CLSU organizes 4th UC faculty forum to ensure agri productivity

With the theme "Future Proofing Agriculture," the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) conducted a forum that gathered scholars to discuss strategies to ensure agricultural productivity in a future world that is full of uncertainties and confronted with environmental and social problems.

The event held earlier this month was the 4th University Consortium (UC) Faculty Forum participated by more than 40 US officials, faculty members and guests at the Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.

According to the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the 4th UC Faculty Forum was the first major event hosted and organized by CLSU for the UC.

SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio said a total of 37 papers were presented in four parallel sessions that tackled food loss and waste in session 1, impacts of urbanization and climate change on agriculture in session 2, smart and other cutting-edge technologies for agriculture in session 3, and promoting agriculture as a career option among the youth in session 4.

Session presenters from Indonesia were from IPB University, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Brawijaya, and the Universiti Putra Malaysia. Filipino presenters were from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Visayas State University and CLSU from the Philippines.

Other presenters were the Kasetsart University and Maejo University from Thailand; National Taiwan University; Tokyo University of Agriculture; the University of British Columbia in Canada; and Searca which also serves as the UC Secretariat.

The plenary speaker on the topic of "Recruiting the Best and the Brightest: Feeding the Future Depends on It" was Prof. Robert Kemerait Jr. from the University of Georgia, United States.

Gregorio said Kemerait proposed ideas on recruiting the best students to go into agriculture.

These were increased personal mentoring of young people before they reach college age; concerted efforts to better market the opportunities for careers in agriculture, and greater availability of financial aid to provide increased opportunities for the study of agriculture.

As an annual event, Gregorio said the UC Faculty Forum provides faculty members from the UC member institutions with the opportunity to share research findings and explore ideas for further studies.

The event has been held annually since 2019 to foster camaraderie among the UC members while strengthening partnerships for research collaboration.