Gregorio was re-appointed as Director of SEARCA

Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio has been re -appointed as director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) for another three -year term effective May 1.

A well -known rice scientist, an Academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines, and professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Gregorio was endorsed by the SEARCA Governing Board and Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones for the second three years. term, SEARCA said in a news release.

His reappointment was approved and signed by Singapore Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, who is also president of the SEAMEO Council (SEAMEC). SEAMEC is SEAMEO’s highest policy -making body comprised of the education ministers of its 11 member countries.

Assigned to serve the agricultural and rural development needs of Southeast Asian countries, SEARCA is administered by the Philippine government and based in Los Baños, Laguna.

SEARCA was founded 55 years ago and is one of the oldest centers of excellence of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization.

At a townhall meeting attended by SEARCA staff, scholars and Governing Board Chairman and UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho Jr. held on May 2, Gregorio cited some of the achievements of his first term under the banner of Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN) of SEARCA’s 11th Five Year Plan (2020-2025).

According to Gregorio, the center has reached new heights — better, bigger and smarter — in terms of both its programs and organizational growth.

He said changes for the better have started within the organization ranging from improved staff compensation and career paths to an integrated monitoring evaluation and learning system to better monitor and utilize gains. of the center.

“SEARCA has also become better at strengthening community engagement and engagement through outreach activities dubbed as SEARCAlinga initiatives that have benefited more than a thousand staff, scholars, frontliners, mothers, children, senior citizens as well as victims of the typhoon, ”he said.

He said the changes include more partnerships formed with various entities including international organizations, government agencies, academic and research institutions and the private sector.

Gregorio mentioned the expansion of the SEARCA-established Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources under his supervision, of which two Philippine state universities are among those accepted as new members.

He added that the center has also reached more universities in the Philippines through training programs including the Leveling-Up Philippine Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Resources project funded by the Commission on Higher Education.

SEARCA is also stepping up its School-plus-Homes Gardens Project in Busuanga Island and Cambodia, and adding elements of biodiversity and entrepreneurship to the package.

“The new SEARCA Grants for Research towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions; SEARCA Hub for Agriculture and Rural Innovation for the Next Generation, an interactive museum; and collaboration for Innovation Olympics 2.0, an agri hackathon for young people to develop innovative solutions for the farming sector, are some of the smarter ways SEARCA has begun to reach its stakeholders, including young people, to encourage them to get involved in agriculture, ”Gregorio said.

“The pandemic pushed us to launch SEARCA Online Learning and Virtual Engagement [SOLVE] which not only offers webinars, but also serves as a platform for forums, roundtable discussions and conferences, ”he added.

Gregorio explained that each of the 41 SOLVE webinars highlighted specific concrete and innovative actions being implemented on the land in line with SEARCA’s 11th Five-Year Plan focused on ATTAIN aimed at directly benefiting farmers and families. farmers.

His advocacy has resulted in Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation as SEARCA’s banner youth program.

In his first term, Gregorio was named a United Nations Food Systems Champion; president of the Society for the Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and Oceania until 2023; and chairman of the Commission on Higher Education Technical Panel for Agriculture until 2024.

He was also named one of the 2021 Filipino Faces of Biotechnology in the Philippines by the Department of Agriculture.

Prior to his appointment at SEARCA, Gregorio served at the International Rice Research Institute for nearly 30 years, including a five-year tenure as IRRI’s rice breeder based at the Africa Rice Center station at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria in 2004- 2009.

He also received The Outstanding Young Men and the Outstanding Young Scientist awards, both in 2004, and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Medal Award in 2012.