SEARCA in the News

SEARCA: Fintech can benefit farmers

25 February 2021, Thursday
THE Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) said financial technology or fintech can link farmers with financial services outside the traditional banking system. SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio said since finance is a driver of growth in the agriculture sector, there is a need to improve farmers’ access to financial instruments that is also key to their adoption of better farm technologies for greater productivity. “Fintech could be key to increasing agricultural productivity because of its huge potential for financial inclusion by making financial services and products accessible even to the marginalized farmers… Read more
LOS BANOS, Laguna, Feb 24 --Finance is a driver of growth in the agriculture sector but improving farmers’ access to financial instruments is also key to their adoption of better farm technologies for greater productivity. The prospects of financial technology (FinTech) in linking farmers with financial services outside the traditional banking system and improving the value chain are rife. This was explored during a recent online forum on the potential of FinTech in advancing agricultural development in the Philippines jointly organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and SyCip Gorres Velayo &… Read more
A BAGUIO and a Quezon City resident have both won in the 2020 photo contest of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). Mauricio Victa of Baguio City was this year’s People’s Choice Award winner, receiving over 2,300 likes on Facebook. His photo shows a smiling boy and his grandfather holding sea urchins in Santiago town in Ilocos Sur. Michela Ramirez of Quezon City, meanwhile, bagged the second prize for her photo showing a masked farmer tending to backyard seedlings. Her photo reflects how many Filipinos suddenly turned to backyard farming for food and… Read more
Filipinos won the second prize and People’s Choice Award in the 2020 Photo Contest of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). “The contest theme ‘Faces of ATTAIN’ is part of the launch of SEARCA’s 11th Five-Year Plan (2020-2025) focused on Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN),” said SEARCA Director Glenn B. Gregorio. Michela Ramirez of Quezon City bagged the second prize for her photo showing a masked farmer tending to backyard seedlings, which reflects how many Filipinos suddenly turned to backyard farming for food and nutrition security when the country was put on lockdown… Read more
The development of the coconut industry in growth areas in Quezon province was planned in collaborative projects that were formalized through agreements signed recently between the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) and the provincial government of Quezon. “Searca’s priority is to extend its expertise to its neighboring communities in Region IV-A,”  Searca  Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio said in a news release. Gregorio said the partnership between  Searca  and Quezon provincial government is an expansion of an alliance that was started in 1985, with a parallel objective of linking the farmers to modern… Read more
A forum jointly organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV) will offer perspectives on financial systems in the Philippines and financial technology (FinTech) applications in agriculture from major financial and national government institutions. The “Forum on Unlocking the Potential of Financial Technology and Innovations in Advancing Agricultural Development in the Philippines,” to be held online on 29 January 2021, will gather representatives from financial institutions, government agencies, agricultural industry players, farmers’ associations and cooperatives, nongovernmental organizations, academe, and think tanks. “FinTech aligns with SEARCA’s core… Read more

Agriculture output shrinks 1.2%

28 January 2021, Thursday
A “perfect storm” – comprised of a series of typhoons, COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the persistence of African Swine Fever (ASF), among other unfortunate scenarios – has challenged the agriculture sector in 2020, bringing down the total full-year output at -1.2 percent. Released yesterday, the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed the country’s farm output went down by 1.2 percent in 2020, from a growth of 0.7 percent in 2019, after crops, livestock, poultry, and fisheries all recorded lower production.  In the fourth quarter alone, output declined by 3.8 percent, which is higher compared to the level of the decline… Read more
Young innovators from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) will compete with fellow finalists from the Visayas and Mindanao for the grand prize of P200,000 after besting nine other teams at the Luzon Demo Day of the Innovation Olympics 2.0 (IO2) held online last year. Each finalist will receive P100,000 for the implementation of their projects. Launched in October 2020, this second edition of the Innovation Olympics is a nationwide search for innovative solutions in precision agriculture for small-scale vegetable farming developed by young Filipinos. The AIM team developed Farm Journal Using Analytics and… Read more
THE agriculture sector’s growth likely slowed in the fourth quarter, after a string of strong typhoons devastated rice-producing areas. Glenn B. Gregorio, director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), said the agriculture sector will post 0.58% growth in the fourth quarter, slower than the 0.7% growth in the third quarter. However, this will be a slight improvement from the 0.1% drop in farm output in the fourth quarter of 2019. Mr. Gregorio said the crops subsector is seen to grow by 3.66%, while the fisheries subsector is estimated to rise by 1.69%. “However… Read more

SEARCA Travel Grants for Asians

26 January 2021, Tuesday
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture is seeking applications for its Travel Grants Program. Grant Objectives To provide opportunities to qualified Southeast Asian nationals to participate and present papers in ISARD-relevant scientific conferences and fora, locally or internationally; To promote the dissemination of scientific knowledge/information vital to agriculture and rural development; To provide the Grantee a venue to discuss with other scientists, researchers, university faculty and scholars, developments in their respective disciplines; To facilitate linkaging, partnerships and active collaboration between SEARCA, or the applicant’s home institution, with other development organizations and donors; To produce… Read more
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