UPLB and CGIAR Centers Discuss Future Collaborations

  • Written by  Yunika Ysa G. Lasic
  • Published in News
UPLB and CGIAR Centers Discuss Future Collaborations © OVCRE/Lawrence N. Garcia

The UPLB Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, conducted the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (UPLB-CGIAR) Collaboration Meeting on 20 June 2016, at Drilon Hall, SEARCA.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. formally opened the event by delivering his welcome remarks, emphasizing the need for collaboration and institutional linkages to strengthen the university’s internationalization efforts. It was then followed by the introduction of CGIAR Centers’ Representatives and UPLB participants, which was led by Dr. Rex B. Demafelis, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension.

Starting the discussion was Dr. Simplicio M. Medina, Director of the Office of Institutional Linkages, who talked about the responses of UPLB to the challenges in internationalizing the national university. According to Medina, internationalization is not an end itself but rather, a means to an end.

Dr. Dindo Campilan, the Regional Director Asia of International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), was the first to present from the CGIAR centers. He talked about CIAT’s research agenda and CIAT and UPLB’s partnerships in the Philippines and Asia.

Introducing ICRAF Philippines and its different programs within the country and the Asia-Pacific region was Dr. Rodel Lasco, Senior Scientist and Country Coordinator of World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF). On the other hand, the Communications Specialist for East and Southeast Asia of International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Ms. Jules Mateo ended her discussion with a memorable line, “Better lives through livestock.”

Likewise, Dr. Nigel Preston, Director General of WorldFish Center, discussed anticipated advances, outcomes, and impacts of sustainable aquaculture research especially on farmed fish species like Tilapia, among others. Dr. Agustin Molina, Senior Scientist and Regional Coordinator of Bioversity International, talked about working with CGIAR.

Dr. Bas Bouman, Director of the Global Rice Science Partnerships (GRiSP) program of IRRI, updated the participants on their current research agenda. Lastly, IRRI scientist and FSSP Coordinator, Dr. Madonna Casimero, talked about the partnership of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and IRRI in pursuing food staples sufficiency.

An important part of the program were the breakout sessions which allowed the discussion of future collaborations between the organizations present in the meeting. The plenary was divided into four groups. Dr. Eduardo Torres of the College of Veterinary Medicine chaired Group 1; Dr. Diomedes Racelis of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources chaired Group 2; Dr. Artemio Salazar of the Institute of Plant Breeding for Group 3; and finally, Dr. Jose Hernandez of the College of Agriculture for Group 4. Highlights and synthesis of the respective sessions were presented afterwards.

Dr. V. Bruce Tolentino, Deputy Director General of IRRI ended the meeting with a call for more collaboration in research and development.

About 110 participants attended the UPLB-CGIAR Collaboration Meeting.