Scholarships for Upland Agriculture and Food Security

Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships Project Concludes on a Positive Note

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Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships Project Concludes on a Positive Note

The Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships has just successfully concluded. This five-year project was a collaboration by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and SEARCA. It sought to build the capacities of Southeast Asian nationals to address current issues and concerns related to food security in upland communities by providing master-level scholarships, supporting researches, and organizing conference-workshops.

Fifty-three (53) nationals from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam were granted scholarships in two (2) cohorts under the project. These scholars were enrolled in four (4) study posts, namely: the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Kasetsart University, Khon Kaen University, and Chiang Mai University. As of May 2017, 47 scholars have already completed their degrees while five (5) are in various stages of completing their Master's studies this semester. One scholar was qualified to pursue a Straight PhD degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) due to her excellent academic performance. She is expected to finish her degree this December 2017.

Three Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshops were conducted in three (3) different locations — in the Philippines in 2013, Thailand in 2015, and Cambodia in 2016. The Second Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshop was conducted in partnership with Chiang Mai University (CMU), and was merged with the First International Conference on Asian Highlands Natural Resource Management (AsiaHiLand), while the Third Fellowship Plus Conference-Workshop was merged with the 7th International Conference on Environment and Rural Development (7th ICERD) in partnership with the International Society for the Environment and Rural Development (ISERD) and the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA).

It is expected that the scholars, with their expertise of the subject-matter will contribute to the innovation and development of new programs and policies in their countries towards the improvement of upland agriculture in Southeast Asia. 

Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships Project Concludes on a Positive Note
Southeast Asian Upland Agriculture Fellowships Project Concludes on a Positive Note
 
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 10:35

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 Tuesday, 30 May 2017 10:10

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

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