UPLB, Anflocor partner to set up agri school in Panabo

ANFLOCOR and the University of the Philippines (UP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of a UP-Los Banos (UPLB) College of Agriculture extension campus in Panabo City.

The MOU was signed by Anflocor senior vice president Ricardo B. Florendo, Damosa Land Inc. vice president Ricardo F. Lagdameo, and UP president Alfredo E. Pascual during the 2014 Davao Trade Expo, held back-to-back with the 2014 International Banana Symposium, at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier on Thursday afternoon.

The signing was witnessed by UPLB chancellor Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez and Anflocor president and chief executive officer Alexander Valoria together with UP System, UPLB, and Anflocor officials.

"I strongly feel that, upon investing in a partnership with UP, we are not only investing in an institution but more so on the young brilliant minds of future leaders," Lagdameo said.

The campus will be located in the soon-to-be established flagship mixed used land development project of Damosa Land and the Anflocor group innPanabo. The project is set to be launched next year.

"In our new campus, UPLB will offer initially graduate courses plus training programs toward developing and improving agricultural and biotechnological productivity in the region," Pascual said, adding that the courses are relevant to Mindanao, with the region being the food basket and agricultural center of the country.

He said UP Mindanao will also be collaborating with UPLB on some of the courses and programs that will be offered in the Panabo campus.

"UPLB can supply the technical and scientific knowledge and the training, research, and expertise needed to enable farmers to produce improved varieties of their products, protect them from pest and diseases, and produce enough to meet the growing domestic demand for food," Pascual said.

"We are still finalizing the actual courses. In fact, they are already coming up with a curriculum, mostly agri-based courses," Lagdameo said in an interview after the MOU signing.

Pascual said with the establishment of the UP Los Banos (UPLB) College of Agriculture extension campus, UP will be able to work with Anflocor and other agriculture sector players in Mindanao "to promote greater agricultural productivity in the region, drive economic development, and improve the lives and well being of the farmers, their families, and the community."

"We'll probably finalize the plans by next year with the initial land development and construction but the school will probably kick-off, the way I see it, maybe 2017," Lagdameo said.
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