Malaysia hosts SEARCA's 61st Governing Board Meeting
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — The Government of Malaysia, through its Ministry of Education, hosted the 61st Governing Board (GB) Meeting of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) on 11-13 November 2013 at Putrajaya Marriott Hotel.
This is the seventh time that the country has hosted this annual meeting since it joined the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1965 as one of the founding members.
No less than His Excellency Yab Tan Sri Dato' Hj Muhyiddin Hj Mohd Yassin, The Right Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, keynoted the opening ceremony held on 11 November 2013.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony were Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director; Datuk Prof. Dr. Mohd Fauzi Hj Ramlan, Vice Chancellor, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Country Representative to the SEARCA Governing Board; and Dr. Tinsiri Siribodhi, Deputy Director (Administration and Communication), SEAMEO Secretariat.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Saguiguit expressed the Center's deepest gratitude to the Malaysian government for hosting this year's GB Meeting and for providing invaluable support through UPM.
"For a region that is predominantly still agriculture based and facing the formidable task of addressing food security and poverty alleviation amidst an ever growing population coupled with the effects of climate change and natural resource degradation, SEARCA's role and mandate is as pronounced and crucial as ever," Dr. Saguiguit stressed.
This year's meeting is markedly auspicious as SEARCA will present its Tenth Five-Year Plan (2014/2015-2018/2019) for review and approval of its Governing Board, the Center's highest policymaking body.
The crafting of SEARCA's Tenth Five-Year Plan underwent a rigorous process of consultation with stakeholders, partners, and donors as it will serve as the blueprint of SEARCA's development agenda and program of work over the next five years.
In its Tenth Five-Year Plan, SEARCA repositions itself as a proactive enabler and champion of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD) in Southeast Asia.
SEARCA is optimistic that its new Five-Year Plan will open more opportunities for Malaysia and the Center to collaborate on human resource and institutional capacity development, research, and knowledge management for the benefit and development of the country and the region as a whole.