Last October 23-25, 2008, the 8th ISSAAS-Philippines’ National Convention and Annual Meeting was held in Benguet State University (BSU), which co-sponsored the event together with the Philippine Association of Agriculturists (PAA). This year’s convention is one of the most successful with the attendance by almost 120 participants coming from private institutions, government agencies and state colleges and universities (SUCs) from Regions I to IV. Also during the convention, 42 new members were inducted by Dr. Roberto F. Rañola, Jr., the Vice-President for ISSAAS-Philippines.

This year’s convention theme is “Securing Food for Today and the Future”, a fitting topic of the times to underscore the importance of giving due attention to the current food crisis and finding ways on how to enhance agricultural production to achieve food security and lessen dependence on other countries for our food supply.

The convention plenary speaker was Dr. Rogelio N. Concepcion, former Director of the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) and currently a consultant of the Water and Sanitation Coordination Office of the National Anti-Poverty Commission. His topic on the “State of Philippine Agriculture and Challenges of the Millennium” discussed on important issues like, “science-assisted proactive actions to delimit the variability of a moving target for food security”, “climate change adaptation”, “diversification of our rice-based food bundles and shift to affordable and accessible low-cost but high-value nutritious food” and “harnessing of all human and institutional resources”. These issues, if properly addressed by all stakeholders, will impinge positively on food security, our key to survival.

Due to the very enthusiastic response with the submission of more than 75 papers for presentation and 21 posters, the original 5 concurrent sessions became 7 sessions to allow everybody to present within the set schedule. The sub-themes were Food safety and Food Technology (Session 1, 12 papers); Food Supply, Nutrition and Population (Session 2, 15 papers); Climate Change and Food Production (Session 3, 6 papers); Biofuel and Food Supply (Session 4, 9 papers); Food Supply Chain Prices (Session 5, 12 papers); Extension, Farming Tools and Technology Commercialization (Session 6a, 10 papers) and Cropping Systems, Indigenous Knowledge and Organic Farming (Session 6b, 11 papers). Chairs for each session are from the BSU which included Dr. Leoncia L. Tandang, Dr. Carlito P. Laurean, Dr. Marlene B. Atinyao, Dr. Lorenza G. Lirio, Prof. Jovita S. Sim, Dr. Julia A. Solimen and Dr. Criselda S. Battad for sessions 1-6b, respectively.

The 9th ISSAAS-Philippines’ National Convention and Annual Meeting next year will be held at U.P. Los Baños, and suggestions from the members for a possible convention theme is welcome. The Second Priscilla C. Sanchez Awards will also be given next year.


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International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS)
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