During the meeting, Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, briefed Mr. Thierry on the Center’s activities and programs under its Tenth Five-Year Plan focused on Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Development (ISARD). Mr. Thierry was also apprised of SEARCA’s past collaborations with IFAD in various research projects and learning events.
For his part, Mr. Thierry explained that IFAD is looking into capacity building programs for the young generation who will work for the agriculture sector. He noted the declining interest of young people in pursuing agriculture-related degree programs which results in decreasing human resources working in agriculture. An internship program for SEARCA scholars on IFAD’s projects may also be explored as a means of capacitating more young people in this sector. Furthermore, Mr. Thierry stressed the importance of disseminating the results of research through scientific and popularized publications and knowledge products suitable for its target clienteles as well as training of agricultural technicians.
Since 2004, SEARCA’s focus on various aspects and dimensions of agricultural and rural development found convergence with IFAD’s development priorities in the Southeast Asian region. This resulted in many joint undertakings and collaborative research projects, such as the Effects of Biofuel on Agricultural Development, Food Security, Poverty, and the Environment in the Philippines; Policy Responses to Food Price Crisis and Their Implications: The Case of Greater Mekong Sub-region Countries; Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project (NMCIREMP) Immediate Impact Assessment Study; and the development of Country Strategic Opportunities Paper (COSOP) for the Philippines.