Scholarships for Upland Agriculture and Food Security

Upland Project holds last round of monitoring visits

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THAILAND – As the academic year comes to a close, the Upland Agriculture Fellowships, a collaborative project by SEARCA and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, visited Khon Kaen University (KKU), Kasetsart University (KU), and Chiang Mai University (CMU) on 16-18 May 2016. The coordination and monitoring visit was led by its project leader, Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, SEARCA’s Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development.
 
Meeting with the university coordinators, Dr. Cuaresma inquired about the scholars’ academic progress and discussed other scholarship-related concerns. Dr. Cuaresma also took the opportunity to extend her appreciation to the university coordinators for hosting the project’s scholars and expressed her hope for further collaborations in the future.
 
In a separate meeting with the scholars, Dr. Cuaresma introduced some of the Center’s grants and trainings and encouraged the scholars to complete their degrees on time as the project is nearing its completion. She also urged the scholars to connect with and be active in their respective country alumni associations once they graduate. Currently, the project has five ongoing scholars at CMU, eight at KKU, and one at KU. The project also has 12 ongoing scholars at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
 
The coordinating visit is a core activity of the IDRC project that serves as a proactive feedback mechanism between and among the scholars, university coordinators, and SEARCA. The five-year fellowship project, which awarded 53 Master’s degree scholarships to nationals of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Myanmar is expected to wrap-up in February 2017.
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 09:41

2 IDRC-SEARCA alumni bag Excellent Paper Award

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Mr. Bouavonh Biachampah and Ms. Chheun Sreyneang, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)-SEARCA alumni from Chiang Mai University (CMU) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), respectively, have been conferred the “Excellent Paper Award” during the Seventh International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development (ICERD) held on 16-17 January 2016 at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The two were among the eight awardees, and bested more than 84 papers which competed during the conference themed “Environmentally-friendly Agricultural and Rural Development.”
 
Mr. Biachampah’s winning paper discussed the results of his master's thesis titled, “Impact Assessment of Land Use Change on Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Security of Rural Highland Communities in Lao PDR,” which he conducted during his MS studies in Agricultural Systems Management. Meanwhile, Ms. Chheun’s award-winning research is on “The Cassava Marketing in Pailin Province, Cambodia,” which was conducted as part of her thesis under the MS Agricultural Economics program.
 
Mr. Biachampah is a lecturer at Dongkhamxang Agriculture Technical School in Vientiane, Lao PDR while Ms. Chheun is a research assistant of the Centre for Livestock Development Studies, RUA.
 
The Seventh ICERD 2016 is held in conjunction with the Third IDRC-SEARCA Annual Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshop, an annual roving conference under The Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowship project of SEARCA and IDRC.
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Last Updated on Saturday, 18 February 2017 13:28

IDRC-SEARCA concludes third annual confab

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Thirty-one scholars under the Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowship project of SEARCA and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada took part in the Third IDRC-SEARCA Annual Fellowship plus Conference-Workshop on 16-18 January 2016 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
 
The Conference was the third in a series of annual roving conferences under the project and was held in conjunction with the Seventh International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development (7th ICERD 2016) hosted by the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA). Among the 11 IDRC-SEARCA scholars who presented their research, 2 were awarded the “Excellent Paper Award”—Mr. Bouavonh Biachampah from Chiang Mai University (CMU), Thailand and Ms. Chheun Sreyneang from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
 
Themed “Environmentally-friendly Agricultural and Rural Development,” the conference gathered nearly 550 participants from over 15 countries to discuss suitable and effective strategies for sustainable rural development taking into account the agricultural and environmental aspects in developing countries. It featured 84 oral presentations under four thematic areas, namely: (1) Education for Sustainable Rural Development, (2) Rural Development, (3) Environmental Management, and (4) Agricultural Systems; poster papers; and a field tour to Kampong Speu Province in southwest Cambodia.
 
Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, SEARCA’s Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development, delivered a message on behalf of SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. during the opening program. She also served as co-chair for the session on Education for Sustainable Development.
 
The scholars were also joined by the project’s Advisory Committee members, namely: Dr. Prasit Wangpakapattanawong, Professor of CMU; Dr. Seng Mom, Vice Rector of RUA; Dr. Vo-Tong Xuan, Rector of Nam Can Tho University, Vietnam; Dr. Oscar B. Zamora, Professor Emeritus of UPLB; and Dr. Percy E. Sajise, SEARCA Senior Fellow. Dr. Prasit, Dr. Mom, Dr. Zamora, and Dr. Sajise also chaired other sessions of the conference.
 
After the two-day international conference, a special session was held on 18 January 2016 where another 20 IDRC-SEARCA graduate scholars presented their thesis proposals before the  Advisory Committee members. Dr. Somsak Srisontisuk, International Program Head and Director of the Master of Rural Development Management program of Khon Kaen University, Thailand, served as Resource Person for the whole-day session and provided his recommendations for the improvement of the scholars’ research proposals. Another Advisory Committee  member, Dr. Silinthone Sacklokham, Vice Dean of the National University of Laos, and Dr. Annie Wesley, IDRC’s Senior Program Specialist, also joined this special session.
 
The Third IDRC-SEARCA Annual Fellowship plus Conference-Workshop and the 7th ICERD 2016 was co-sponsored and co-organized by SEARCA, IDRC, RUA, International Society of Environmental and Rural Development (ISERD), Institute of Environmental Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON), and the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study  of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).
 
See photo gallery here.
 
 
 
 
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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2017 11:46

3rd IDRC-SEARCA Annual Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshop and 7th International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development

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The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) recognize that the development of agricultural human resources in the Southeast Asian Region is indispensable in achieving sustainable agricultural and rural development. Faced with numerous challenges, it calls for a regular venue to promote the capacity-building activities of the region.

The 3rd IDRC-SEARCA Annual Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshop, a unique feature of the Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships project, is envisioned as a venue for knowledge sharing with partner institutions, informal networking among the project scholars, and providing first-hand experience through upland site visits. The 1st and 2nd fellowship meetings/workshops were held in the Philippines and Thailand, respectively.

To be hosted by the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), the Conference will be held together with the 7th International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development (7th ICERD 2016) on 16-17 January 2016 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The 7th ICERD 2016 is an annual roving conference organized by the International Society of Environmental and Rural Development (ISERD), an organization founded on 2010 with the ultimate goal of contributing “to sustainable rural development through social and economic development in harmony with the natural environment, and to support the potential or capacity building of local institutions and stakeholders in the rural area with academic background.” A special session on 18 January 2016 will be conducted exclusively for the graduate scholars under the Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships project.

With the theme Environmentally-friendly Agricultural and Rural Development, the Conference aims to “discuss and develop suitable and effective processes and strategies for sustainable rural development taking into account the agricultural and environmental aspects in developing countries.” It will feature parallel sessions under 5 thematic areas, namely: Education for Sustainable Rural Development, Rural Development, Environmental Management, Agricultural Systems, and Infrastructural Systems; poster papers, and upland field visits. Around 20 IDRC-SEARCA scholars are expected to present their research results at the Conference.

The call for abstracts is ongoing and applications may be submitted to the conference secretariat at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  until 30 September 2015. For further details, please visit the Conference website at http://www.iserd.net.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2017 13:02

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