The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council For Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and SMARRDEC Highlighted its farms and industry encounter through Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) on seaweeds by Celebrating like a barrio fiesta the concerns and issues regarding the industry on November 27-28, 2014 at the Pasig Islet in Bato, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

SMARRDEC is the Southern Mindanao Agriculture and Resources and Research Development Consortium playing a big role in the industry of seaweeds.

The two-day fiesta in the islet where hectares of seaweeds are grown was characterized by talks about the industry, like the status of the seaweed Industry and Research and Development updates by Dr. Maximo A. Recohermoso, Chairperson, Seawwed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP); Pantawid Project for the Rehabilitation of Typhoon Pablo by Prof. Cyril Tom B. Ramara, Project Leader / Davao Del Norte State College (DNSC); Kappophycus Dripping Enhancement for Crops by Ma. Graciela L. Caballero, expert from Southern Philippines Agri-business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST);

Good Agriculture Practice on Seaweeds Production by Ricardo Ricator President of BASFAS; Business opportunities in Seaweed Production by Engr. Ma. Victoria Placer, Business Development Division Chief of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Davao Del Sur; and Future Direction of Seaweed Industry in Davao Region by Dr. Delia Grace G. Bacaltos, Director for external Affairs, SPAMAST.

Some FIESTA contests to inspire the participants were also held such on the Seaweed Culinary, Wara-Wara sa Baybay, Biggest Seaweed Bunch, Seaweed Planting Relay and Bangkarera.

In the seaweed culinary contests presented were the fruit salad with agar, seaweed hopia and cookies, seaweed crunchies, and seaweed salad in French dressing.

Another seaweed product on exhibit was the KD Foliar Fertilizer. KD stands for Kappaphycus Drippings, on organic foliar fertilizer made from the drippings of Kappaphycus alvarezii. This contains Nitrogen 0.14%, Phosphorous 1.14%, Potassium 3.25%, Calcium 0.018%, Magnesium 0.641%, Copper 112.50 RPM, since 50 RPM, and trace of Iron and Manganese.

KD foliar is recommended for rice, baby corn, soybean, mungbean, pechay cauliflower, sweet pepper mango and orchids in the ratio of 20 ml/liter of water.

The event partners were SPAMAST, Davao del Norte State College (DNSC) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR XI), DOST XI and the Local Government Unit of Barangay Bato of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

With the combined efforts of the event partners issues and concerns regarding the production of seaweeds, processing, and marketing of seaweeds and post harvest production of seaweeds will be addressed, as well as its value adding features that will give additional income to the seaweed farmers. (PSciJourn MegaManila)