SEARCA, SGOI partner for school edible landscaping for entrepreneurship in Rizal province

SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (front, left) and Synergy Director, Krish Mundath (front, right) exchange copies of the formal agreements they signed on July 1, 2022 as officials watch managers of SEARCA and Synergy.

The Southeast Asia Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and Manila-based Synergygroup Operations, Inc. (SGOI) have partnered to implement the School Edible Landscaping for Entrepreneurship project (SEL4E) in the province of Rizal. They made their partnership official at a signing ceremony held on July 1, 2022 at SEARCA in Los Baños, Laguna.

The SEL4E project stems from the success of the School-plus-Home Gardens (S+HGP) project implemented by SEARCA in six elementary and secondary schools in Laguna, where crops from the school gardens provided fresh vegetables for the feeding program. education and improved the food and nutrition security of school children. Of the original six pilot schools, there are now two additional adopted schools, 23 sister schools, and three sister schools.

A company that provides end-to-end maritime solutions with bespoke services, SGOI has partnered with SEARCA for the project as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. In addition to contributing financial resources to the project, SGOI will also engage its employees in community activities.

The agreement between SEARCA and SGOI for the SEL4E project will be in effect until December 2024.

During the signing ceremony, SGOI Director Krish Mundath commended SEARCA for its work in agricultural and rural development and efforts to engage youth in agriculture.

“I think SEARCA’s vision of making farming and farming attractive to young people is a fantastic idea. They need to be trained and attracted to this basic need because food will surely run out in time,” Mundath said.

SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio affirmed his appreciation of the SGOI as a partner in scaling up SEARCA’s School-plus-Home Gardens project “because SEARCA promotes proactive industry engagement and government agencies in the academy-industry-government (AIG) interconnectedness models of research collaboration and co-sharing of financial resources.

The SEL4E project is expected to produce a cadre of trained and engaged teachers and headteachers in participating schools as well as technical staff from the municipal and barangay levels who will be able to support and scale up the project components. To achieve this, the project will build the capacity of teachers and Local Government Units (LGUs) by developing a core team with the additional information, skills and understanding for appropriate dissemination of the concepts and values ​​needed by kindergarten students. to grade 12 in target. schools.

A train-the-trainer program for school-plus-allotment gardens that will be implemented via a mixed or hybrid mode is a component of the project. The training modules will focus on sharing initiatives on school gardens, school gardens for food and nutrition, guiding concepts of the SEL4E project, school gardens for education, participatory vision and definition of ‘Goals.

The other component of the project is home gardening to improve the nutrition and health of children and their families. This is a province-wide promotion of Rizal home gardens that involves defining and organizing, building capacity and planning and implementing gardens, as well as strengthening protocols .

To support the project, SEARCA and SGOI will develop partnerships between Rizal LGUs and partner agencies. They will also form self-help groups among the households involved in the project.

Terri S. Tomasini