THE University of the Philippines Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment (PSAE) has broken ground on a campus at the Agriya township in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
“This has been a big dream from the start because we have to consider the dynamics of Mindanao,” UP Los Baños (UPLB) Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. said during the groundbreaking ceremony Friday.
Mindanao, the southernmost of the main Philippine islands, is a major source of agricultural products and fisheries, producing high-value export commodities.
PSAE, a unit of UPLB, was established in 2016, offering graduate courses on agriculture and environmental science through online and physical classes at the Damosa complex in Davao City.
The Damosa complex and Agriya township are owned by Anflo Management and Investment Corp., one of the country’s biggest banana producers.
The PSAE’s postgraduate programs include entomology, soil science, rural sociology, animal nutrition, food engineering, and environmental planning.
Mr. Camacho said the upcoming campus complements that of UP Mindanao in Davao City.
“Essentially (the objective is) to bring quality education, not just graduate-quality education but to make education more inclusive,” he said.
UP has a network of 17 campuses.
UP President Angelo A. Jimenez, who was also at Friday’s event for the deed of land donation signing with the Anflo group, said the university wants to bring the latest technology and practices for a sustainable agriculture industry.
“We are happy to be here and we are going to cooperate and are committed to making this a very successful partnership with Anflo and Damosa,” he said.
Damosa Land, Inc. President Ricardo F. Lagdameo said the campus, which is part of the Agriya township masterplan, will benefit the agriculture industry and add to the dynamism of the city and the province.
“It creates an ecosystem whenever a school is put up,” he said, citing the “vibrant lively community” in and around UPLB.
The 88-hectare Agriya complex is a mixed-use development with residential, commercial, and tourism clusters, including an agri-tourism area.