SAAF News

altThe proof of the pudding is in the eating – and what better way to affirm a successful career that to have your alma mater take notice of it. As the school year at the University of the Philippines Los Baños draws to a close, a SEARCA Graduate alumnus, Dr. Sitha C. Khemmarath, was invited to serve as guest speaker for the Graduate School Hooding Ceremonies on 27 April 2012.

Dr. Khemmarath graduated in UPLB

with a Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering major in Agricultural Machinery in 1995 under the SEARCA scholarship program. Just like many students, Dr. Khemmarath, in his speech recalled how much he has struggled in his graduate studies. But by constantly communicating with his advisers, professors and even classmates, religiously taking notes and even more notes he managed to finish on time with flying colors.

 

Congratulations SEARCA Scholars

For the school year 2011-2012, 32 SEARCA scholars from the various universities have completed their respective degree programs. This includes 23 graduate students under the Center’s full graduate scholarship program and 9 PhD research scholars.

The graduates are from Cambodia (2), Indonesia (3), Lao PDR (1), Myanmar (4), the Philippines (16), Thailand (3), Timor Leste (2) and Vietnam (1).
Under the full graduate scholarship, a scholar

was able to complete his degree at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Indonesia, 2 at Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand, 1 at UP Visayas, 1 at the UP Diliman and 18 at UP Los Baños. Meanwhile, the PhD research scholars obtained their doctorates from UP Los Baños (5), Central Luzon State University (3) and University of Hawaii (1).

The emerging concerns in agriculture and food security in the uplands of Southeast Asia require the continuous strengthening of the knowledge and research skills of target human resources in the region. To answer this need, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) through financial support of the Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC) is inviting qualified candidates from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam to pursue science-based master’s degrees in the fields of related to agriculture and food security in the uplands in leading universities in the Philippines and Thailand.

List of Requirements:

  1. Completed Scholarship Application Form
  2. Completed application forms for admission to the Graduate School of desired study post
  3. Official transcript of academic records of the Bachelor’s degree completed
  4. Certification of employment (if employed)
  5. Two (2) copies of 2”x2” pictures
  6. Certification from a medical doctor that the applicant is in good mental and physical health condition and is fit to undertake graduate studies
  7. Certification of English proficiency test results (either TOEFL or IELTS)
  8. A one-page write-up on your motivation to pursue master’s degree focused on food security and uplands agriculture
  9. A study plan that specifies the major and minor fields and courses to be taken (please check the university websites for the list of courses under the desired program)
  10. Brief description of the research the applicant plans to conduct for thesis/dissertation. The research must address an issue related to food security and agricultural development in the upland areas in the applicant’s country
  11. A recommendation letter from the head of employment institution, or head of university where the applicant finished his/her bachelor’s degree

Application Requirements must be submitted on or before July 30, 2012 to:

THE MANAGER
GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP DEPARTMENT
Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
College, Los Baños, Laguna 4031 Philippines
Telefax: (63-49) 536-7164

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Click here to download Scholarship Application form

Click here to download IDRC Scholarship Poster

 

Siwi GayatriTwo years after graduating from UP Los Baños, SEARCA Alumna Siwi Gayatri

has been awarded a scholarship from the Indonesian government to pursue her doctoral degree at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University in Denmark.

 

Ms. Gayatri, a SEARCA scholar back in June 2008, completed MS Community Development in 2010. According to her, her SEARCA scholarship was able to open the door to many international academic and professional opportunities, which she would have never dreamt of chasing before.

Now a lecturer at the Diponegoro

University, Semarang, Indonesia, Ms. Gayatri is expected to start with her PhD program in August 2012.

