The 2nd International Conference on Agricultural and Rural Development in Southeast Asia (ARD 2014), organized by the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Graduate study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) was held on November 12-13, 2014 at Makati Shangri-La Manila.
The conference focuses on strengthening Resilience, Equity, and Intergration in ASEAN Food and Agriculture Systems.
Philippine government-hosted SEARCA is mandated to serve the 11 Southeast Asian countries by stregthening institutional capacities toward inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD) in the region through graduate education, research and development, and knowledge management.
With ARD2014, SEARCA aims to highlight innovative technological and practical approaches in the various processes of the agricultural system, showcase and derive useful lessons from institutional successes (and failures) in the management of the agricultural system and rural communities, and draw evidence-based policy implications to guide regional, national and sub-national policies and initiatives in the context of intensified regional cooperation and integration.
SEARCA Director DR. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. Opened the conference on November 12, followed by the keynote address of President Benigno S. Aquino III delivered by Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio R. Delos Reyes.
Over the two-day global forum, 65 leaders and experts from Southeast Asia and outside the region spoke at 24 parallel sessions convened by 26 international development agencies and research centers, Asian networks of farmers and universities, higher education institutions, and private entities. Similarly, the plenary session speakers are top agricultural scientists and economists from Indonesia, Myanmarm, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Co-sponsoring the event with SEARCA are Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN); International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA); German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim, Germany; Syngenta; Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD); Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), both of the Philippines; and the Southeast Asian University Coonsortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC), among others.
ARD2014 was attended by more than 400 delegates from 22 countries who are ARD experts from the academe and research institutions, government policymakers, local government executives, private sector practitioners, representatives of civil society organizations, farmer-leaders and practicing farmers, and other stakeholders.
Side events include an exhibit, a field tour, the launch of SEARCA’s Tenth Five-Year Plan (FY 2014/2015-2018/2019), and a Partners Forum featuring the Asian Development Bank, Agreenium of France, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Ministry of Environment of Japan, ACIAR, and GIZ. (PSciJourn MegaManila)