SEARCA News

MUNTINLUPA CITY, Philippines—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), in partnership with the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), organized a regional policy forum titled From Farms to Schools: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive School-Based Food and Nutrition Programs in Southeast Asia on 24–25 April 2023 in a hybrid format at the Crimson Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines and via Zoom. The forum generally aimed to discuss potential policy interventions and courses of action to address the nutrition-education-development nexus by including family farmers in school-based food and nutrition (SBFN) programs in Southeast… Read more
Five outstanding academic experts from various universities in Southeast Asia have received the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) Regional Professorial Chair Grant for academic year 2023–24. SEARCA has recognized their contributions to research, instruction, and innovation efforts supporting agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia. The grantees are Dr. He Jie, associate professor at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore; Dr. Suporn Thongyuan, assistant professor at the Kasetsart University (KU), Thailand; Dr. Orlando Balderama, professor at the Isabela State University (ISU), Philippines; Dr. Faizal Mustapha, professor at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)… Read more
LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, Philippines— The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) calls for a holistic approach to push family farming to support resilient food systems and ensure food security in the Philippines. This was the resounding message resulting from a SEARCA-led hyflex Agriculture and Development Series (ADSS) on 25 April 2023. Dr. Glenn Gregorio, SEARCA director, welcomed the participants and underscored the vital role of family farming in food-insecure regions of the country. “Today’s ADSS on Leveraging the Role of Family Farming Towards More Productive and Resilient Food Systems in the Philippines is relevant,”… Read more
PALAWAN, Philippines—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), together with the Department of Education Schools Division of Palawan (DepEd Palawan), will organize a three-day training on sustainable food production for schools and communities in Busuanga Island, Palawan. The training will be held in Coron, Palawan, Philippines from 9 to 11 May 2023. At least 40 school heads, Gulayan sa Paaralan Program (GPP) coordinators, and representatives from selected barangays in Busuanga and Coron will learn and experience hands-on training. Topics to be discussed during the training include school and community gardening, vegetable production, pollination and… Read more
Dr. Divo Dharma Silalahi, a Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) alumnus, inspired his juniors during the fifth GSID Conversations organized by the Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD) on 28 April 2023. Divo is a senior researcher and the head of the Data Intelligence and Analytic Department of SMART Research Institute-PT. Sinar Mas Agri Resources and Technology (SMART) TBK in Indonesia. He graduated from the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) under a SEARCA scholarship for his PhD in applied and computational statistics. During his talk, he shared his experiences and challenges while studying, and… Read more
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), through its Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD), conducted the Back-to-Back Training Workshops on Roadmap Development and Marketing Strategies for Calamansi on 11 to 14 April 2023 at the SEARCA headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna. The four-day event is under the Technical Assistance for the Development of the Calamansi Industry Roadmap in Oriental Mindoro, which is a collaboration between SEARCA and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro. The training workshops aimed to capacitate selected representatives of the calamansi industry in Oriental Mindoro to develop a calamansi industry provincial roadmap. Also… Read more
Researchers at the University of San Carlos (USC) turned shrimp waste into bioplastic with potential use for packaging. The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), through its Grants for Research toward Agriculture and Innovative Solutions (GRAINS), supported the USC project to create biodegradable plastic out of chitosan—a material extracted from shrimp shells. The grant was awarded in 2022 to the Cebu-based USC team of Dr. Maria Kristina Paler. She shared that the development of chitosan-based bioplastic aimed to help lessen the massive waste from nonbiodegradable plastics and the shrimp industry. Her team explained that… Read more
Prof. Sven Schottmann, associate dean for development and partnerships of Ulster University, visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) on 24 April 2023 to discuss potential areas of collaboration on education and training. Ulster University is a Northern Ireland civic university known for its world-class teaching. It aims to enhance its learners’ social experiences and promote interactive classroom setups and immersed pedagogical innovations. During his visit, Dr. Maria Cristeta Cuaresma, senior program head of the Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD), provided a brief overview of the Center’s core programs. She also emphasized… Read more
Rice farmers and municipal agricultural officers in Laguna and Nueva Ecija probed into the use of rice straw for bioenergy to stop the harmful effects of burning waste straw in the fields when they participated in a series of roundtable discussions (RTDs) facilitated by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). The participants cited the negative effects of burning, such as air pollution, emission of greenhouse gases, health hazards, and motorist accidents. They emphasized the need to strengthen the use of rice straw for bioenergy, fertilizer, mulching, livestock feed, or mushroom substrate instead of… Read more
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) partners with the Asian Farmers' Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) in organizing a regional policy forum titled From Farms to Schools: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive School-Based Food and Nutrition Programs in Southeast Asia. The policy forum will be held on 24–25 April 2023 and will be conducted through a hybrid format that includes both virtual (via Zoom) and in-person attendees at Crimson Hotel, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines. The activity aims to maximize opportunities in the nutrition-education-development nexus by including family farmers in new and existing school-based… Read more
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