The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has revealed the winners of the 2022 SEARCA Photo Contest themed “Emerging Agricultural Innovations for the Next Generation.”
The top three prizes went to pictures of innovation in planting crops, while images showing various technology used in agricultural activities were selected for the special awards. Six of the seven winners are Filipino and one is Vietnamese.
The competition searched for images that depict technologies and innovation that are modernizing and transforming agriculture and rural development towards increased food supply and security.
The first prize winner is a photo by Lea Caguiat showing children happily watching a rice seedling transplanter at work in a rice field.
Dennis Ivan Baliguat bagged the second prize for his photo of a Fresco-Greenovation project that integrates hydroponics, Internet of Things, automation, computer vision, and machine learning technologies for precision farming. Fresco-Greenovation is a social enterprise founded by young farmers with degrees in agricultural science and engineering know-how.
The third prize went to Fredelon Sison’s picture of a man building a locally designed aquaponics system in his small shop well after the sun had gone down.
The SEARCA Director’s Choice Award was bestowed on Jaime Singlador’s photo of an agricultural technician introducing to a young student a hydroponic system that uses a solar power-controlled water sprinkler inside plant boxes that are suitable for small spaces and backyard farming.
Jomar Mariñas won the DepEd Secretary’s Choice Award for his picture of a combine harvester juxtaposed with a carabao in the foreground.
Robert Dela Vega was selected as Best Youth Photographer for his photo of a young boy looking up from a laptop and reading material while seated near an elderly person grasping some rice grains in a flat basket. His picture also won the People’s Choice Award via online voting.
Pham Quoc Hung’s photo of rice seedlings in rolled-up mat nurseries ready for transplanting won the Best Agricultural Innovation/Technology Award. Mat nurseries use less land, can be installed closer to the farmer’s house than traditional field nurseries, and use less labor for both transporting seedling mats and replanting.
The winning images received cash prizes and will be displayed within the SEARCA building, shared on its social media and website, and featured in various SEARCA publications.
Now on its 16th year, the SEARCA annual photo contest is managed by the Applied Knowledge Resources Unit (AKRU). Its 2022 edition attracted 760 entries from 182 photographers from 10 countries, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Seven SEAMEO Center Directors and the SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES) Director Dr. Ethel Agnes P. Valenzuela were given online access to select the first, second and third prize winners from 47 finalists.
The participating SEAMEO centers were the SEAMEO Regional Center for Lifelong Learning (CELLL), Regional Centre for History and Tradition (CHAT), Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH), Regional Centre for Food and Nutrition (RECFON), Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics (RECSAM), and Regional Centre for STEM Education (STEM-ED). The judging ran parallel to the public voting for People’s Choice Award via the SEARCA Facebook page as well as the online selection for the Special Award winners by SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio and Philippine Department of Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte.