A warm and pleasant good morning to everyone. On behalf of the constituents of the Davao del Norte State College, I welcome you all to our humble campus and facilities. It’s a pleasure and an honor to host this 24th Regional Symposium on Research and Development Highlights. This is an annual activity of the Southern Mindanao Agricultural Research and Development Consortium with a membership of some 20 agencies.

And we are happy to witness today some 20 research outputs presented orally, some 20 presented as posters and 3 development outputs presented orally, all done by researchers and development workers from our member agencies.
A few days ago, I was reading on a website the article on “Scientific Ranking of Nations” and found that we have lagged behind most of our Asian neighbors. We are on the 70th spot, two slots behind Vietnam at 68th, Indonesia at 65th and Bangladesh at 63rd. The ranking has to do with the number of scientific documents published in peer-reviewed scientific journals which are citable and were cited by other scientists. While the United States (1st), China (2nd) and Japan (4th) have millions, we have only close to 10,000 – that is 9,594.

I’d like to say that here in Davao del Norte State College, we have contributed at least six (6) international peer-reviewed scientific publications which had been cited 17 times, according to google scholar. As a small institution, we somehow contributed 0.06% to the entire Philippine list of internationally-recognized scientific documents. I’m sure each of the SMARRDEC members made its own contribution to the body of knowledge and today we will witness at least a few of potentially publishable materials that can become part of our contribution to science.

As you all can realize, we are a long way to the leaders, even in Asia. But we can, in our own right, do our small contribution. And today should mark one of the small processes where we can realize this contribution. Tomorrow, during the Farmers’ Forum, we should be able to address the needs in the field as we interact with the farmers who are our primary clients.
So, let me again welcome you all to this activity. It is our hope that we will have a healthy sharing of our research outputs and ideas and be able to serve not only our direct clientele but contribute likewise to the scientific community and help our country into its rightful place in the realm of science.