June 10, 2024- Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) and the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAG) of Aurora held a productive dialogue to discuss future partnerships and collaborations in agricultural development. The meeting was led by ASCOT President Renato G. Reyes and OPAG Head Arnold Novicio.

As part of the efforts of SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), ASCOT and OPAG are committed to fostering sustainable agricultural practices that not only boost the local economy but also ensure food security and improved nutrition for the community. This collaboration is crucial as it combines the expertise and resources of both institutions, promoting innovative and science-based approaches to agriculture in Aurora.

In their dialogue, several key areas were highlighted. They discussed high-potential products from Aurora such as pineapples, mushrooms, and cacao, which have significant market potential. President Reyes encouraged the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAG) to engage more in research, emphasizing the importance of writing and publishing studies in agriculture.

He also suggested training farmers to become entrepreneurs to prevent wastage of their produce. For example, rather than selling mushrooms as they are, farmers could transform them into mushroom chips, thus creating new products. Furthermore, President Reyes underscored the importance of a community-first approach, advocating for feeding families and neighbors before expanding to broader markets.

Both parties concurred that all efforts should be guided by science-based practices, underpinned by thorough study and research. Plans for a Memorandum of Agreement and workshops between the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) and OPAG were also discussed, aiming to strengthen their collaboration.

Attendees included staff from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, ASCOT School of Agriculture and Aquatic Sciences, and ASCOT Research and Development Office.