The WESVAARRDEC FIESTA 2017 (Western Visayas Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium – Farmers and Industry Encounters through Science and Technology) was held at the Municipality of Cabatuan, Province of Iloilo on August 21-24, 2017. This year’s theme is “Advancing Science and Technology towards Inclusive Growth (ASTIG) in Region 6”. The DOST-PCAARRD’s FIESTA is an event-based promotional modality that aims to convey the message of abundance and prosperity in the agricultural industry science and technology (S&T). As a community affair, FIESTA engaged various stakeholders to create linkages, partnerships and opportunities. The four-day event aims to showcase the top R&D accomplishments of the consortium member institutions (CMIs) from 2012 to 2017 and likewise to introduce and/or sell their S&T products and/or banner commodities. Specifically, it highlights the four banner commodities in Region 6 which are as follows, Mango, Darag Native Chicken, Bamboo and Muscovado Sugar.

The opening program was held at the Cabatuan Gymnasium attended by the representatives from the different consortium members, farmers, people’s organization, students and other stakeholders. Dr. Danilo C. Cardenas, Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management and Support Service of the DOST-PCAARRD served as the keynote speaker during the opening program. After which, it was followed by a ribbon-cutting for the opening of exhibit-cum-bazaar.

As one of the consortium members, the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) in Region 6 joined in the exhibit and showcased its bamboo technologies and bamboo weaved products from its partner organization the Katilingban sang mga Pamuluyo na Ga-atipan sa Watershed (KAPAWA). Technology on bamboo production, rehabilitation and deformed bamboo were featured. Some available ornamental bamboos were also displayed such as Wamin (Bambusa vulgaris cv. Wamin), Variegated Bamboo (Thyrsostaschys siamensis Gamble) and yellow bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris var striata). Potted propagules of Kawayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana Schult) were also available for sale.

In the four-day run of the event, each commodity was given a day for technology highlights, presentations, testimonials and contests such as cooking contests, quiz bee and poster-making contests. The 4th day of the event was intended for bamboo; a techno forum was also conducted and talks the topics on Bamboo and the Environment, Potentials of Bamboo, Bamboo Nursery and Plantation Management and Bamboo Rehabilitation Technology by For. Conrado B. Marquez (Forest and Timber Resources Research Center, DENR-ERDB). After the forum, a field guided tour at the bamboo products factory, bamboo nursery and actual demonstration on bamboo rehabilitation and bamboo weaving was conducted in the Municipality of Maasin.

The four-day event ended with the awarding of contest winners for quiz bee, poster making and cooking contests. Lastly, the closing remarks was given by Prof. Lucia L. Lastimoza, WESVAARDEC Director and recognized all the LGU Partners and exhibitors for the success of the event. Irish Asuzena, BCWERC