The University of Southern Mindanao (USM) formalized its partnership with Center for Asian Mission for the Poor Asia (CAMP Asia) in the implementation of the project entitled, “Developing Sustainable Agricultural Environment through the Organization of Durian Producers in Mindanao,” through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on July 14, 2023 at the USM Skyroom.
CAMP Asia has successfully implemented community-based projects in Luzon. They are guided by the principle: From the Community, With the Community, and For the Community. They ensure that their projects effectively cater to the needs of communities, and they actively involve community members in their endeavors. The goal is to empower community members with the necessary skills to be more independent and eventually manage the project on their own. While their initial projects were centered in urban communities, they shifted their attention to rural-based initiatives to address food security. They have worked in Tarlac and Bulacan by introducing agricultural technologies and building the agricultural value chain.
CAMP Asia is now aiming to expand their agricultural reach to Mindanao. By partnering with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and USM, they envision increasing the economic, environmental, and social value of the durian industry in the region. While they recognize the importance of livelihood, they also want to ensure that their projects are sustainable and collaborative, aiming to empower communities in the process.
Under the leadership of USM President Dr. Francisco Gil N. Garcia, Dr. Mel Chrisel Sales of the College of Agriculture played a crucial role in the conceptualization and inception phase of the project. Through the MOU, USM shall provide technical experts who will assist in formulating the detailed research plan and in implementing research and development activities towards the attainment of the project objectives.
The MOU was signed by Dr. Garcia and CAMP Asia President, Rev. Chulyong Lee, with Dr. Ma. Teodora N. Cabasan, USM Vice President for Research, Development and Extension, and Dir. Buyoung Cho, CAMP Asia Project Coordinator as witnesses. Officials of both groups were present to witness the event.