THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Dar commits P100M for UPLB R&D

Author: DA Communications Group | 24 September 2020

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is allotting P100 million (M) as support to the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB).

During his recent visit to the university, Agriculture Secretary William Dar urged the leaders of the institution to level up their involvement in the academic as well as their research and development. He said to lead studies on current issues in agriculture such as Fall Armyworm and Fusarium Wilt in banana.

“More than academic excellence, the UPLB has been a wellspring of young leaders, as well as seasoned and passionate experts, who have proven their commitment to selfless and unconditional service to our countrymen,” Dar said.

He said as the country shifts into “New Normal”, the agriculture sector needs individuals who will lead on the development of models of inclusive agribusiness anchored on value chain system, development of models to engage more the youth in agriculture and agribusiness, digitalization of agriculture, and development of demand-driven and market-oriented research and extension system.

As such, Dar committed P50 M for the Research Crop Protection Center focusing on plant diseases; P30 M for the Institute of Plant Breeding (50% vegetable seeds production, 50 percent crop improvement); and P20 M for the establishment of the Packing House Facility inside the campus.

“We will implement agribusiness incubation out there. The Laguna farmers to be part of the halfway house,” Dar said.

He said the facility will also serve as a storage facility and trading area for Laguna farmers. Meanwhile, the agri chief thanked the whole UPLB community for the recognition. He stressed that his experience on the campus helped him to be a public servant who lives by the example of excellent, faithful, and honorable servant leadership.

“This inspires me to work harder and with greater sense of purpose as we at the DA continue to battle the protracted pandemic and address its impact on our food production and distribution systems,” Dar said.

Dar earned his Ph.D. degree in Horticulture from UPLB. He completed his studies in 1980 while serving as researcher and instructor at Benguet State University. He also served as executive director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (then PCARRD) based in Los Baños, Laguna from 1994 to 1998.

He will be awarded the UPLB Alumni Association Presidential Award on October 10, 2020. ### (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)

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