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IDRC, Canadian Embassy officials briefed on SEARCA’s programs

  • 23 August 2016

Dr. Anindya Chatterjee (top right), IDRC Regional Director for Asia, and Mr. Stephen Weaver (top left), Head of Cooperation at the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines, were briefed on SEARCA’s current programs and activities by Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. (bottom left), SEARCA Director; Dr. Bessie M. Burgos (bottom right), SEARCA Program Head for Research and Development; and other SEARCA program heads (not in photo)

The Regional Director for Asia of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and the Head of Cooperation of the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines were briefed on collaborative projects of IDRC and other Canadian institutions with SEARCA during their visit to SEARCA on 10 August 2016.

Dr. Anindya Chatterjee, IDRC Regional Director for Asia, and Mr. Stephen Weaver, Head of Cooperation at the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines, were informed of SEARCA’s current programs and activities, including updates on the IDRC-SEARCA Scholarship for Upland Agriculture and Food Security which is nearing completion.

Started in 2012, the scholarship was offered to establish a critical mass of agriculture professionals from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam who could develop sustainable agricultural programs for upland communities. Altogether, 53 master’s scholarships were awarded to 11 Cambodians, 21 Laotians, 10 Myanmar, and 11 Vietnamese. Of this number, 26 had been completed. The scholarships were tenable at three Thai universities, namely: Chiang Mai University (CMU), Khon Kaen University (KKU), and Kasetsart University (KU), and at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

The Canadian officials were also apprised of SEARCA’s long history of collaboration with IDRC, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and other Canadian institutions, dating as far back as 1971.

Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, led the briefing and elaborated on SEARCA’s Institutional Development Assistance (IDA) Program, which benefits strategic universities in Southeast Asia, including Yezin Agricultural University (YAU) in Myanmar, the country’s only institution of higher learning in agriculture. He broached areas of possible collaboration with IDRC or CIDA along this initiative. He also expressed interest in the development priorities of the Canadian government to which SEARCA may be able to contribute as Canada’s window to Southeast Asia.