The Visayas State University together with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) will soon be developing the five-year national roadmap that will set future policy directions for higher education in agriculture in the Philippines.

This project primarily aims to align the country’s agriculture education to local, regional, and international socio-economic development needs by tapping a multi-sectoral expert representation in crafting the short-term national roadmap.

Doing so will also ensure accountability, transparency, and evidence-based decision-making that will standardize agricultural education in the Philippines.

For this initiative, CHED will allocate 2 million pesos to VSU for the conduct of an international benchmarking study, project mobilization, extensive literature review, participatory stakeholder consultations, data analysis, and roadmap validation.

VSU President Edgardo E. Tulin extended his thanks to both CHED and SEARCA for entrusting the implementation of this worthwhile project to the university.

“I see this project as an opportunity for VSU to contribute to improving the overall quality of agricultural education in the Philippines. I also see this as a symbol of confidence from both CHED and SEARCA for our dear university. Leading a future-driven project like this will allow us to contribute our humble expertise at the national level to ensure that agricultural education in our country will become globally relevant and competitive,” Dr. Tulin shared.

Modernizing Philippine agriculture through higher education

The five-year roadmap recognizes the vital role of higher education in accelerating progress, enabling socio-economic growth, promoting equality, and reducing poverty through the enhancement of knowledge and skills of the economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups who will directly benefit from income-generating opportunities and available social services from the agricultural sector.

This project will also enable the implementation of Agriculture 4.0, wherein the internet of things and big data will be used for precision agriculture to increase overall productivity amidst changing climate.

Lastly, this short-term national roadmap is expected to contribute to the attainment of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a first step to modernizing and aligning the country’s agricultural programs to international standards, the roadmap will employ an international benchmarking study with member universities of SEARCA’s University Consortium (UC) for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The said international consortium is a longstanding commitment made among leading agricultural universities in the Southeast Asian region to share academic expertise and resources.

UC has founding, affiliate, and associate member universities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, and Germany.

If successful, the full implementation of the five-year roadmap will develop future young agriculturists who are equipped with innovative proficiencies, entrepreneurial skill sets, and technical competencies to respond to the new challenges and opportunities in a post-COVID world.

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