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PIA Press Release
2006/09/13

Mindanao can be major natural ingredients supplier - DA

Davao City (13 September) -- Mindanao can become the biggest supplier for natural ingredients where there is a big demand in the world market.

Dr. Alicia Ilaga, head of the Department of Agriculture of the biotech program said with the onset of the biotechnology century windows of opportunity are being opened here in the Philippines.

She said that although traditional technology is bigger than modern biotechnology the latter is already a US$60 billion industry.

The demand for natural ingredients is big considering that the world has an estimated US$200 billion industry for food ingredients, US$58 billion for medicine, and US$10 billion for cosmetics.

The organic products industry is also growing at an average of three percent per year while the demand for natural food ingredients, food supplement and organic food products are growing at an average of 20 percent annually.

In a press statement she said for the Philippines to join the biotech revolution Filipino farmers can increase the value of traditional crops through integrated processing and increase farmers' productivity through modern technology.

"This is aside from farming the natural ingredients," she said.

She also said that coconut, abaca, rice and seaweeds are among the traditional crops that can be developed or processed to increase its value.

There are genetically-improved crops currently in the pipeline she said, which help the farmers to increase their agricultural production and these includes pest-resistant eggplant, multi-vitamin enriched rice, virus-resistant papaya, banana and abaca.

She also said that through modern technology, the government is now close to coming out a papaya with delayed ripening trait and mango with improved shelf life. (PIA XI/pdbanzon) [top]

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