24 March 2020, Los Baños, Laguna
Inaugural MS in global agri tech and genomic science scholarship open to Filipinos, other Southeast Asians
Scholarship application for the inaugural run of the Master Program in Global Agriculture Technology and Genomic Science (ATGS) at the National Taiwan University (NTU) is now open to Filipinos and nationals of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
The MS scholarship program is a collaboration of NTU and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director., said the NTU-SEARCA Joint Scholarship Program for Global ATGS aims to cultivate agricultural professional talents, encourage academic excellence, and promote the research and development of agriculture within Southeast Asia.”
“The program also provides an opportunity for internship and field visits in line with NTU’s efforts to connect with industries and promote hands-on training. The program’s curriculum is interdisciplinary to develop global bio-agricultural talents that are responsive to the needs of the agriculture sector and with advanced knowledge and practical skills on contemporary agriculture,” said Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, SEARCA Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development.
Offered by the NTU International College, Dr. Cuaresma said the Global ATGS aims to provide a deeper understanding on smart farming technology, genome science research, and breeding science and technology.
She added that keystone courses include global agriculture technology foresight, mathematical method for life science, and scientific writing.
Under Digital Agriculture Technology, students will explore the application of blockchain technology in agriculture, process control for smart farming, plant factory, smart technology applied to livestock production, and agriculture waste treatment engineering.
In Genome Science, discussions will be on genetics and genomics, crop genomic breeding, advanced plant molecular biology, core biotechnology: DNA, RNA, and protein, special topics in poultry production, and medicine and products processing.
For Breeding Science and Technology, studies will be on the agriculture of Taiwan, introduction to bioinformatics, crop modeling, and plant phenotyping.
The program is offered in English. It requires students to finish their thesis and at least 24 credits of coursework which includes 12 credits of compulsory courses and 12 credits of elective courses to earn the degree.
Dr. Gregorio said prior to collaborating on this joint scholarship, SEARCA and NTU have worked together in other academic activities under the auspices of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC).
SEARCA initiated the UC in 1989 and has since served as its secretariat, while NTU is a UC associate member.
11 March 2020, Los Baños, Laguna
SEARCA renews 20-year commitment to support PH biotech info center
Fully committed to continuing the delivery of credible, science-based information on agricultural biotechnology for Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has renewed its 20-year partnership with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) for the Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) in the Philippines. Signatories to the memorandum of agreement are SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio and ISAAA Southeast Asian Center Director Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita.
SEARCA and ISAAA jointly established the SEARCA BIC, which serves as the Philippine biotechnology information node that is part of the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology.
As such, SEARCA BIC is part of ISAAA’s global network of BICs which respond to information needs, promote and advance a broader public understanding of crop biotechnology, and monitor the local agri-biotech environment.
“Researchers have developed a lot of technologies aimed at boosting farm productivity, meeting the challenges in food security, and improving lives of farmers. The use of biotech crops is one solution that science offers us,” Dr. Gregorio said.
Since 2000, the SEARCA BIC has been actively reaching out to various stakeholders from different sectors in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region. It has carried out knowledge sharing and capacity building initiatives to create an enabling environment that will unleash the potential of biotechnology for agricultural development.
“SEARCA stands by its long commitment to help farmers understand the science and enable them to make well-informed decisions about these technologies,” Dr. Gregorio asserted.
Dr. Aldemita affirmed that “SEARCA is one of our active collaborators in the region and we are very pleased that we are continuing our joint knowledge sharing initiatives that would hopefully lead to maximizing the potential of biotechnology to benefit various stakeholders, particularly resource-poor farmers in developing countries.”
Signatories to the memorandum of agreement are SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (seated, left) and ISAAA Southeast Asian Center Director Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita. The ceremonial signing was witnessed by Mr. Joselito G. Florendo (standing, right), SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration, and Mr. Jerome C. Barradas, SEARCA BIC Special Project Coordinator.
2 March 2020, Cagayan de Oro City
Young agri-env’t champions take center stage at 3rd PH Environment Summit
Five young professionals advocating for sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation took center stage during the Youth, Agriculture, and the Environment Session of the 3rd Philippine Environment Summit held on 27 February 2020 in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) hosted the session, which featured by-the-youth and for-the-youth initiatives that promote sustainable agriculture practices, environmental protection, and the circular economy.
The speakers were Louise Mabulo, founder of The Cacao Project and UNEP’s Young Champion of the Earth; Cherrys Abrigo, founder of Sierreza Café; Enzo Pinga, Business Development and Partnerships Head of IISLA Ventures; Rein Hillary Carrascal, beauty queen and ambassador of Hapi LIFE Foundation; and Michelle Dagsaan, Higaonon youth representative of Samdhana Institute.
“SEARCA believes in the power of the youth. In the ASEAN region alone, one out of three belongs to the youth sector, which makes it a strong collective force to bring transformation in the agriculture and environment sectors,” said Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director.
An overview of Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation (#Y4AGRI) was provided by Mr. Sonny P. Pasiona, PDTS staff.
#Y4AGRI is SEARCA’s banner initiative for engaging and empowering young people—from kids to high school, university students, and young professionals—in agriculture and rural development (ARD).
On behalf of Dr. Gregorio, Dr. Rico C. Ancog, SEARCA Technical Consultant for Project Development and Technical Services (PDTS), moderated the session and introduced the Center’s current programs and highlights of the upcoming 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP) to over 200 session participants from the academe, government, and the private sector.
The youth speakers presented their best practices, challenges, and solutions to their respective projects.They also shared their motivations and personal difficulties in their advocacies especially at a young age.
In a panel discussion, the speakers emphasized the need to promote innovative and sustainable practices in agriculture and the environment, and the key roles of the youth in this endeavor. They called for more engagement of and support for young people, particularly through funding and mentorship.
The youth session is the first in an ARD Discussion Series that SEARCA is initiating as an avenue to tackle, solicit ideas, and establish collaboration with stakeholder groups on emerging and on-the-ground challenges for achieving sustainable agriculture and rural development.
The Environment Summit was co-organized by Green Convergence and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Themed “Paradigm (re)Shift: Heeding Nature,” the three-day event presented programs and projects that advance the country’s socio-economic development while protecting the environment.
This year’s summit aimed to enhance convergence of various individuals and institutions to tackle issues in and accelerate solutions for sustainable development. Plenary talks, breakout sessions, exhibits, and networking activities comprised the summit. Hundreds of participants from the academe, government, civil society, and business sectors attended the event.
Dr. Rico C. Ancog (leftmost), SEARCA Technical Consultant for Project Development and Technical Services (PDTS), moderated the session. The speakers were (from right) Rein Hillary Carrascal, beauty queen and ambassador of Hapi LIFE Foundation; Michelle Dagsaan, Higaonon youth representative of Samdhana Institute; Cherrys Abrigo, founder of Sierreza Café; ; Enzo Pinga, Business Development and Partnerships Head of IISLA Ventures; and Louise Mabulo, founder of The Cacao Project and UNEP’s Young Champion of the Earth.
With former Tawi Tawi Governor Al Tillah on DZMJ Online Season 25 Episode 2