MANILA, August 17, 2005
 (STAR) By Rudy A. Fernandez - The Department of Agricultureís Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) launched the AgriTech Online, a Web-based knowledge portal, during the Second Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum last Aug. 8-12.

The forum, held at the DA-BAR Research and Development Management and Information Center in Diliman, Quezon City, marked the observance of BARís 18th anniversary.

BAR, currently headed by director Nicomedes Eleazar, is DAís research agency created in 1987 "to ensure that all agricultural research is coordinated and undertaken for maximum utility to agriculture."

AgriTech Online is a ready and easy access to information vital to successful farming such as new farming technologies and best practices, cost and return analysis, harvesting and post-production procedures, and market information.

It is somewhere along the left bar of BARís website at

The portal consists of the following services: AgriBalita, AgriGaling, AgriGabay, and Agri-Kaalaman.

The AgriBalita section features news and updates relevant to the agriculture and fishery sectors.

AgriGaling features success stories of farmers and fisherfolk, entrepreneurs, and investors.

If you are in the mood for trivia and snippets of new information, go to the AgriKaalaman section.

The AgriGabay portion has various components such as the AgriGabay map; commodity profiles featuring production, post harvest handling, storage, packaging, transport and handling, import/export trends, market prices and price trends; a directory of buyers and suppliers; investment opportunities; marketing systems and marketing information; and research and technology.

The AgriGabay map is an interactive map that features lists of suitable commodities in the provinces. This page also features provincial profiles that include topography, climate and geographical information, population, soil composition, and the local economy.

Hopeful agriculture entrepreneurs can view the economic prospects of their products through the cost and return analysis page.

Real-time conversation is made possible by this online forum. One can inquire or exchange information with other enthusiasts.

Initially, AgriTech Online features the priority commodities identified under DAís Goals 1 (development of idle or unutilized lands for agribusiness) and 2 (reduction of prices of wage goods, or commodities available in the market that are purchased by daily wage earners such as rice, chicken, pork, carabeef, milkfish and tilapia).

The commodities are rice, corn, coconut, mango, banana, coffee, cassava, rubber, sugar, abaca, durian, various vegetables, chicken, egg, swine, goat, cattle, bangus, tilapia, galunggong, and seaweeds.

More commodities are planned for inclusion in the coming months as well as infrastructure maps.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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