THE Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) has held consultative meetings in four nations from February 2014 to March 2014 to hasten the development of climate-resilient rice and other crops.
Searca Executive Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. said the meetings held in the Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam along with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, were meant to neutralize the negative impact of climate change on rice and other food crops.
Saguiguit said the meetings were conducted under the auspices of the Asean Network on Promoting Climate Resilience of Rice and Other Crops, a project funded by the Asean-German Program on Response to Climate Change (GAP-CC/GIZ) to support the regional initiatives of the Asean Technical Working Group on Agricultural Research and Development (ATWGARD).
The project covers Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Searca was commissioned by GAP-CC to coordinate and facilitate national consultative meetings and regional workshops which aim to promote common understanding and exchange of experiences on climate change and agriculture focused on selected crops (i.e., rice, corn and cassava); identify successful practices and policies for tackling these climate change-related threats that can be promoted and intensified, and; identify common concerns and capacity needs, and propose regional support strategies and instruments to address these in a coherent manner.
In the Philippines Searca facilitated the First Philippine National Consultative Meeting held on February 17 by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).
The BAR is the Philippines focal agency for ATWGARD, which is represented by BAR Assistant Director Dr. Teodoro S. Solsoloy.
Participants came from the Department of Agriculture, BAR, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, and the National Corn Program, as well as the University of the Philippines at Los Baños.
Resource persons were Dr. Solsoloy, Dr. Felino Lansigan, and Dr. Romeo Labios, National Team Leader for the Philippines.
Dr. Labios facilitated the workshop, the outputs of which include identification of good practice case studies for climate adaptation of rice and corn that can be emulated across the Asean.
Searca and the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (Nafri) conducted the First Laos National Consultative Meeting on February 21 at Nafri in Vientiane, Laos.
Nafri is the focal agency of the ATWGARD, represented by Pasalath Khounsy, deputy of the Research Management Section, Planning and Cooperation Division.
The meeting brought together national agricultural research think tanks from the Department of Agriculture, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security/International Rice Research Institute, GIZ Land Management and Rural Economic Development Programme (GIZ/LM-RED) and the Provincial Agriculture Offices of Xayabouri and LuangPrabang.
Lansigan and Dr. Outhai Soukkhy, deputy director, Northern Agriculture and Forestry College and national team leader for Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR), served as resource persons and facilitators.
In Cambodia, Asean, GIZ, Searca and the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Cardi) convened the First Cambodia National Consultative Meeting on February 21 at Hotel Golden Sand, Preah Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
Cardi is the premier government agricultural research and development institution in Cambodia and the country’s focal agency for the ATWGARD, represented by Dr. Ouk Makara, Cardi executive director.
The meeting gathered key officials from Cardi, the Plant Protection and Soil Resources Departments of the General Directorate for Agriculture, Provincial Department of Agriculture of Sihanoukville and Takeo, Center for Livestock and Agriculture Development, United Nations Development Program Cambodia, Royal University of Agriculture, Preak Leap National School of Agriculture, and CelAgrid, a private firm.
The resource persons were Makara; Myriam Fernando, GAP-CC senior advisor; Dr. Lope B. Santos III, Searca program specialist and officer in charge of the Project Development and Management Department, and; Dr. Men Sarom, RUA vice rector and national team leader for Cambodia.
In Vietnam, Asean, GIZ, Searca, and the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) convened the First Vietnam National Consultative Meeting on March 11 at IPSARD in Hanoi, Vietnam.
IPSARD is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and serves as the focal agency for the ATWGARD, represented by Nguyen Kim Chien, specialist, Technology and Environment Department.
20 Apr 2014