SEARCA is mandated to serve the 11 Southeast Asian countries by strengthening institutional capacities toward inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD) in the region through graduate education, research and development, and knowledge management.
With ARD2014, SEARCA aims to highlight innovative technological and practical approaches in the various processes of the agricultural system, showcase and derive useful lessons from institutional successes (and failures) in the management of the agricultural system and rural communities, and draw evidence-based policy implications to guide regional, national and sub-national policies and initiatives in the context of intensified regional cooperation and integration.
SEARCA Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. will open the conference on November 12, followed by the keynote address of President Benigno S. Aquino III to be delivered by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.
Other speakers are 65 leaders and experts from Southeast Asia and outside the region who will give presentations at 24 parallel sessions to be convened by 26 international development agencies and research centers, Asian networks of farmers and universities, higher education institutions, and private entities. Eight top agricultural scientists and economists from Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam will also speak at the plenary sessions.
Co-sponsoring the event with SEARCA are Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN); International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA); German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim, Germany; Syngenta; Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD); Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), both of the Philippines; and the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC), among others.
Expected to join ARD2014 are more than 400 delegates from 22 countries who are ARD experts from the academe and research institutions, government policymakers, local government executives, private sector practitioners, representatives of civil society organizations, farmer-leaders and practicing farmers, and other stakeholders.
Side events include an exhibit, a field tour, and a Partners Forum that will feature the Asian Development Bank, Agreenium of France, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Ministry of Environment of Japan, ACIAR, and GIZ. (Leah Lyn D. Domingo)