Last February, I was invited to the Philippine press conference for Horti Asia 2012, held at the Sulu Riviera Hotel in Quezon City. It wasn't the usual press conference, at least, it was different from those I've attended in my professional capacity.
This is actually my first time to cover a press conference instead of just attending it. I never realized how difficult it is to take flattering photographs of people who are lecturing. To the people featured below, my sincere apologies. I now know why I am a lawyer and not a photojournalist.
The conference was hosted by Mr. Zac Sarian of the Manila Bulletin and author of the blog Agri Zaccess Ideas.
Welcoming remarks were given by Minister Thanis Na Songkhla of the Royal Thai Embassy and Assistant Secretary Salvador S. Salacup of the Philippines' Department of Agriculture.
Photo of me taking a photo while Minister Songkhla and Asst. Secretary Salacup happily open their gifts.
Josephine Garcia discussing Organic Horticulture and the Organic Act. Her lecture also touched on composting, container gardening, vertical landscaping, edible landscaping and microgreens.
Discussing the Standard Settings for Agriculture was Kristin Roscom. She touched on good agricultural practices program (GAP) which covered food safety, environmental safety and good quality.
The talk hit the home run for me during the talk of Dr. Viviencio Mamaril of the National Seed Industry Council. I never knew that Republic Act (RA) 9168 existed. The Philippine Plant Variety Protection Act of 2002. Law and plants. How cool a combination is that?
Dr. Mamaril discussed the Intellectual Property rights given to plant breeders over the varieties they bred or discovered and developed. I wonder if there will ever come a time when I apply for my own Certificate of Plant Variety Protection. One can always dream, right?
Kyrah Abad, the International Marketing Director of Plantmate Organic, discussed organic farming and organic fertilizers.
Then it was the Thai delegation's turn. The Director of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Mrs. Supawan Teerarat. She mentioned how heavily the Thai government invested in infrastructure for business and tourism. They are, in fact, planning a railway connecting Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and possibly Malaysia and Singapore.
Mr. Pathom Taenkam, is a Thai businessman from the Thai Fruits and Vegetables Producers Association. He enlightened us about how the Thais ensure that agriculture food products are safe for consumption. He cited several incidents abroad about E. coli and Salmonella food poisoning which were eventually traced to agricultural products.
Last but not least was the Manager of the N.C.C. Exhibition organizer, Ms. Ladda Mongkolchaivivat, who presented the overall profile of HortiaAsia 2012.
I had expected a press conference where some form of slideshow would be presented, some food on the side and press packets given out. Instead, it was like attending a seminar full of information. I can only guess what the actual exhibition will be like.
- The latest technology and innovation from international exhibitors.
- Different country pavilions.
- Technical conferences.
- Commercial conferences.
- Site / Farm visits.
For more information on HortiAsia 2012, visit the Official Horti ASIA website.