SEARCA director urges NVSU graduates to tackle agri challenges

SOUTHEAST Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) director Glenn Gregorio delivered the commencement speech at the 20th Commencement Exercises of Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) held at the Carlos M. Padilla Convention Center on Thursday, June 27, 2024.

Speaking before graduates, faculty and guests, Gregorio emphasized the vital role that every graduate can play in addressing agricultural challenges and contributing to agricultural development, regardless of their field of study or chosen profession.

In his speech, the SEARCA director congratulated the graduates and acknowledged the significant support of their families, highlighting the collaborative journey that led to this academic milestone.

He drew connections between agriculture and various disciplines, citing how graduates from diverse fields such as engineering, technology, business, economics, social sciences and environmental studies can contribute to sustainable agricultural development.

Gregorio shared his personal journey from being a rice scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to leading SEARCA, an organization committed to promoting agricultural innovation and rural development across Southeast Asia.

He underscored SEARCA's mission to accelerate transformation through agricultural innovation, also called Attain, aiming to enhance food and nutrition security and alleviate poverty in the region.

Reflecting on the commencement theme, "A Score of Our Past, the Bridge of Our Future," Gregorio encouraged the graduates to recognize the interconnectedness of agriculture with various sectors.

He explained how agriculture is fundamental to sustainable development as it influences global trade, technological advancements, environmental conservation and social progress.

Urging graduates to embrace modern technologies, innovate, and apply their knowledge and skills to create solutions that address global challenges, Gregorio emphasized the importance of character education, ethical conduct and resilience in navigating the evolving landscape of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

He concluded his speech with a call to action, encouraging graduates to step up and step out, making significant contributions to their communities and beyond.

Quoting the first SEARCA director, National Scientist Dioscoro Umali, Gregorio urged the graduates to "Be the heroes we never were and live."