SEARCA Unveils Recipients of Agricultural Innovation Grants

  • 17 January 2024
  • Source/s: BNN

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), located at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), has unveiled the current recipients of the Grants for Research toward Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS). A total of six innovators, hailing from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, have been awarded these grants, which vary from $10,000 to $15,000. Each grantee is actively involved in projects addressing farming challenges through the application of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, satellite technologies, and digital agriculture.

Unveiling the Grantees and their Projects

To introduce their projects and facilitate knowledge exchange, the grant recipients will be presenting at the GRAINS Agri-Innovation Forum. This online event is slated for January 24, 2024. Among the grantees, Muhammad Iqbal Djawad from Indonesia is making strides in developing a smart aquaculture system for black tiger shrimp using AI. From Malaysia, Ahmad Fikri Abdullah and Awis Qurni Sazili are working on an intelligent fish feeder and integrating electroencephalography into animal welfare and halal meat production, respectively. Myanmar's Khun Ba San is focusing his efforts on expanding the MyFarmer App to improve farmers' access to capital. Mary Grace Gasco from the Philippines is utilizing satellite data to predict soil moisture for enhanced water management in agriculture. Additionally, Abhichartbut Rodyoung from Thailand is engaged in the establishment of big weather data networks to provide farmers with precise forecasts.

A Catalyst for Impactful Agricultural Solutions

Eric Reynoso, the program head of SEARCA's Emerging Innovation for Growth Department, delineated the role of SEARCA GRAINS as a catalyst for impactful agricultural solutions. Reynoso extended an invitation to researchers, startups, and entrepreneurs to innovate for the benefit of the farming community and contribute to agricultural transformation in the region. The intent is to inspire future applicants to conceive novel solutions that can address the evolving challenges faced by the agriculture sector.