Los Baños, Laguna – To provide a venue for sharing how entrepreneurship and technoprenuership can be cultivated in the youth by both private and public sector institutions, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) recently hosted a National Technopreneurship Conference.
The conference was themed, “Strengthening agribusiness entrepreneurship through science and technology: Key to better place agriculture forestry and natural resources (AFNR) graduates”.
Held at the PCARRD Headquarters, the conference gathered experts from the academe, private higher education institutions (HEIs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), private sector, and non-government organizations as well as representatives from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Commission on Higher Education, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, Technology Application and Promotion Institute, and Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development.
PCARRD Executive Director Patricio S. Faylon opened the conference. He parted words of encouragement to the participants: to share their learnings not only among SUC implementers of PCARRD’s AFNR Program but also with private HEIs, the private sector, government- led agencies implementing entrepreneurship programs, and other stakeholders.
The event included plenary sessions for presentation of entrepreneurship curricula, programs, and technopreneurial modalities; workshops on strategic directions for strengthening of technology-based agribusiness by various stakeholder representatives; and an exhibition of some AFNR-based technopreneurial enterprise products. The Aguinaldo Blend Coffee of the Cavite State University, Dairy Delights Cream Cheese of UPLB, sweet potato wine of the Visayas State University, coco sugar of the Western Mindanao State University, honey corn products of the Mariano Marcos State University were among the products exhibited.
Representing DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, the event’s keynote speaker, was DOST Assistant Secretary for Technology Transfer Ma. Lourdes P. Orijola.
“Enhancing the demand for AFNR graduates through S&T is the biggest of DOST’s ongoing human resource development programs, reflecting the importance DOST places on the AFNR sectors”, Orijola quotes Montejo’s speech.
Orijola added that the challenges the implementers must face are determining the necessary and effective curricular changes in strengthening the science and technology business background of AFNR degree programs of SUCs and identifying the role of public-private partnerships in enhancing the demand for AFNR graduates.
Incidentally, the conference is one of the activities of the program on “Enhancing the demand for AFNR graduates through science and technology”, which was launched by PCARRD in 2008. The program, now on its last year of implementation, was intended to improve AFNR curricula, and promote self employment and technology-based entrepreneurship (also known as technopreneurship) as a viable career option for AFNR graduates. April Rose A. Itchon, S&T Media Service