 

From your SEARCA family, congratulations and best wishes Ibu!

altaltTwo graduate alumni of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) found their way back to the regional center as they joined twenty-one government executives and planners in an executive forum entitled “Water and Food in a Changing Environment,” organized by SEARCA on 11-13 April 2012. (Click here for related news)

Dr. Kao Sochivi, deputy director general of the Cambodian Fisheries Administration, was a SEARCA scholar when she completed PhD in Community Development at UPLB in 2006. Meanwhile, Mr. Vanthieng Phommasoulin, senior officer of Lao PDR’s Department of Agriculture graduated with a Master’s degree in Extension Education in 2010, also in UPLB.

In the said event, national and local executives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam discussed the role of science and scientific communities in developing strategies to facilitate the mainstreaming of proactive policies that support green growth and adopt science-based program and development strategies.

The regional executive forum was held in collaboration with the University of Hohenheim’s Food Security Center (FSC), Germany and the Research

Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Japan.

 

altGrowing of sugar palm or kaong (Arenga pinnata) in a tropical country like the Philippines can be of great economic and ecological importance. Sugar palm can be a source of raw materials for the production of vinegar, brown sugar, starch, fiber, alcohol and “sweet meat”, and is considered as one of the top export products of the country. It also contributes to the stability of the environment especially along riparian zones where sugar palm is a denizen.

This is the reason why Cavite State University (CvSU) in the Philippines established the Sugar

Palm Research, Information

 

and Trade (SPRINT) Center. The Center aims to promote and develop the sugar palm industry in the province of Cavite while maintaining ecological balance. Aside from increasing sugar palm production in the province, the new center also aims to develop technologies for kaong nursery management, wood and fiber use, post-harvest processing and biotechnology.

 

Taking the SPRINT Center’s reins is a SEARCA alumnus, Dr. Lorenzo C. Lapitan, Jr. Dr. Lapitan completed his PhD in Forestry (Silviculture and Forest Influences/ Soil Science) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1995. Aside from being the Director of the SPRINT Center, he is also the Program Leader of the Research, Development and Extension Program on Sugar Palm, a position he has been holding for more than five years now.

Before serving as the SPRINT Center Director, he held various leadership positions in the University including that of being Administrator of CvSU - Naic and Dean College of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Natural Resources.

Dr. Lapitan’s initiatives on the sugar palm research have not gone unnoticed, as his RD&E activities have received several recognitions, most recent of which was the CHED-UPLB GIA Best Research Poster (First Place) and Best Paper (Third Place) given during CHED-UPLB Zonal Research Symposium in June 2011.

SEARCA is inviting nationals of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam interested in pursuing graduate education to apply for the SEARCA Graduate Scholarship program. 

Applicants must be regular employees of academic, research or government institutions and not more than 35 years old at the time of application.  Applicants may study at Institut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia, Kasetsart University, Thailand, and University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños, Philippines.  However, other reputable universities outside the University Consortium but within the Southeast Asian region may also serve as study posts of scholars under special arrangements and project agreements.

Interested parties may submit their accomplished SEARCA Scholarship Application form together with other original application requirements to their countries respective Ministries of Education/ Higher Education, which will screen and endorse applications to SEARCA not later than 30 July 2012.

The applicant’s topic of research for thesis/dissertation must be in line with any of SEARCA’s priority thrusts, namely: Natural Resources Management and Agricultural Competitiveness. Deadline for receiving of SEARCA scholarship applications will be set by the respective ministries. Downloadable SEARCA Scholarship application forms and the complete list of requirements may be found in the SEARCA website at http://www.searca.org.

For inquiries and further details, you may contact:
GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP DEPARTMENT
Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
College, Los Baños, Laguna 4031, Philippines
Telefax: (63-49) 5367164 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has forged linkage with the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the Centre for Higher Education (CHE) and the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation (AvH) to organize the International Deans’ Course in South East Asia 2012/2013.

Heads of department or vice-deans aiming at taking over a dean position in the near future, or a dean with only first experiences in performing the position are eligible to apply for this

three-part intensive training course.

