CAMARINES SUR, Philippines – A delegation from the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) conducted a strategizing partnership workshop with the Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc., (PSFI) and visited project sites of PSFI local partners on 25-27 May 2022.
The activity aimed to pave the way to structure the partnership roadmap between PSFI and SEARCA in the next three years wherein SEARCA officers and staff conceptualized and planned proposed collaborations between the two organizations.
The sessions comprised revisiting the status of partnerships, identifying common interest, long-term strategies and interventions leading to shared goals in the following areas: Session 1: Partnership goals and key programs; Session 2: Strategy Development; Session 3: Organizational Capacity and Resource Identification; and Session 4: Finalization of Agreements.
Ms. Maria Pamela S. Castro, PSFI Program Manager for Agriculture and Livelihood, and Mr. Pajee Ferc J. Salcedo, PSFI Research and Development Officer, both facilitated the workshop.
As ways forward, both SEARCA and PSFI plan to engage youth stakeholders and capacitate smallholder farms and agriculture-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Shell LiveWIRE program; conduct research in the expansion of SEARCA’s School-plus Home Gardens Program (S+HGP) to 11 schools in the Province of Rizal; training for community engagement activities; and co-publication of farming guides and manuals.
They also had a tour around the Shell Training Farm (STC) in Bombon, Camarines Sur to better appreciate PSFI’s Food Security and Agriculture Programs and Resource Management Systems (FARMS) modules.
“Established in 1992, the Shell Training Farm aims to help increase agricultural yields and address the plight of small farmers by demonstrating the latest agricultural technologies and sustainable practices in agriculture. It also features an agri-production area, forest park, and a sports and recreation area,” said Ms. Castro.
While in Bicol, they visited the People-Centered Innovation and Livelihood Integration (PILI) Processing Hub of the Socio-Economic Development Program (SEDP) Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which was recently awarded the SEARCA Grants for Research Towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS) to help restart the livelihood of women farmers, and entrepreneurs affected by the health crisis.
The SEARCA representatives also went to the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) to explore collaboration on digital agriculture, agricultural mechanization, and product development and standardization.
Various knowledge products on agriculture were also donated as part of the Center's initiative to promote and distribute its publications to agricultural colleges and universities across all Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) member countries.
The SEARCA delegation comprised Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Program Head; Mr. Jerome Cayton C. Barradas, Project Coordinator II; and Ms. Anna Gale Vallez, Program Specialist, all of the Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD); Asst. Prof. Glenn N. Baticados, Program Head; and Engr. Christopher T. Cabardo and Ms. Ma. Christina G. Corales, both Program Specialists, all of Emerging Innovation for Growth Department (EIGD); Mr. Benedict A. Juliano, Unit Head, Applied Knowledge and Resources Unit (AKRU); and Dr. Romeo V. Labios, Operations Consultant, Mr. Sonny P. Pasiona, Senior Communications Associate, and Mr. Nathan P. Felix, Senior Public Relations Associate, all of Partnerships Unit (PU).