A Filipino farmer who discovered a new pest-resistant rice variety was honored by the Norwegian government on the first anniversary celebration of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Eulogio “Tay Gipo” Sasi Jr. from President Roxas, North Cotabato was cited by Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk for upholding biodiversity through his indigenous knowledge on crop conservation.
Unfortunately, Eulogio Sasi Jr. was not able to attend the ceremony because he died a few days before the anniversary celebration. Before his death, he was able to go to the Opening Conference of the Global Seed Vault in arctic island Svalbard on February 25, 2008.The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was established to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections around the world, many of them coming developing countries.In the first Global Seed Vault event, Sasi was also recognized for his agricultural knowledge. He even spoke at the opening conference.