The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) was established by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1966 “to provide to the participating countries high quality graduate study in agriculture; promote, undertake, and coordinate research programs related to the needs and problems of the Southeast Asian region; and disseminate the findings of agricultural research and experimentation."
In both the business sector and in the development arena, an organization cannot be effective in too many areas. Applying this insight, SEARCA will focus its strategy and operations in the next five years to respond to the identified needs of its selected target beneficiaries. The strategic focus of SEARCA will not only optimize the use of its resources and efforts, but it will also differentiate itself from the other SEAMEO centers and from the constellation of other development organizations advocating agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia.
SEARCA's Tenth Five-Year Plan will focus on the overarching theme of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD), which is articulated as follows:
SEARCA works to strengthen institutional capacities toward inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD) in Southeast Asia through graduate education, research and development, and knowledge management.
SEARCA seeks to be a leading enabler and champion of inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD) in Southeast Asia.
The defining elements of ISARD are social inclusion and environmental sustainability. SEARCA's goals are thus aligned with growth and development that benefits the poor and vulnerable sectors of society and which are achieved without compromising the integrity and future usefulness of the natural environment.
With more than 50 years of experience in development work through education, research, and knowledge sharing, SEARCA addresses multi-faceted problems of rural communities through action-learning projects on the ground.
SEARCA will design intervention models toward ISARD, pilot-test them in selected agricultural communities, harvest learnings and process them, and up-scale or disseminate the ISARD model to other communities and countries in the region.
SEARCA will make available its services and organizational resources to assist the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). These resources include the Center’s knowledge resources, technical expertise, network of alumni and experts, and institutional partners. Activities to support ASEAN include the conduct of studies and consensus-generating dialogues toward a smooth economic integration of the region.