban City in Leyte).

The FSTP was initiated by Davide in Argao, Cebu on July 16, 1994, following his retirement from UP Los Baños. 

It integrates research, development, and extension  in corn and eventually vegetables and backyard animal and milk production.

Over the past two decades following the implementation of the FSTP, Argao metamorphosed into a first class town from a fifth class municipality.

In Argao, Davide said  there are now around 1,700 trained farmer-scientists whose incomes have increased considerably. Some have even become millionaires.

The first 30 farmer-scientists in Colawin now earn about P500,000 annually compared to about P100,000 prior to their training.

In another barangay in Bayabas, 16 farmer-scientists are now enjoying a combined annual income of more than P1 million as against half a million previously.

The FSTP has also played a key role in the initiation and completion of community projects such as electrification, construction, and farm-to-market roads and irrigation water system, Davide said.

A RAMON MAGSAYSAY ARGAO ATILDE DAVIDE DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES DR. ROMULO G FARMER-SCIENTIST TRAINING PROGRAM ILOILO CITY AND TACLOBAN CITY IN ARGAO LOS BA MARINE SCIENCE INSTITUTE
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