The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), Philippines are planning to further strengthen the enabling environment for agricultural innovation system and entrepreneurship in the country.
This was discussed by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, and Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, DA-BAR Director, during their meeting on 18 February 2020 at SEARCA's headquarters.
Also present at the meeting were SEARCA Deputy Director Joselito G. Florendo; Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development; Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Program Head for Research and Development; Dr. Romeo V. Labios, Technical Consultant for Partnerships; Ms. Corinta Q. Guerta, Technical Advisor to the Director; Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Technical Consultant for Project Development and Technical Services (PDTS); and Ms. Imelda L. Batangantang, Program Specialist, PDTS.
The DA-BAR has been a strong partner of SEARCA in research for development (R4D) projects in agriculture and fisheries in the Philippines since 1989. Together they implemented 35 R4D projects and jointly published 18 books, policy briefs, manuals, and other technical publications.
During their meeting, Dr. Gregorio shared with Dr. Eleazar the keystones of SEARCA's 11th Five-Year Plan starting 2020. A major area of synergism between the current priorities of SEARCA and DA-BAR can be the strengthening the capacity of farmers and farmers' organizations in production costs reduction, farm production efficiency, and increasing their capacity to actively engage in value-adding activities. Dr. Eleazar also discussed the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) of DA-BAR.
Dr. Eleazar also visited the completed wing of the Southeast Asian AgriMuseum and Learning Center on Agricultural and Rural Development that was funded by DA-BAR through its Research Facilities Development Grant Program.
SEARCA is fine-tuning the design of said learning facility into a Southeast Asian hub for agricultural research innovations for the next generation.