SEARCA orients regional institutions

THE Philippine-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) introduced its mandate, programs and offerings to officers and members of the International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS)-Malaysian Chapter and the Agricultural Institute of Malaysia (AIM) who paid a courtesy visit to the center on November 11.

SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio said the delegation from the ISSAAS Malaysian Chapter and the AIM were particularly oriented on the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources grants, activities and research initiatives such as the Consortium for Agricultural Development, Research and Extension.

The ISSAAS delegation was led by its treasurer, associate professor Norida Mazlan of the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), while the AIM delegation was led by its president, professor Abdul Shukor Juraimi, also from UPM.

Program specialist Bernice Anne de Torres of SEARCA Research and Thought Leadership shared Caddre's vision "to build a regional network of high-caliber, like-minded institutions that will collaborate in delivering research and extension support to the most pressing issues and challenges faced by the Southeast Asian agriculture sector."

De Torres also discussed SEARCA's Carbon Farming Project, which intends to support efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector while providing farmers with alternative income through profitable carbon agribusiness models.

She said this project will focus on the carbon farming practices of high-value crop production in eight of the 11 Southeast Asian countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The visitors were welcomed by Nur Azura Adam, SEARCA deputy director for programs, who also serves as ISSAAS-Malaysian Chapter vice president, and associate professor Joselito Florendo, SEARCA deputy director for administration.

Also with the delegates in the meeting were Sharon Malaiba, SEARCA Partnership Unit head; Ma. Victoria Bravo, Office of the Deputy Director for Programs executive assistant; and the Partnerships Unit staff.

They were also given a tour of the SEARCA Hub for Agriculture and Rural Innovation for the Next Generation, also called SHARING.