The International Deans’ Course in South East Asia, which is part of the DIES programme (Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies) aims to bring together a group of about 30 deans, vice-deans, and heads of departments – many of them alumni of DAAD and Humboldt Foundation – from universities of the Southeast Asian Region and to prepare them for the challenges of holding a dean’s position in a changing higher education landscape. Issues such as strategic faculty management, financial management, quality assurance and leadership will be key parts of this course. A soft skills workshop and an exchange with German university leaders about higher education reforms will be included.

Travel costs, board and lodging as well as the substantial part of the tuition fee will be covered by the DAAD with funds from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Applications must be received (via e-mail) by February 15th, 2012 to:

• University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück: Mr. Alexander Rupp, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• or the Regional DAAD contact persons:
o Indonesia: Dr. Buchholt This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
o Malaysia: Dr. Schnieders This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
o Mayanmar: Mr. Pfeiffer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
o Thailand: Dr. Mülverstedt This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
o Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos: Ms. Bossmann This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
o Philippines Ms. Lange This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information on the application requirements, DAAD DIES Programme and the International Deans’ Course can be found at www.daad.de/dies and www.international-deans-course.org.

DAAD is a long-time partner of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) through its graduate scholarship program, awarding around 332 graduate scholarships for around 35 years now.

 

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Every year, the SEARCA Seed Fund for Research and Training (SFRT) grants promising research projects and proposals modest financial resource to jumpstart their activities and eventually

achieve their objectives. In celebration of SEARCA’s 45th founding anniversary, the SEARCA SFRT grant for 2011 was able to benefit upcoming researches of two SEARCA Alumni from Indonesia and Laos, respectively.

Mr. Freddy Pattiselanno (MSc animal science, UPLB, 2004), a lecturer from the Universitas Negeri Papua in Manokwari, Indonesia will receive start-up funds for his research entitled Wildlife hunting, alternative protein sources and biodiversity conservation on the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua, Indonesia. Its primary aim is to evaluate the subsistence hunting and current use of wildlife among the 12 villages located along the coast of the Bird’s Head Peninsula.

On the other hand, Dr. Oudom Phonekhampheng (MSc Fish Culture and Fish Feeds, KU, 1996), head of the Livestock and Fishery Department, Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Laos (NUOL) will implement the study, The Different Potential of Rubber and Multiple Crops Production for Food Security and Poverty Reduction in Luangnamtha Province, Lao PDR. Through this study Dr. Phonekhampheng hopes to understand the requirements of local farmers to participate in multiple crops production based on the different local potentiality; and in particular differentiate the potentials of rubber and multiple crops in relation to the issues of food security and poverty reduction.

Other SFRT winners were: Dr. Ari Widyanti, Bandung Institute of Agricultural Technology, Attitude and Behaviour Intervention to Diminish Psychological and Cultural Barriers of Food Diversification in Indonesia: Ending Love Affair with Rice, Beyond Food Security; Dr. Menandro Acda, Professor, CFNR UP Los Baños, Fuel Pellets from Agricultural and Forestry Residues as Alternative Source of Bioenergy in the Philippines; Dr. Nyo Nyo, Department of Horticulture, Yezin Agricultural University, Horticultural Produce Supply System and Quality Management in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar; Mr. Paul Joseph Ramirez and Mr. Niño Alejandro Manalo, College of Ecnomics and Management, UP Los Baños, Economic Implications and Safety

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Nets for Mesh Size Regulations on Local Fishing Communities in Cagayan and Pangasinan, Philippines: A Policy and Economic Analysis.

The awardees of the SFRT grant were announced during the DL Umali (DLU) Award for Agricultural Development Conferment and Lecture on 23 November 2011 at SEARCA, Los Baños, Laguna.

 

 

Dr. Ramon C. Barba, a renowned Filipino scientist was this year’s DLU Awardee. Among his many achievements, Dr. Barba’s breakthrough discovery of the mango flower induction technology through potassium nitrate (KNO3) in 1974 helped revolutionize the mango industry in the Philippines and all over the world.