Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships Project Concludes on a Positive Note
The Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships has just successfully concluded. This five-year project was a collaboration by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and SEARCA. It sought to build the capacities of Southeast Asian nationals to address current issues and concerns related to food security in upland communities by providing master-level scholarships, supporting researches, and organizing conference-workshops.
Fifty-three (53) nationals from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam were granted scholarships in two (2) cohorts under the project. These scholars were enrolled in four (4) study posts, namely: the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Kasetsart University, Khon Kaen University, and Chiang Mai University. As of May 2017, 47 scholars have already completed their degrees while five (5) are in various stages of completing their Master's studies this semester. One scholar was qualified to pursue a Straight PhD degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) due to her excellent academic performance. She is expected to finish her degree this December 2017.
Three Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshops were conducted in three (3) different locations — in the Philippines in 2013, Thailand in 2015, and Cambodia in 2016. The Second Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshop was conducted in partnership with Chiang Mai University (CMU), and was merged with the First International Conference on Asian Highlands Natural Resource Management (AsiaHiLand), while the Third Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshop was merged with the 7th International Conference on Environment and Rural Development (7th ICERD) in partnership with the International Society for the Environment and Rural Development (ISERD) and the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA).
It is expected that the scholars, with their expertise of the subject-matter will contribute to the innovation and development of new programs and policies in their countries towards the improvement of upland agriculture in Southeast Asia.