SEARCA-French partnership to boost SEA universities’ research capabilities

  • 17 March 2016

PARIS, France – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Agricultural, Veterinary and Forestry Institute of France (IAVFF-Agreenium) have agreed to cooperate in strengthening the research capacities of strategic agricultural universities in Southeast Asia.

SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. (center) is flanked by IAVFF-Agreenium Director Dr. Claude Bernhard on his left and Dr. Alain Rival of CIRAD at the Paris International Agricultural Fair on 3 March 2016.

IAVFF-Agreenium is a conglomerate that pools together the competencies of all the French public agricultural and veterinary research and higher education institutions, including the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD).

Through CIRAD, IAVFF-Agreenium is looking to bring its massive expertise on all facets of agriculture, forestry and veterinary science into SEARCA’s Institutional Development Assistance (IDA) Program. In a meeting between Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director; Dr. Claude Bernhard, IAVFF-Agreenium Director; Dr. Christian Hoste, IAVFF-Agreenium Director of International Relations; Dr. Alain Rival, CIRAD  Regional Director for Southeast Asian Island Countries; and Dr. Philippe Girard, CIRAD Regional Director for Continental Southeast Asia, in Paris on 3 March 2016, it was agreed that IAVFF-Agreenium will inject a strong research component into the program while SEARCA continues to focus on higher education and the capacity development component. This will apply to the initial beneficiaries of SEARCA’s IDA program: Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Cambodia, Savannakhet University (SKU) in Lao PDR, and Yezin Agricultural University in Myanmar.

In view of this development, the top officials of SEARCA, IAVFF-Agreenium, and the three universities will gather in a workshop to revisit the IDA program’s goals, rework its strategies, and delineate new roles and responsibilities. (Leah Lyn D. Domingo)