Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA chief challenges incoming UPLB chancellor to trail blaze digital agriculture

Author: DA Press Office | 13 October 2020

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has asked incoming University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr. to vigorously upscale relevant technologies to enhance productivity in the countryside and continuously develop the human capital needed to lead in the transformation of a modernized and industrialized Philippine agriculture.

“I challenge the incoming chancellor to harness the power of satellite-aided information technology and establish a Digital Agriculture Center at UPLB and thereafter take the lead and network with other higher education and research institutions,” said Secretary Dar during a webinar titled, “Harnessing UPLB alumni’s participation during these times of pandemic,” organized by the UPLB Alumni Association (UPLBAA) on October 6, 2020.

The DA chief reiterated the role of higher education institutions (HEIs) like UPLB to optimize their expertise and lead in implementing various policy instruments to improve the country’s farm productivity, one of which is through digital agriculture.

“I wish UPLB to be the trailblazer in harnessing the power of disruptive technologies to elevate Philippine agriculture into the future. We need to narrow the gap so that we can easily transform from 1.0 agriculture to 4.0 digital agriculture,” said Secretary Dar.

“As an alumnus, I want to restore the strong DA-UPLB partnership that has been there in the past. We need the expertise and experience of UPLB in dealing with the big issues and challenges in the country,” said secretary Dar, during the webinar, entitled “Harnessing UPLB alumni’s participation during these times of pandemic,” he added.

“We need to prove that UPLB is not only an excellent higher educational institution but also relevant to the needs of the times,” the DA chief said.

The webinar was hosted by UPLB batch ’70 president and former DA undersecretary Dr. Cristino M. Collado.

Camacho, who served as one of the four webinar reactors, thanked Secretary Dar for his unending support and vowed to continue harnessing the participation of UPLB alumni in modernizing and industrializing Philippine agriculture.

“The initiative that you have proposed on digital agriculture is central to our vision to future-proof the university and the agriculture sector. We will be very supportive of this initiative. We have already initiated the meetings and talks to outline the support systems and mechanisms to harness our partnership,” Camacho said.

During the university’s 102nd loyalty day held on October 10, 2020, the UPLBAA bestowed on Secretary Dar the “Presidential Award,” the highest distinction given to alumni.

Camacho will serve a three-year term, starting on November 1, 2020, as the 10th UPLB Chancellor. He is currently the dean of the Graduate School (GS) and professor of economics at the College of Economics and Management (CEM).

The other reactors during the UPLBAA webinar were: former UPLB-CEM Dean Dr. Levy Cabanilla; former DA-Philippine Carabao Center Director Dr. Libertado Cruz; and DA Region 4A Director Engr. Arnel De Mesa. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)

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