SEARCA News

The critical role of universities and colleges to undertake research and development initiatives that contribute to food security during the COVID-19 pandemic were discussed in a publication by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Director, and Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Operations Consultant for Emerging Innovation and Growth, both of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). Their paper titled “Food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic: research and development priorities for Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines and Southeast Asia” has been published in the Central Mindanao University (CMU) Journal of Science Volume 23, Issue 2 on… Read more
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) kicks off the implementation of its Eleventh Five-Year Plan (11FYP) on 1 July 2020. The new strategic plan sets out the principles and objectives that will guide SEARCA as it moves towards Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN). "Our new development strategy was shaped by SEARCA's desire to contribute to the transformation of farmers who are stuck in the belief that farming is limited to production, into new farmers operating in a modern agriculture ecology, that is Agriculture 4.0," SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio said. For… Read more
The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) have formalized their partnership in establishing gardens under the DA-BPI Urban Agriculture Program in an agreement signed on 22 June 2020. Signatories to the memorandum of agreement are Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and SEARCA Director Glenn B. Gregorio. The DA-BPI is leading the implementation of the Urban Agriculture Program “as one of the modalities that renders safe food available, accessible, and affordable while providing additional income to households and communities in urban areas.” “During this pandemic, we… Read more
In 2009, SEARCA and the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany partnered for the Food Security Center (FSC) for an initial duration of five (5) years. FSC is one of the five excellence centers of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) program "EXCEED - Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation," funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany. It aims to provide effective and innovative scientific contributions in research, teaching, and policy advice towards the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG's) of eradicating poverty and hunger in collaboration with partner Higher… Read more
Malang, Indonesia - Universitas Brawijaya (UB) organized its Annual Agricultural Engineering Lecture Series, through its Department of Agricultural Engineering, on 10 June 2020. The activity, which is regularly offered offline, was conducted live via web streaming due to COVID-19. It was also opened to the public for the first time as it was originally held exclusively for UB students to gain knowledge from experts in the field of agricultural engineering. The lecture was also conducted in collaboration with SEARCA and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). The guest lecturer, Dr. Nazmi Mat Nawi, is a leading researcher in Malaysia who was recently… Read more
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – The Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) recently awarded the UC Seed Fund for Collaborative Research to three (3) initial recipients for the first quarter of 2020. Dr. Muhammad Heikal bin Ismail, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), is collaborating with Dr. Ngadisih, Dr. Joko Nugroho W.K., Dr. Bambang Suwignyo and Dr. Hatma Suryatmojo, from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), for the project “Investigating the effect of food and agricultural waste on the quality of biogas and bio-fertilizer”. The project aims to… Read more
Mobility restrictions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic pushes 14.68 million more families to poverty in Southeast Asia, as drops in farm labor by 1.4 percent and agricultural production by 17 million tons impact a USD 3.76 billion decline in gross domestic product, a study says. Published in the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development (AJAD), "Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Agricultural Production in Southeast Asia: Toward Transformative Change in Agricultural Food Systems" recommends systematic transformation through agricultural systems approach to ensure resilient, sustainable, and productive foods systems to counter food security shocks in the region. "Seeing food… Read more
Smallholder farms and agriculture-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) stand to become more competitive and to connect with national and international markets when they form agricultural clusters, according to a regional think tank. According to the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), more than 80% of food produced and consumed in the developing world come from smallholder farms dominating Southeast Asia. SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio explained that at less than five hectares each, these smallholder farms are constrained by their remote and dispersed locations making access to modern technology, services, and information… Read more
“For the longest time, our food production systems have been the main drivers of biodiversity loss,” surmised Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “once lost, biodiversity for food and agriculture – i.e., all the species that support our food systems and sustain the people who provide/grow our food – cannot be recovered.” Dr. Gregorio will thus speak on​ how crucial agricultural transformation through agricultural innovation ​is for food systems ​to achieve a balance between biodiversity conservation and socio-economic… Read more
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – SEARCA and Sejong University (SU) in Seoul, South Korea recently established a joint scholarship program for MS/PhD degree by research. This program aims to enhance the capacities of Southeast Asian scientists and researchers in developing new agricultural solutions and frontier research in the fields of Agricultural Biotechnology, Aquaculture, Food Science, and International Development through quality graduate studies. Sejong University (SU) traces its roots to 1940 as the Kyung Sung Humanities Institute and then as a full university in 1978. Today, SU is a renowned world class university which uses problem-based learning approach in its curriculum while… Read more
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