SEARCA cohosts IRODEO 2024

  • By Zara Mae Estareja
  • 23 April 2024

MASBATE CITY, Philippines—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBESMSCAT) jointly hosted the very first International Research Opportunities, Developments, and Extension Outcomes (IRODEO) Conference held from 10 to 12 April 2024 at the Masbate Coliseum.

SEARCA cohosts IRODEO 2024

Adhering to the conference theme "Bridging Horizons: Integrating Knowledge for Regenerative Futures," the first plenary speaker, SEARCA Center Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio, spotlighted the pivotal role of partnership and collaborative relationships in accelerating agriculture transformation. He accentuated the need for strategic alliances among the academe, industry, and government (AIG) to address the challenges faced by the agriculture sector effectively.

"SEARCA puts a premium on strengthening AIG interconnectivity," Dr. Gregorio emphasized.

"Most of our research and capacity-building initiatives are in collaboration with like-minded institutions and networks," Dr. Gregorio said. "As a partner, we provide access to high-quality professional expertise and technical services from the academe and governments in the Southeast Asian region in agriculture and rural development," he added.

One notable research partnership opportunity shared by Dr. Gregorio was the Consortium for Agricultural Development, Research, and Extension (CADRE), a regional network that aims to at address pressing agricultural issues through research and extension activities. Additionally, he mentioned SEARCA's efforts in leading the Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture's learning alliance working group. This group seeks to support research initiatives on agriculture and sustainable development and creates market-driven solutions that contribute toward lifting smallholder livelihoods.

SEARCA cohosts IRODEO 2024

With regard to capacity building, Dr. Gregorio introduced SEARCA's joint scholarship projects with various universities, research institutions, and government agencies, such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Agropolis Fondation, Tokyo University of Agriculture (Tokyo NODAI), Universiti Putra Malaysia, Sejong University, National Taiwan University, Philippine Carabao Center, among others. He also discussed the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC), a network of esteemed universities in Southeast Asia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and Taiwan, to which SEARCA serves as the secretariat. Moreover, he highlighted the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-funded project Leveling-Up Philippine Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources (LevelUPHEI AFAR) that aimed to advance Philippine higher education institutions in agriculture, fisheries, and natural resources toward enhanced relevance and competitiveness in the 21st century.

In terms of innovation, he also shared the Center's plan to develop a carbon farming consortium to generate carbon credits and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while raising rice farmers' incomes. He also underscored the Grants for Research towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS), which aims to catalyze knowledge transfer and technology adoption in agriculture.

Dr. Gregorio also cited other joint undertakings in online and face-to-face conferences and seminars and publications.

Meanwhile, Dr. Eing-Ming Wu, visiting professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) and SEARCA senior fellow, served as one of the plenary speakers and discussed advancing smart public governance across services, infrastructure, people, and financial management.

SEARCA cohosts IRODEO 2024

SEARCA, through its Partnership Unit, hosted an institutional exhibit during the conference to showcase its publications on smart agriculture, coastal resources management, environmental studies, gender and development, and information materials on its programs and services.

The conference was supported by the Provincial Government of Masbate, Philippines; City Government of Masbate; Bharatiya Engineering Science and Technology Innovation University; University of the Sunshine Coast; International Cross-Cultural Exchange and Professional Development; University of Western Australia; Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges; Rodeo Masbateño; Rotary International; and Liceo de Masbate.

SEARCA cohosts IRODEO 2024