If there are lessons learned during this pandemic, one of them is the importance of food security—from planting, sourcing and processing to delivery and preparation of food at home. People have seen the value of producing food.
“Even before the pandemic, we have been equipping students with the principles of food security,” says Bea Trinidad, corporate communications and PR manager of CCA Manila. “The diploma in culinary agripreneurship, which combines agriculture and entrepreneurship with emphasis on food security is not only timely, it’s also the most appropriate time to look into how we produce food that will benefit the majority.”
The reinforced program is a partnership with some key institutions: the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) for agriculture and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) for entrepreneurship.
“Food security is now one of the major issues being faced. If Filipinos will be able to produce their own food with the use of different techniques and setups in agriculture in their backyard and have the basic knowledge on how to prepare the raw ingredients, food security could be addressed at the community level,” says Dr. Barbara L. Caoili, associate dean for research and extension, CAFS of UPLB.
“[CAFS] will equip students with knowledge such as techniques on crop production and small animal raising to experience how food is produced to achieve the farm-to-fork goal. Additionally, students will learn how to operate small farms and gardens for sustainability and environmental stewardship,” says Caoili. Students will also learn how to “conceptualize, process and evaluate food products derived from fruits, vegetables, and small animals.”
To complement the agricultural aspect, UA&P is bringing its 25-year entrepreneurship education expertise through its entrepreneurial management (EM) program.
“Students can learn how to spot opportunities and contribute within the value chain of the sector. There is a promising opportunity for them while contributing to food supply security and quality through the culinary arts,” says Dr. Eli Santos, vice dean and EM program director, School of Management of UA&P.
In addition, students will acquire knowledge and skills valuable in business setup and operations. UA&P’s EM program also ensures a mentoring process in which students are guided in doing business as well as in living more purposeful lives.
With knowledge culled from three disciplines, students of this program can become “agents of change” who can empower communities to help attain food security that can survive any crisis.
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