Pililla, Rizal – Adding its reach to continue in forwarding sustainable and inclusive gardening to help uplift the lives of the different sectors in the Philippines during COVID-19, the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) with support from the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) launched the implementation of School-plus-home Garden Projects (S+HGP) in Niogan Elementary School (Niogan ES) on 22 July 2021. Niogan Elementary School is one of the elementary schools situated at Barangay Niogan in the Municipality of Pililla. Twenty parent and teacher beneficiaries of home gardening kits sponsored by SEARCA and PFSI… Read more
SEARCA teamed up with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Embassy Manila, and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) for a virtual webinar for law practitioners entitled Genome-edited Crops: Progress, Potential, and Policies held on 10 August 2021. The learning event was organized in collaboration with the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) and the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS).  Atty. Gregory Jaffe, Director of the Project on Biotechnology from the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington DC, and Atty. Paz J. Benavidez II, Independent Policy, Institutional, Legislative & Legal Consultant, provided an overview of… Read more
Nineteen SEARCA scholars completed their Basic English Training on August 9, 2021. The three-week program, which started on July 19, was offered to scholars virtually due to pandemic restrictions. The training aims to enhance the scholars’ language proficiency in preparation for their studies and encourage them to be more comfortable with the English language. Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Program Head of the Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD), congratulated the scholars for finishing their classes during the closing program on August 13, 2021. Dr. Cuaresma highlighted that despite the pandemic restrictions and the virtual conduct of the training, distance… Read more
SEARCA celebrated the accomplishments and academic achievements of the 38 SEARCA scholars who completed their studies this academic year 2020-2021 during the Testimonial Program held on 12 August 2021 via Zoom. Of the 38 graduates, eight (8) obtained their degrees from IPB University, Indonesia; three (3) from Kasetsart University, Thailand; 18 from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB); six (6) from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); one (1) from University of Melbourne and one (1) from University of Tasmania, both in Australia; and one (1) from Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan. A number of them were supported by SEARCA’s… Read more
The Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) and the State Universities and Colleges - Association of Colleges of Agriculture in the Philippines (SUC-ACAP) entered into an agreement for the project “Leveling Up Philippine Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources (LevelUPHEI AFaR)” implemented by SEARCA with funding from the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will enable SUC-ACAP members to participate in UC activities, and send faculty/staff to the UC members on mobility. The ceremonial signing of MOU on August 10, 2021, was attended by principal… Read more
SEARCA teamed up with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Embassy Manila, and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) for a virtual webinar entitled Better Crops with Genome Editing: Applications, Potential, and Policies held on 5 August 2021. The knowledge-sharing and learning activity, organized for the members of the Philippine House of Representatives, aims to engage Members of Congress to enrich their understanding of biotech crops and biosafety regulations, particularly on genome editing technologies. Dr. Wayne Parrot, Professor from The University of Georgia, Athens and Dr. Gabriel O. Romero, Executive Director of the Philippine Seed Industry Association… Read more
Mr. Nathan P. Felix, Senior Public Relations Associate of SEARCA, was conferred 2020 University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Outstanding Leadership Award during the Recognition of Graduating Scholars and Donor Partners by the UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), 30 July 2021. The UPLB Outstanding Leadership Award is conferred to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and contribution to student activities and programs in their College and the University and have a deep sense of community awareness and involvement. In 2020, Mr. Felix graduated magna cum laude with the Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts… Read more
The Philippine agriculture sector achieved two much-awaited milestones with the approval of Golden Rice for commercial production and the approval of BT eggplant for food, feed, or for processing (FFP) in July 2021. This makes Filipinos closer to harvesting the projected benefits of these biotech crops soon. Following its approval for FFP in December 2019, Golden Rice has been granted a biosafety permit for commercial propagation by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI). This allows the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) to proceed with the production of Golden Rice on a commercial scale for human consumption. This makes… Read more
Dr. Daud Samsudewa, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Animal and Agricultural Sciences, Universitas Diponegoro, Indonesia, was invited as a speaker for the NRCP Division IV Technical Webinar Series #3 on 30 July 2021 via Zoom. The Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP) organized the said webinar. Dr. Samsudewa presented the “Development of Timor Deer (Rusa timorensis) as part of an Ecotourism Program.” He started the DEER Conservation Program during his doctoral studies at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). Dr. Samsudewa’s goal is to support the development of Timor deer in Indonesia and address… Read more
Dr. Glenn B. GregorioDirector and CEOSoutheast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) By all indications, the performance of the Philippine agriculture sector in the first half of 2021 points to a high probability of maintained positive growth over the rest of the year. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have noted with keen interest how the agriculture sector has managed to achieve a positive growth rate. However, the challenge of surpassing a 2% growth rate of the volume of agriculture production may possibly remain very elusive given the number of systemic challenges besetting… Read more
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