Bayer underscores role of modern biotechnology in agriculture at 19th National Biotechnology Week

Bayer’s DEKALB® GM corn enters third decade of farmers’ use in the Philippines, a feat worth highlighting.

Bayer Crop Science recently took part in the celebration of the 19th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) in Cebu City led by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and industry partners, strengthening its support to advance the role of modern biotechnologies in delivering more resilient and productive crops for farmers, consumers, and the environment. 

The NBW is a yearly celebration that provides stakeholders a venue to demonstrate the contributions of biotechnologies in the field of health and medicine, agriculture, industries, and the environment. It was the first time that the NBW was held in Cebu City, with this year’s theme “Empowering Innovation for a Sustainable Future with Biotechnology.”

Bayer contributed to a series of talk, sponsorship, and exhibit during the week-long celebration. In his talk at the Biotech 101 Session for Educators and Students, Cyrus Isles, Bayer Crop Science’s Head of Public Affairs – Philippines, underlined the importance and impact of different biotechnologies in improving today’s crops amid unpredictability in climate and rising food demand from a growing population. 

Biotechnology in agriculture is a process that allows plant breeders to alter or engineer the genetic structure of a plant by incorporating desirable traits from a source organism, with the goal of increasing farmer productivity through improved insect resistance, drought tolerance, and the likes.

“Through modern application of biotechnology, Bayer is driving invaluable benefits to farmers by designing and offering seeds that are more resilient, resource-efficient, and productive amid challenges from the environment. These benefits are foundational to support regenerative agriculture and give farmers the tools to produce more with less,” Isles shared. 

Bayer was also an institutional partner during the Regional Crop Biotech Symposium led by the DA Crop Biotechnology Center, and Career Horizons in Agri-Biotech spearheaded by the DA Biotech Program Office. Bayer also participated in the week-long exhibit on biotechnology at SM Seaside City, Cebu. The exhibit highlighted the legacy of DEKALB® GM corn since its first commercial introduction in the Philippine market 21 years ago, and the different technologies behind it that have helped farmers to produce more, while using less resources. 

“Through its DEKALB® brand and now on its third decade of farmers’ use, Bayer brought for the first time to Filipino farmers the benefits of biotech corn, which brings together its most advanced breeding technologies and traits to help farmers maximize their yield and protect their crops. Bayer is committed in delivering the next generation of crop offerings with capabilities that meet the evolving needs of our farmers,” says Iiinas Ivan Lao, Country Commercial Lead for the Philippines. 

Among DEKALB®’s innovation includes industry’s first YieldGard®, a genetically modified corn that first provided resistance to Asian Corn Borer, a major Philippines corn pest for decades. The next generation VTDoublePRO® meanwhile was introduced to become the first biotech corn product with resistance to above-ground pests like Fall Armyworm (FAW). 


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Bayer in the Philippines advocates for the Filipino farmer and supports them in their livelihood and life resources through the Bayer Kubo program together with implementing partner, the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST Asia). Through the Bayer Kubo program, smallholder farmers and their families get expert-led capability and capacity building seminars combining health and agriculture by tackling family planning, self-care, and even basic financial literacy and tools that they can apply to ensure wellness and productivity outside of the fields. Launched in two pilot locations in Luzon, it has reached out to farming communities in Dolores, Quezon and Manaoag, Pangasinan. 

Bayer CropScience participated in this year’s National Rice Technology Forum held at Hagonoy, Davao del Sur from September 19-21, 2023. The 16th NRTF, with its recurrent theme “Increasing Rice Productivity through Modern Rice Technology, Geared Towards Farmer’s Prosperity”, was attended by more than 900 participants from different regions across the Philippines and neighboring countries. Farmers, technicians from seed, machinery, and soil nutrition companies, major agriculture industry players, and PhilRice staff were among the attendees. 

On UN World Food Day, Bayer announced the introduction of its direct-seeded rice (DSR) system at the 6th International Rice Congress in Manila. Moving from transplanted puddled rice cultivation to direct-seeded rice can help farmers to reduce water use by up to 40 percent, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by up to 45 percent and reduce farmers’ dependence on scarce and costly manual labor by up to 50 percent. The introduction of the DSR system is fully in line with Bayer’s recently announced approach to regenerative agriculture which will enable farmers to produce more while restoring more.

Connect with us! Follow the Bayer CropScience Philippines and DEKALB Philippines Facebook pages. Subscribe to our official Youtube channel, Bayer AgricademyTV.

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