Friday, 05 April 2013 on 3:18am

SEARCA meet discusses ways to up agriculture


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A DELEGATION from the Philippines-based Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), led by its director, Dr Gil C Saguiguit Jr, is currently on a two-day visit to Brunei to discuss ways to increase rural incomes and alleviate poverty.

The delegation was invited to the country by Minster of Education Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Abu Bakar Haji Apong in response to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei's directive to develop domestic agriculture to offset food price rises.

In the wake of food price shocks in Southeast Asia in 2008 and 2010, SEARCA said there was a need for governments to focus on providing food-safety nets and social protection programmes, while enhancing agricultural productivity, promoting rural development and encouraging greater investment in agricultural research.

In a press release, SEARCA stated that "Policy Reforms and Institutional Innovations in Agriculture: Experiences, Impacts and Lessons" would be the focus of the second edition of the "Southeast Asian Agriculture and Development Primer" series published by SEARCA.

The 11-volume series covering Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam aims to promote awareness about agriculture throughout the region and draw lessons from each country's experiences.

Dr Gil and his team hope to look into the possibility of introducing agribusiness and entrepreneurship to the course curriculum at the local Wasan Vocational School and SEAMEO Voctech (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training). The visiting delegation will leave today. Rahwani Zahari The Brunei Times

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