The Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) has signed a five-year partnership with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) to collaborate in capacity building, advocacy, and research efforts to support inclusive agricultural and rural development.
Founded in 1966, SEARCA is a center of excellence in agricultural and rural development. It is the oldest among 26 specialist institutions in Southeast Asia. The organization has recently embarked on a five-year strategic plan that emphasizes focus on elevating the quality of life of agricultural families through sustainable livelihoods and access to modern networks and innovative markets.
“FSSI’s five-year Strategic Plan is closely aligned with SEARCA’s in terms of our desired impact on local communities, especially the agriculture sector. We look forward to collaborating with SEARCA to support inclusive agricultural and rural development,” said FSSI Executive Director Sixto Donato C. Macasaet.
The areas of collaboration between FSSI and SEARCA include capacity building, including training on best practices and lessons learned specific to agri-enterprise development and sustainability, sustainable finance, and access to credit; research, including participation of FSSI-supported agri-enterprises in pilot studies and technology transfer, as well as value chain specific agri-research; and advocacy, specifically on awareness raising on strategies that will build the triple bottom lines or enterprise sustainability awareness.
Agriculture remains an important sector of the Philippine economy. However, agricultural yield and area have been on a steady decline through the years, not only in the Philippines but all over the Southeast Asian region. To help address this, governments have been adopting policies focused on business incubation and information and technology advancement.
FSSI is set to launch its accelerator program, the Sustainable Agri Enterprise Impact Lab or SAIL. This is closely aligned with SEARCA’s InnovEIGhts project, an agribusiness incubation program envisioned to establish and develop the agri-and rural sector through technology development and transfer.
FSSI is a social investment organization committed to support the development of sustainable communities through social entrepreneurship. It supports enterprises with People, Planet, and Profit objectives, also known as the triple bottom lines (3BL), through financial and capacity building services.