Newsroom  Press releases  2003

11) ICRISAT clones VUSAT in the Philippines (6 August 2003)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has helped the Philippine national agricultural research and extension system to establish an Open Academy for agriculture in the model of its Virtual University for the Semi-Arid Tropics (VUSAT).

The Director General of ICRISAT, Dr William Dar, was one of the signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding that launched the Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture on 28 July at Manila.

Initially hosted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute, the Open Academy is supported by two international institutions, two national departments and a group of universities. These institutions will link virtually with farmers through a blend of Internet technologies and conventional communication tools. The end result: Filipino farmers utilizing technology on a scale never before seen in the Philippines.

In addition to ICRISAT, the other signatories are: the Philippines Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines Open University, Pampanga Agricultural College, the University of Southern Mindanao, Central Luzon State University and the International Rice Research Institute.

According to Dr Dar, the Open Academy will provide the Filipino rice farmers a basket of technologies and information that will empower them to make better decisions, increase productivity and improve livelihoods.

The Open Academy will form part of a global network of similar virtual institutions for farmers now being organized by various institutes of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ICRISAT leads the initiative in Asia and Africa with the establishment of VUSAT.

For more information, contact Dr Rex Navarro at rex(dot)navarro(at)cgiar(dot)org.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.