STI, TTC forge Tie-up to Reinvent Agricultural Education
STI Education Services Group, Inc. (STI) and Tony Tan Caktiong (TTC), Chairman and Founder of the largest Asian food service company, Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), recently signed an agreement in an effort to boost agricultural education in the country.
Under the agreement, STI and TTC will establish an academic institution with programs in agro-entrepreneurship, agricultural technology, logistics, and quick-service restaurants among others that are more responsive to the needs of the labor market.
For the two giant players in the education and food service industry, the agriculture sector is indispensable in the Philippine’s strategy for inclusive growth. STI and Mr. Tan Caktiong share a common vision of a farm-to-table school that will offer agricultural courses, as well as courses on managing quick-service restaurants that are focused on developing the technical and entrepreneurial skills of students, and in the process creating significantly more business and employment opportunities.
"My experience in JFC has given me unique perspectives on the challenges and importance of having a consistent and reliable supply of high-quality agricultural products. I am excited with this collaboration as it will help to uplift the agricultural and related sectors through education, another potential means for us to contribute to nation-building."
— Tony Tan Caktiong, Chairman and Founder of Jollibee Foods Corporation
Recent studies show that the average age of farmers is 57 years old, which raises alarm over the possible future gap in human resource requirements for agriculture and poses a threat to food security and sustainability, unless a new generation replaces the current farmers,who are expected to retire in a decade or so.
The condition of farmers in agricultural areas also dissuade the youth from pursuing higher education in related courses, and even a typical farmer would not encourage his children to get into agriculture as a career.
“While there are many multifaceted factors that affect food security and sustainable development in agriculture, education plays a critical role in changing mindsets and remains to be a key element in addressing these threats and challenges.”
— Eusebio H. Tanco, Chairman of STI
He pointed out that among the critical issues in the 21st century will be the relevant changes and adaptations required in agricultural education to attract young Filipinos and revive their interest in agriculture by positioning it as a viable career option. These will effectively contribute to improved food security, sustainable agricultural production, and rural development.
STI and TTC will transform STI College – Tanauan in Batangas to be the initial vehicle for this joint collaboration.
The new school will house state-of-the-art agriculture facilities and equipment such as greenhouses, field laboratories, livestock and poultry farms, as well as a rainwater harvesting system for irrigation and other uses.
It will also be equipped with industry-grade simulation laboratories, air-conditioned classrooms with flat screen TVs, student activity centers with internet connection, a covered basketball court, and multimedia centers among others, aimed to provide a more conducive learning environment.