SEARCA video contest promotes Asean youth actions in food consumption, waste management

A PHILIPPINE government-hosted inter-government treaty organization based at the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) is looking for short videos on "Youth in Sustainable Food Consumption and Waste Management" by young Filipinos and other Southeast Asians.

According to Dr. Glenn Gregorio, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) director, the first prize is $500, while the second and third prizes are $350 and $150, respectively. He added that $100 awaits the winner of the People's Choice Award.

Now on its second year, Gregorio said the competition, which is branded as the "SEARCA Youth COVIDeo Contest" is an initiative of SEARCA's Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation or #Y4AGRI.

The competition aims to spotlight healthy diets, responsible food choices and proper disposal or use of food waste, particularly during the pandemic.

With this, Gregorio said the video entries may reveal personal experiences, practices or advocacy that showcase how young people contribute to sustainable food consumption and food waste management.

With an age range from 15 to 35, the contest is open to citizens of the Philippines, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam. The deadline for submission of entries is September 30, 2021.

Gregorio also explained that the video contest is focused on the youth because "there is merit in mobilizing the youth as consumers of food and potential innovators to transform food systems."

A United Nations (UN) Food Systems champion, Gregorio said the 2021 edition of the SEARCA Youth COVIDeo Contest resonates with the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit global actions to transform food systems, including how food is produced, consumed and disposed.

"The contest will take stock of youth solutions and actions on sustainable food consumption and food waste management, and how it is linked to a sustainable agri-food system," he added.

Established in 1966, SEARCA whose main mandate has been to build capacities in agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia serves the 11 Southeast Asian countries.

From 2020 to 2025, SEARCA's programs are geared toward accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation or ATTAIN to elevate the quality of life of agricultural families through sustainable livelihoods and access to modern networks and innovative markets.

Gregorio also said SEARCA's five-year development strategy is articulated through its core programs on Education and Collective Learning via Graduate Scholarship and Institutional Development and Training for Development, Research and Thought Leadership, and Emerging Innovation for Growth.