The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is a non-profit organization established by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1966.
The "new normal" conditions in Southeast Asia compels SEARCA and all of its key partners to initiate anew a paradigm shift towards accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation (ATTAIN).
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has set its new direction with Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN) as the overall theme of its 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP) for 2020-2025. This plan builds on SEARCA's decades of experience and active collaboration with partners in agricultural and rural development (ARD) and aligns the Center's initiatives with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 17, which recognizes the importance of partnerships in achieving ARD success.
The Stakeholders Forum is SEARCA's way of putting a premium on nurturing existing partnerships and forging new institutional and professional relationships with various stakeholders through increased interconnectivity across the Academe, Industry, and Government (AIG) sectors in Southeast Asia and beyond. The Stakeholders Forum was designed to bring relevant, multi-sector ARD partners together to highlight and exchange experiences, challenges, best practices, strategic directions, and opportunities to strategically advance ARD and elevate the quality of life of farmers and farming families in the Southeast Asian region.
Provide an overview of the status of ARD in Southeast Asia by showcasing and highlighting strategic lessons from institutional experiences, both in the science and practice of ARD in the region, in the past five years.
Identify new and key emerging challenges and opportunities in Southeast Asia for a forward-looking and shared vision of a transformative ARD in the region.
Identify common priorities, pragmatic actions, and modalities for partnerships and collaboration.
Speakers will be comprised of institutional and thought leaders across these 7 key priority areas of SEARCA's 11th FYP:
The audience will consist of various stakeholders from the academe, government, industry, and civil society sectors with initiatives or program/policy priorities related to SEARCA's 11th FYP, including academicians, scientists, business and NGO leaders, government officials, and youth leaders.
The forum will consist of two plenary sessions that are open to the public and four parallel sessions that will be attended by representatives of selected organizations and institutions who will discuss and identify common priorities, pragmatic actions, and modalities for partnerships and collaboration.
The four parallel sessions are on the following topics:
Increased agricultural productivity could translate to higher incomes depending on the maximization of effective and efficient technological advancements across the various segments of the value chains. Agricultural development in Southeast Asia will be bolstered by the establishment of open innovation and open science spaces that will serve as the venue for future trends and opportunities facing the agriculture and rural sectors. Among others, these spaces must showcase and operate a platform–online and offline, systems or modular– to operationalize agri-innovations, sustaining best practices, emerging agribusiness models, and smart disruptive solutions to inspire all to confront future challenges in agricultural and rural development.
SEARCA's 11th FYP priority area Agribusiness Models for Increased Productivity and Income is anchored on SDG 9-Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, with the expected outcome of providing wider access to innovative products and services and business models for increased productivity and income. This session is geared towards the discussion on the incubation of emerging technologies, knowledge and technology transfer for AGRI 4.0, and the necessary policy environment to effectively support and strategically harness innovation in agricultural and rural development (ARD) toward productivity improvement in agribusiness value chains.
Regional trends in Southeast Asian agriculture, such as the consumption behavior moving from purely functional to more sophisticated and experiential, are driving changes in food production that directly impact the quality of resources, the emerging issues in biodiversity, and the emission of greenhouse gases, among others. In the long run, the structural shifts in food production will also cause significant changes in the nature and intensity of the competition for natural resources between competing uses of both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.
Integrating two of the priority areas of SEARCA's 11th FYP, Sustainable Farming Systems, and Natural Resource Management and Food and Nutrition Security, this session is aligned with SDG 2-Zero Hunger and SDG 13-Climate Action and intends to solicit inputs on the application of climate-smart and climate-resilient agricultural practices, and sustainable production and consumption, informing policies and technological support initiatives toward food and nutrition security.
Transformational leaders will play a key role in inspiring the next generation of agriculture leaders and professionals. In response to SDG 4-Quality Education, it will require education interventions that will be better supported by technology-based pedagogical approaches and state-of-the-art learning strategies that would clearly target collective learning as an outcome and would clearly articulate youth engagement in agriculture. Overall, there is need for more innovations how to keep the youth inspired and be able to translate this into concrete actions that will push the agriculture sector forward. In addition, there is a need for more programs that incorporate responses related to SDG 5-Gender Equality, to pursue a more gender-balanced engagement of youth in ARD to arrive at a diverse supply of knowledge and ideas while simultaneously building transformational leadership.
As part of its 11th FYP, SEARCA targets increased involvement of the youth in agriculture through its priority area, Gender and Youth Engagement in Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD). This session is aimed to further the discussion on the importance of developing the next generation of agriculture leaders, with a more balanced gender representation, equipped with technological know-how and transformational leadership skills.
Despite the growth in per capita income over the past decade, there remains a challenge in terms of the improvement of nutrition and overall health and wellness of farmers. It is in this context that One Health and EcoHealth has become an emerging framework and approach to address the problems of the effects of changing the Earth's ecosystem on human health. In addition, the onset of COVID-19 further highlights the need for an integrative lens to analyze the health impacts of human activities, particularly in agricultural communities.
Aligned primarily with SDG2-Zero Hunger, SEARCA's 11th FYP priority area, EcoHealth/OneHealth Application to Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD), aims to utilize these approaches in contributing to the goal of optimal health outcomes among humans, animals, plants, and their shared environment. This session will further the discussion of the concepts and principles of EcoHealth/OneHealth in achieving food and nutrition security in the context of the ARD and particularly how it can be maximized to contribute resilience of the Southeast Asian region.
The most recent conferences similar to this Stakeholders Forum that SEARCA had convened are:
For more information on the Forum, please send inquires to .