A high diplomatic delegation from the Philippines visited Wageningen University and Research as well as several spin-off companies with major activities in Mindanao on November 22. The delegation comprised of Arnel V. de Mesa (National Deputy Project Director, Philippine Rural Development Project, Philippine Department of Agriculture), Marjorie Grace Rafols (Project Development Associate, Philippine Rural Development Project, Philippine Department of Agriculture), Rep. Jericho Jonas B. Nograles (Member, Philippine House or Representatives) and Erlinda Z. Aquino (Consultant, Philippine House of Representatives).
The interest of the delegation was primarily in banana R&D and potential technologies that can be implemented in the Philippines. Gert Kema incorporated several examples of technology push in an invited talk at a meeting titled “Innovation for sustainability: What can the Philippine-Netherlands partnership contribute”, which was organized at UP Los Baños to celebrate the 150th and centennial consular and diplomatic relationship between the Philipines and The Netherlands on March 10. Prof. Kema illustrated how the Netherlands made the agricultural sector attractive to young people by applying high end technology to the field. Besides, this use of high technology guaranteed a stable and relatively high income for farmers.