Baguio City hosts 7th National Beekeepers Convention
by Lito Dar
Baguio City (25 October) -- Baguio City hosts the 7th National Beekeepers Convention on October 23-25 at the Burgos Gym of Saint Louis University (SLU). The theme of the said convention is "Beekeeping: Key to Food Security and Environmental Protection.
The convention aims to broaden the awareness on the role of bees in creating balance in agriculture and environment which must be prioritized as a sustainable agri-business activity, capable of enhancing the production of high value commercial crops. It also focuses on the need for all concerned agencies and individuals to help develop the beekeeping industry in the Cordillera region, as well as in other regions in the country, as a viable alternative in helping boost food production through the natural process of pollination, and ultimately the economy in the countryside through various bee by-products.
The convention also tackles the status, potentials and constraints of beekeeping and development in the country; Best beekeeping practices and experiences in CAR; Impact of Bee Pollination in Agriculture; Beekeeping as an employment that promotes food security; Harmful effects of pesticides to honeybees and the environment; and the Benefits of Organic Farming. The SLU College of Science will also have a presentation of their Beekeeping related researches.
In recent Kapihan forum, Beekeepers Association of the Philippines (BAPI) president Engr Orlando Balloquing stressed that the beekeeping industry is facing many problems, pointing out that it is not so much accepted yet by government agencies.
But he lauded La Union Governor Manuel Ortega and Rep Victor Ortega, as they are very enthusiastic in helping the development of beekeeping. The two officials are also pushing for La Union to be the "honeybee" capital of the Philippines and with it they are also lobbying for funds for a Honeybee Processing Center, which is being constructed in Bacnotan, La Union.
Some agencies that supported the launching of the Beekeeping Convention include the Departments of Labor and Employment, Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources.
According to DOLE-CAR Director Ana Dione, her office has given about P2.7 million worth of financial assistance to the Cordillera Beekeepers Federation (CBF) as she encourage individual beekeepers to join the CBF. DOLE believes in the industry of Beekeeping and we would like to help them, in relation to food security, Dione added.
Patricio Ananayo informed that DA has been in partner with beekeepers through the Gintong Masaganang Ani program, as they believe on the importance of pollination on high value commercial crops. He also stressed the importance of having a lead government agency that would supervise the beekeeping industry.
DENR also considers beekeeping as a livelihood so support is through the Community Based Forest Management Program. Another assistance is the distribution of honey sources. (PIA) [top]