Villar backs SE Asian AgriMuseum

By Manila Standard on 28 January 2018 Press Release

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—Senator Cynthia Villar has expressed support for the establishment of a Southeast Asian agricultural museum in Los Baños, a university town in Laguna that is also home to an international science community.

Villar also invited institutions and individuals from the academe and research and development to "join the journey of building the Southeast Asian AgriMuseum and Learning Center on Agricultural and Rural Development."

The interactive Mind Museum-inspired museum is a brainchild of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture or SEARCA.

SEARCA is hosted by the Philippine government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños. It is one of the 24 regional centers and network of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, which was founded in 1965 to promote cooperation in science, education, and culture among Southeast Asian nations.

The AgriMuseum, said SEARCA Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., has been envisioned as a science and learning center for inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development.

"The facility will be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of users, including young people in and out of school, development practitioners, policy- and decision-makers, researchers/scientists, and media professionals who need to know and appreciate more closely the role of agriculture and its sector in their own lives and in national development." Saguiguit said.

Moreover, Villar, who chairs the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food, Agrarian Reform, and Environment and Natural Resources, said it would be an honor for the Philippines to host the regional facility, possibly among the first in Southeast Asia.

"More important, it will project our country to the forefront of international initiatives to advocate regional and national agri-based growth that will benefit resource-poor farmers who produce our food," she stressed.

Several organizations and individuals from various sectors—including the academe and the R&D community—have committed their support for the science education and learning center. Among them are the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research and the Los Baños-based International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.

SEARCA continues to invite partners to support the establishment of the AgriMuseum in Los Baños.