SEARCA IDA-partner universities visit premier university in the Visayas
Baybay, Leyte – Four IDA-partner universities from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Timor Leste visited the Visayas State University (VSU) through a study mission on 4-6 November 2016. The IDA universities were represented by Dr. Seng Mom and Mr. Pinn Thira of the Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia; Dr. Somphong Chanthavong, Mr. Phouvong Phommalangsy, and Mr. Bounthong Sengvilaykham of Savannakhet University, Lao PDR; Dr. Myo Kywe and Dr. Nyo Mar Htwe of Yezin Agricultural University, Myanmar; and Dr. Eduardo Aniceto Serrão of Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosae, Timor Leste.
The participants were received by Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, former President of VSU. Dr. Bacusmo gave a brief history of VSU, which started as a small provincial agricultural school known as Baybay Agricultural School. In 2007, VSU became the premier agricultural university to serve the whole Visayas region. The participants had the opportunity to go around the campus and were glad to see VSU’s Philroot Crops Center, the Rainforestation Research and Training Center, and the Central Analytical Service Laboratory, among others. The group also visited the ISARD Demonstration Farms of the existing VSU-SEARCA research project in Inopacan, Leyte.
With this visit, VSU plans to have a Memorandum of Understanding with each IDA-partner university to explore possible collaborations in the future.
As part of its 10th Five Year Plan, SEARCA subsumed its Institutional Development Assistance (IDA) initiatives into its Graduate Education and Institutional Development Program. The IDA program aims to support young and/or strategically located agricultural HEIs, particularly those located in economic growth areas, and are expected to play a vital role in the country’s economic development. (Zacyl R. Jalotjot)