SEARCA participates in the Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture General Meeting
Participants to the Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture General Meeting, DA-ATI, 10 November 2015
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) participated in the General Meeting of thePhilippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (PPSA) held on 10 November 2015 at the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture (DA). The PPSA was formally launched by the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture in April 2015 to establish multistakeholder partnerships with business, civil society, farmers, and others focused on developing inclusive and sustainable crop value chains. Its aim is to increase smallholder farmer productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability by enabling access to knowledge, information, technology, finance, and markets.
Dr. Bessie Burgos attending the preliminary meeting of Grow Asia where a key person from the Development Finance Institution, acting as the temporary secretariat, discussed national crop overviews.Five priority crops (cassava, coconut, coffee, corn, and fisheries) have been identified based on the priorities of the Philippine Government and the interest of business companies,. In addition, a number of crosscutting themes have been identified including agri-finance and mobile technology, farmer capacity building, and logistics.
The general meeting, organized by Grow Asia in partnership with the DA, brought together the various stakeholders to develop working groups on the five priority crops and the crosscutting issues. Ms. Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel, Program Specialist of SEARCA’s Research and Development Department, participated in the working group discussion on farmer capacity building while Ms. Zeynna Balangue, Research Assistant of the SEARCA-implemented projectLinking Farmers to the Market: Towards Transforming Subsistence Farms to Commercial Farms, joined the working group on coconut. Dr. Nerlita M. Manalili, Consultant of SEARCA in the Grow Asia-funded scoping study on Inclusive Agribusiness in Southeast Asia, was part of the working group discussion on farmers’ access to finance and presented the group’s output.
DA Secretary Proceso AlcalaThe importance of the general meeting was highlighted by the presence of Hon. Proceso Alcala, DA Secretary, who gave the Opening Remarks. He stayed and intently listened to the presentations of the output of all the working groups. He gave his comments on the presentations and urged everyone to abide by the commitments made and hasten action to improve the lives of smallholder farmers.
In preparation for the general meeting, a preliminary meeting was convened by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) a week prior where Dr. Bessie Burgos, Program Head for SEARCA’s Research and Development Department, presented an overview of the academe’s involvement in inclusive agricultural growth. The presentation contributed to the identification of potential partners in promoting academic programs aligned with inclusive growth (i.e., entrepreneurship and inclusive agribusiness, through enhancement in curriculum and facilities, learning resources development, training courses, and research and development; and thus, expanding extension services among the state and university colleges. (Nyhria Rogel and Zeynna Balangue)