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College, SEARCA host IRODEO summit

MASBATE CITY---The Dr.Emilio B. Espinosa Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology (DEBESMSCAT) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) co-hosted the very first International Research Opportunities, Developments, and Extension Outcomes (IRODEO) Conference held on April 10-12, 2024, at the Masbate Coliseum.

The inauguration coincided with Masbate’s famous annual rodeo festival under the theme “Bridging Horizons: Integrating Knowledge for Regenerative Futures,” focusing on a forward-looking approach to global challenges. SEARCA Center Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio was the first plenary speaker, setting the tone for discussions on sustainable development and innovation.

Gregorio underscored the pivotal role of partnership and collaborative relationships in accelerating agricultural transformation. Emphasizing the need for strategic alliances among academe, industry, and government (AIG), he highlighted their collective potential to address the challenges confronting the agriculture sector effectively.

“SEARCA puts a premium on strengthening AIG interconnectivity,” Gregorio emphasized. “Most of our research and capacity-building initiatives are in collaboration with like-minded institutions and networks,” he added.

Gregorio explained that as a partner, SEARCA offers access to top-notch professional expertise and technical services in agriculture and rural development from academic and governmental entities across Southeast Asia.

He introduced SEARCA’s joint scholarship projects with institutions like the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Agropolis Fondation, Tokyo University of Agriculture (NODAI), Universiti Putra Malaysia, Sejong University, National Taiwan University, and the Philippine Carabao Center. He also discussed the SEARCA-established Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC).

Furthermore, Gregorio shared how the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) funded the SEARCA-implemented project, Leveling-Up Philippine Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources (LevelUPHEI AFAR) capacitated the country’s universities in agriculture, fisheries, and natural resources to make them more Competitive.

Gregorio also talked about SEARCA’s leadership of the Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture’s learning alliance working group, which supports the research on agriculture and sustainable development, fostering market-driven solutions to uplift smallholder livelihoods.

In terms of innovation, Gregorio said SEARCA plans to create a carbon farming consortium to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost rice farmers’ incomes. Meanwhile, the SEARCA Grants for Research towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS) promotes knowledge transfer and technology adoption in agriculture. He also acknowledged the collaborative efforts exerted during conferences, seminars, and publications.

Notably, SEARCA Senior Fellow Dr. Eing-Ming Wu, a visiting professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) was also a plenary speaker. He tackled advancing smart public governance across services, infrastructure, people, and financial management.

SEARCA also curated an institutional exhibit at the conference, spotlighting publications on smart agriculture, coastal resources management, environmental studies, gender and development, alongside informative materials detailing its programs and services.


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