Aiming to establish a sustained agricultural enterprise among rural communities, the project “Technology Commercialization on Wheels” (TCOW) was launched last April 5, 2016 at the Benito Pilar Yao Social Hall in Lucban, Quezon. TCOW is a collaborative undertaking between the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLB-FI) through the College of Development Communication (UPLB-CDC).
Around 100 guests participated in the launching during which the TCOW truck was unveiled. Leading the launch were DA-BAR Director Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, UPLB Chancellor Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., and UPLB-CDC Dean and TCOW program leader Dr. Ma. Theresa H. Velasco. Also present were DA 4A Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Lucia A. Campomanes, representing DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, and Quezon Provincial Agriculturist Roberto D. Gajo, representing Governor David C. Suarez.
To be piloted in eight selected municipalities (Infanta, Lucban, Tiaong, Dolores, Mulanay, San Narciso, Calauag, and Tagkawayan), the project was warmly welcomed by the Provincial Government of Quezon.
Dean Velasco shared, “TCOW project is an initiative to improve local agricultural conditions and enhance the social marketing appeal of agricultural commodities by introducing Packages of Technologies (POTs) to areas that most need them using a mobile exhibit truck.
Through the mobility of TCOW, it will reach areas that need POTs the most.”
As Chancellor Sanchez emphasized, “TCOW is also about providing people and communities an opportunity to enhance or improve their economic and social situation.”
DA-BAR Director Eleazar, on the other hand, pointed out the positive impact of the National Technology Commercialization Program on which TCOW is anchored. “Through NTCP, farmers and fisherfolk can become ‘agri-preneurs’ who also develop value-added products out of the raw materials they produce.”
Quoting DA Secretary Alcala’s message, Director Campomanes pointed out the relevance of TCOW for being an impetus for agricultural development . “Para sa DA, ang lahat ng reporma na nag-uugat sa pansakahan ay higit na sisigla at lalakas sa suporta ng programang TCOW (For DA, all agricultural reforms will be livelier and be strenghtened through TCOW),” read Director Campomanes.
Following the blessing of the TCOW truck and the ribbon cutting ceremony, Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC) Manager Digna P. Narvacan and UPLB Native Swine project leader Dr. Mary Jean G. Bulatao also gave lectures on adlai and native swine POTs, respectively.
Through a recorded video message, Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) Executive Director Jovita M. Corpuz and Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness Leandro H. Gazmin provided an overview of their respective services and projects. ACPC and the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) will help address the financial and market constraints shared by the farmers during needs assessment.
On April 28, the TCOW project will be launched in Legazpi, Albay.
(This was originally posted at the UPLB College of Development Communication website on April 5, 2016.)