SEARCA News

In an event marked by renewed commitment and increased cooperation, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on 29 June 2023 at the UPOU campus in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. The MOU represents a revival of the institutional collaboration that will continue to foster joint programs, projects, and related activities between SEARCA and UPOU, capitalizing on viable opportunities that may arise. In a parallel move, the MOA establishes the framework for their… Read more
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has teamed up with local government units (LGUs) in Laguna, Philippines, as well as the Lactation, Attachment, Training, Counseling, Help Los Baños (LATCH LB) to facilitate the Human Milk Donation Drive, an initiative designed to promote breastfeeding awareness and provide essential support to mothers and infants. Held on 20 June 2023 in Cabuyao and 23 June 2023 in Bay, the donation drive was spearheaded by a robust coalition. SEARCA, LATCH LB, and the municipal governments of Cabuyao and Bay in Laguna as well as the Laguna provincial… Read more
The HEAL-PH mobile application bagged the top prize at the Food is Life Exemplified: Planetary Health Diet (FLExPHD) app development competition. Team M1R4G3 from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) created HEAL-PH to help students develop healthy eating habits patterned after the planetary health diet (PHD). FLExPHD aims to support transforming the food system and eating decisions toward PHD, a science-based, values-driven, plant-based diet. The competition was organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), and the Philippine Council for Agriculture… Read more
BANGKOK, Thailand—Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development (Winrock) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) to collaborate on the Regional Agriculture Innovation Network (RAIN) funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The ceremonial signing was held during the launch of RAIN at Centara Grand Hotel in this city on 21 June 2023. The signatories to the MOU are SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio and Dr. William Sparks, Winrock chief of party. “We are pleased to be forging a mutually strategic partnership with Winrock to work… Read more
The June 2023 issue of the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development (AJAD) presents fresh perspectives on Thailand's and Indonesia's domestic investments in agriculture, Singapore's successful "leapfrogging" model of growth, and valuing heritage in the disputed West Philippine Sea, and also three other articles on various Asian countries and two book reviews. In his paper "Economic Returns to Agricultural Research: Thailand and Indonesia," Australian National University Emeritus Professor Peter Warr reiterates how knowledge generated from scientific research helps raise agricultural productivity in developing countries, amidst increasing pressures on production resources. He asked how effective public sector research is in raising… Read more
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) joined the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC), and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) at the Philippines-New Zealand Program Launch held on 20 June 2023 at the Office of the UPLB Chancellor. New Zealand Ambassador Peter Kell discussed his country's present and potential engagement for global research with the Philippines. An overview of objectives and components of the current New Zealand investment and the UPLB project titled Enhancement of Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Mitigation… Read more
CABUYAO, Philippines—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) joined the Cabuyao Human Milk Donation Drive held here on 20 June 2023 as a community action partner of the nonprofit Lactation, Attachment, Training, Counseling, Help Los Baños (LATCH LB) in promoting and raising awareness on breastfeeding. The donation drive was led by the Laguna Human Milk Bank (LHMB), LATCH LB, and local government units (LGUs) of Cabuyao and Laguna, Philippines. Launched in December 2022, the LHMB provides lactation education and mother-to-mother breastfeeding counseling services. The milk facility is under the supervision of LATCH LB. During… Read more
Four delegates from Philippine universities, namely the Cagayan State University, the Nueva Vizcaya State University, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and the Visayas State University, participated in a training program focused on practical bioinformatics skills for plant and animal whole genome sequencing data. The training was organized by the Center for Agricultural Biotechnology (CAB) at Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand and took place on 22–26 May 2023 at KU's Kamphaeng Saen campus. Their participation in the training was made possible through the support of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)… Read more
A faculty member from the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST) recently completed a one-month faculty attachment at the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) from 1–30 May 2023. Engr. Melissa Medina, an instructor at NEUST's College of Agriculture, successfully secured the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) Leveling-Up Philippine Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources (LevelUP HEI AFAR) grant to support her research and teaching capacity at her home institution. This grant aligns with her responsibilities as chair of the Agricultural Innovation Research and Related Project at NEUST. During her… Read more
University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB)-based inventors founded HS InnoTech, Inc. (HSII) to manufacture products that make fresh fruit last longer. The technology named Fruitect® consists of edible coating formulations that delay the ripening of mangoes and bananas. Unlike petroleum wax coatings, Fruitect® is biodegradable because it is made from agricultural waste such as peels and leaves. Carabao mangoes stored at room temperature (28oC–31oC) turn ripe and sweet five to six days after harvesting, but when mangoes are coated with Fruitect®, the fruits ripen after 10 or more days. At cooler storage temperatures, the Fruitect®-coated fruits ripen after 20… Read more
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