MANILA, Philippines — The government plans to start inviting contractors for the agro-industrial and information technology park in Laguna by early next year.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center and the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) recently met to discuss the progress of the UPLB Agro-Industrial and Information Technology Parks project or the Agri-Futura project.

The project will involve the development of an agro-industrial and IT park through the establishment of a world-class academic, research, and community support facilities which would enable the conduct of collaboration, scholarly exchanges, and scientific innovation.

The PPP Center and UPLB aim to gauge the interest and capability of the private sector to partner with UP for undertaking the project as a PPP.

The government is also obtaining insights from the private sector, including developers, locators, operators, lending and banking institutions, on how to make the project more attractive and bankable.

All these will form part of the feasibility analysis and the assessment of the appropriate delivery models for the project.

Once project development activities are completed and necessary approvals are secured, the tender process is targeted to commence in early 2022.

Elvira Zamora, vice president for Development of the University of the Philippines System, said Agri-Futura would form a strong academe-industry linkages and stimulate agro-industrial and IT development in the immediate vicinity of UPLB’s special economic zone.

Through the project, industries will have an ideal place for collaboration with the different academic units of UPLB specializing in various macro and micro-biological plant and animal sciences as well as technological innovation.

The project has already secured support from the Department of Agriculture (DA) given its potential to help ensure food security in the country.

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star ) – June 13, 2021 – 12:00am