Delegates from universities across the Philippines, who completed short-term training programs with the Southeast Asian Regional Center Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), shared the outcomes of their learning experiences in a Culminating Forum on 13–14 December 2023 at the SEARCA headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. The 29 training alumni were part of the project titled, Leveling Up Philippine Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources (LevelUPHEI AFAR), funded by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and implemented by SEARCA. The project provided training grants to faculty and staff of the State Universities and Colleges-Association of… Read more
SEARCA, in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Graduate School, organized a workshop titled "New Year, New You: Coping Strategies to Improve Mental Health" on 9 January 2024 at SEARCA, College, Los Baños, Laguna. Prof. Dr. Firdaus Mukhtar, professor of Clinical Psychology and deputy dean for Admission, Institutional Relations & Financial Aid Unit at the School of Graduate Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), and president of the Asian Cognitive Behavior Therapies Association, spearheaded the workshop. Drawing on her expertise, Prof. Dr. Firdaus guided the attendees on effective ways to manage their mental health. During the session… Read more
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) announces the latest recipients and projects of the Grants for Research towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS). The grants, ranging from USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 each, spotlight six projects that tackle farming challenges through emerging solutions, such as artificial intelligence, IOT devices, satellite technologies, and digital agriculture. Indonesian innovator Muhammad Iqbal Djawad harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to create a smart aquaculture system. His goal is to attain precision in the rearing conditions of black tiger shrimp. Relatedly, Ahmad Fikri Abdullah from Universiti Putra Malaysia leverages… Read more
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) conducted cross-visits to local and global institutions in Singapore and Indonesia for 52 faculty and staff of Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs). The first batch of the cross-visit was held in Singapore on 13–17 November 2023 with 23 delegates from 14 HEIs. On the other hand, 29 delegates from 18 universities joined the cross-visit to Indonesia held from 27 November 2023 to 1 December 2023. The week-long cross-visits aimed to equip participants with enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes on R&D, as well as leadership and management, within… Read more
Seven new studies including a thoughtful commentary released by the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development in its December 2023 issue round up potentials of agriculture, notably in Southeast Asia. The authors' collective optimism, despite recognized perils in the current regional and global conditions affecting Southeast Asian agriculture, provides a glimpse of hope for the continuing role of the region as a major global producer and exporter. Renowned food security expert C. Peter Timmer in his paper "Back in the Soup: Now What?" presents the outlook for the world rice market as of early September 2023. The Harvard University emeritus… Read more
LOS BAÑOS, PHILIPPINES—The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) conducted a training program on data analytics for faculty and staff of Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs) on 4–8 December 2023 at the SEARCA headquarters. Titled "Crash Course on Data Analytics for the Future for Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines (DAF-X4HEIs)," this beginner-level program was attended by 38 participants from 17 members of the State Universities and Colleges-Association of Colleges of Agriculture in the Philippines, Inc. (SUC-ACAP). The training focused on data visualization techniques and freely available data analytics software. "We offer this platform… Read more
In a bid to revolutionize farming practices, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) joined forces with AppGeese Inc., a sociotechnoprise pioneering a digital agriculture platform in Laguna province in 2020. Three years into the initiative, SEARCA's Emerging Innovation for Growth Department (EIGD) has recently conducted a monitoring visit to Liliw, Laguna, assessing the impact of the project on local farmers and agricultural groups. LUFAMCO, or the Liliw Upland Farmers Marketing Cooperative, became an integral part of the project under the guidance of Ms. Eunice H. Decena, municipal agriculture officer. Prior to their involvement… Read more
Muntinlupa City shows a way to turn farm waste into clean cooking fuel. Key to this innovation is a simple set-up called an anaerobic digester, which converts organic matter into biogas. With this technology, along with composting machines, the city takes the path to zero-waste agriculture and circular economy. Inspired by the potential of waste-to-energy benefits, a team from the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) investigated the biogas digester technology at the Environmental Sanitation Center (ESC) in Tunasan, Muntinlupa City. As an implementer of the Rice Straw Biogas Hub (RSBH) project, the SEARCA… Read more
CATANAUAN, Quezon - The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) organized a two-day training-workshop focusing on good agricultural practices (GAP) and a refresher course on coconut processing for farmers in Quezon Province. This initiative is under the project, "Development of the Coconut Industry Growth Areas in the Province of Quezon", held on 5–6 December 2023 in Catanauan, Quezon. The event was co-organized with the Provincial Government of Quezon through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Region IV, with support from the Municipal Government of Catanauan through the… Read more
Fourteen Grade 12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program students at the Reedley International School, with their teachers and guardians, visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) on 7 December 2023. The field trip aimed at exploring the role of robotics in agriculture. Reedley International School is a private, nonsectarian, nontraditional, co-educational school in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines that combines progressive and traditional learning approaches. During the visit, the students participated in a robotics learning session at the SHARING Café and toured the SEARCA Hub for Agricultural and Rural Innovation for… Read more
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