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.
Founded in 1965, SEAMEO is a chartered international organization whose purpose is to promote cooperation in education, science and culture in the Southeast Asian region. Its highest policymaking body is the SEAMEO Council, which comprises the Ministers of Education of the 11 SEAMEO Member Countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
SEAMEO also has Associate Member Countries, namely: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The Center derives its juridical personality from the SEAMEO Charter and possesses full capacity to contract; acquire, and dispose of, immovable and movable property; and institute legal proceedings. Moreover, SEARCA enjoys in the territory of each of its member states such privileges and immunities as are normally accorded United Nations institutions. Representatives of member states and officials of the Center shall similarly enjoy such privileges and immunities in the Philippines as are necessary for the exercise of their functions in connection with SEARCA and SEAMEO.
As SEAMEO's center of excellence in agriculture, SEARCA is mandated "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."
Specifically, the functions of SEARCA are to:
SEARCA is hosted by the Philippine government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna, Philippines.
which is used mainly for administration and management and core staff salaries and benefits, is donated by the Philippine government.
which is generated and provided by the SEAMEO Secretariat, is used to support the Center's graduate scholarship and short-term training programs, Governing Board meetings, seminars and conferences, and personnel exchanges. Such fund is composed of contributions of SEAMEO member and associate member countries, partner governments, organizations, and individuals to the SEAMEO Educational Development Fund (SEDF).
which is composed of funds for research and development and other extension activities that are not included in the operating budget, comes from donor agencies, government and nongovernment organizations, and other institutions that collaborate with SEARCA in its programs and projects.
which consists of funds received from donors, interest earnings, and earnings from approved income-generating activities for use in pursuit of SEARCA's education mandate.
It is axiomatic in modern management that structure should follow strategy. This means that because SEARCA has a new strategy embodied in its Tenth Five-Year Plan (FY 2014/2015 – 2018/2019), it must realign its organization structure accordingly, and recruit appropriate new expertise for the detailed action planning, execution, and monitoring of the new strategic thrusts and initiatives of the Center. Below is SEARCA's current organizational structure:
Agriculture—the ability of people to produce their own food supply—is perhaps the most basic of all human enterprises and possibly the most important. More so today as world population continues to grow while the natural resources needed to feed them continue to shrink and are adversely affected by climate change. Aside from being a key to ensuring food security, growth in the agriculture sector has been known to be about twice as effective in reducing poverty compared to growth in other sectors. As such, agriculture remains a centerpiece of national development programs, including those of countries in Southeast Asia.Read more