JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) will present its proposal to establish the Southeast Asian AgriMuseum and Learning Center at the biennial meeting of education ministers of 11 countries here on 24-26 July 2017. It has been included in the agenda of this high-level meeting on the instigation of Thai Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, who is concurrently President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council.
SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. will present at the 49th SEAMEO Council Conference (SEAMEC) the design of the interactive museum, which will be one of the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
With an estimated budget of USD1.8 million, SEARCA is looking to complete the AgriMuseum by 2019.
"SEARCA is actively inviting partners in the project, including the public and private sector, particularly food or agri-related companies that could contribute to it, as part of their corporate social responsibility," Dr. Saguiguit said.
The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) of the Philippines has already approved a PHP 5 million grant to the project.
SEARCA sees the AgriMuseum as an innovative approach to promote awareness and draw attention to agriculture and its all-important role in food security, poverty alleviation, and overall development of economies in the region that are highly dependent on it.
Dr. Saguiguit added that "the museum will put on center stage the history, science-based knowledge and innovations in agriculture, cross-cultural and cross-ecosystem comparisons, current issues and challenges, and envisioned futures of agricultural and food systems in Southeast Asia."
The IT-spiced facility is expected to "benefit young people, especially students, as well as development practitioners, policy and decision-makers, researchers, and media professionals who require a deeper appreciation and understanding of the agriculture in national development."