The Bangladesh-based Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on education, training, and research initiatives.
Signatories to the MOU were Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, and Dr. Cecep Effendi, CIRDAP Director General. The signing was witnessed by Dr. Virginia R. Cardenas, SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration, and Dr. Vasanthi Rajendran, CIRDAP Training Director.The three-year agreement was signed at SEARCA in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines during the visit of Dr. Effendi and Dr. Rajendran on 2 July 2014.
CIRDAP is a regional intergovernmental and autonomous organization established in 1979 on the initiative of Asia-Pacific countries and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations with support from other UN bodies and donors.
On the other hand, SEARCA was established in 1966 and is mandated build capacities of institutions working in agriculture and rural development in Southeast Asia through its programs on graduate education, research and development, and knowledge management.
From six member countries initially, there are now 15 CIRDAP member countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Seven of CIRDAP’s member countries are in Southeast Asia, which are also served by SEARCA.
Operating through designated contact ministries and link institutions in member countries, CIRDAP plays a supporting and reinforcing role in enhancing the effectiveness of integrated rural development programs in Asia and the Pacific.
SEARCA and CIRDAP have agreed to collaborate in developing joint programs, projects, and other related activities in capacity building and research. They also committed to exchange scientific materials, publications, and information.