Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, apprises Mr. Omer Zafar (rightmost), Country Programme Manager, Asia Pacific Region (APR), and Mr. Tawfiq El-Zabri (second from right), APR Programme Officer, both of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), on the Center’s programs and activities during their visit on 5 May 2016. Also present at the meeting were (from bottom) Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, and Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz, SEARCA’s Program Heads for Graduate Education and Institutional Development, Research and Development, and Knowledge Management, respectively.
Over the recent months, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) based in Rome, Italy, has been discussing with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) several projects intended to benefit the Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific regions in efforts to address the overriding problems of poverty and food security.
IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas.
In particular, the collaborative projects in the pipeline will focus on rural advisory services for farmers and farming communities, food policy research for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); pathways, policy, and development outcomes of rural transformation in the Philippines, Vietnam, and China; and most significantly, the roll out of major future programs and initiatives of IFAD to facilitate the growth of ASEAN Member States.
"The impending increase of collaborative projects and programs not only with IFAD but also with other major international development organizations is a breakthrough for SEARCA," according to SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr.
It is expected to bolster significantly the Center's efforts to promote inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in the Philippines and the ASEAN region.
"We are pleased and grateful that our partners and donors have placed their trust in us," Dr. Saguiguit declared.
“It shows that SEARCA is fast becoming known as major development partner in this part of the world. This comes at the cusp of the Center's 50th Anniversary celebration representing five decades of outstanding agricultural and rural development work in the region and beyond,” Dr. Saguiguit said.