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P90-M AgriMuseum to open in Los Baños

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The P90-million ($1.8-million) AgriMuseum project of ASEAN is targeted to rise by 2019 as proponents seek partners to build it as a way to inspire education interests in agriculture and in solving food security threats.

The first-of-its-kind to rise in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, AgriMuseum proponent Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) seeks private and public agency partners.

“SEARCA is actively inviting partners in the project, including the public and private sector, particularly food or agri-related companies that could contribute to it as part of their corporate social responsibility efforts,” said SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. said.

It has so far received a R5-million grant from the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

Amid limitations in the quality and number of skilled workers in agriculture, SEARCA sees the AgriMuseum as an innovative approach to promote awareness and  draw attention to agriculture.

It will play a role in instilling interest among the youth in helping solve problems on food security, poverty alleviation, and in the development of economies in the region.

To be hosted by the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna, “the museum will put on centerstage the history, science-based knowledge and innovations in agriculture, cross-cultural and cross-ecosystem comparisons, current issues and challenges, and envisioned futures of agricultural and food systems in Southeast Asia,” said Saguiguit.

It will be built adjacent to the SEARCA headquarters within the University of the Philippines-Los Baños.

The IT-spiced facility is expected to benefit young people, especially students, as well as development practitioners, policy and decision-makers, researchers who require a deeper appreciation of agriculture in national development.

SEARCA will present its proposal to establish the Southeast Asian AgriMuseum and Learning Center at the biennial meeting of education ministers of 11 countries in Jakarta, Indonesia this week.

It has been included in the agenda of this high-level meeting on the instigation of Thai Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin who is concurrently President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council.

Thai Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, who is also the president of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council, led last April 19 the groundbreaking of the Southeast Asian AgriMuseum and Learning Center on Agricultural and Rural Development.

SEARCA is one of the oldest centers of SEAMEO. The SEAMEO Council is the highest policymaking body of SEAMEO, an intergovernmental treaty organization founded in 1965 to foster cooperation among Southeast Asian nations in the fields of education, science, and culture. Education Secretary Leonor Briones represents the Philippines in the council, which is composed of the education ministers of the SEAMEO member countries.

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