Agriculture Secretary William Dar asked state universities and colleges and research and development institutions to boost their curricular program on agriculture and fisheries sector.
“SUCs must reshape their curricular program based on the challenges and opportunities of the region. They must become the research and innovation university of the region. They must produce highly knowledgeable and skilled human capital for agri-industrial development of the region,” Dar said.
He also asked SUCs to develop models of farm consolidation that is export- and market-oriented, models of inclusive agribusiness anchored on value chain system and models to engage more youth in agriculture and agribusiness
Dar said SUCs should become the leader in digitalization of agriculture and in developing demand-driven and market-oriented research and extension system.
“We need to as much as we could produce food for this country,” he said. The Philippines a rice adequacy level of only 85 percent.
Dar also urged R&D institutions to have a purposeful impact assessment of the top technologies they developed and conduct targeted research to produce relevant technologies that would make farmers and fisherfolk more competitive.
He said that the Agriculture Department, on its part, would help enhance the competitive edge of SUCs by funding their projects.
“The DA will be there to strongly support the establishment of the Philippine Corn Institute at Isabela State University [ISU Echague],” Dar said, citing Isabela Fourth District Rep. Alyssa Sheena Tan’s proposal to enhance the province’s corn production.
Through the Bureau of Agricultural Research, the department will also assist in the establishment of mushroom and citrus centers at ISU, he said.
Dar recognized the need for stronger partnership with SUCs and R&D organizations during the 41st anniversary celebration of the Cagayan Valley Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development Consortium held in ISU Echague last month.