SEARCA and DA-BAR partner to benchmark agri research for dev’t

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) are collaborating on “Benchmarking of the Agricultural Research for Development (R4D) Management System with Selected Asian Countries” to gather best practices that can be integrated into DA-BAR’s R4D grant system.

SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio said the project aims to analyze R4D coordination and management activities of institutions that fund agriculture and fisheries to improve DA-BAR’s implementation process of the agricultural R4D management system.

“The project will involve data collection activities starting in June 2023, which will cover selected institutions across Asia,” Gregorio said.

He explained that the institutions are expected to share good practices, innovations, and relevant policies that can help improve DA-BAR’s R4D coordination and management, including operationalizing programs related to technology business incubation.

Gregorio added that the project will use different participatory learning approaches in gathering the best practices of selected Asian countries and identify how these practices can be integrated into DA-BAR’s R4D grant system.

At the inception meeting held last April 14, SEARCA Emerging Innovation for Growth Department (EIGD) Officer-in-Charge Ma. Christina Corales expressed SEARCA’s interest in learning about how different government agencies select, fund, and implement research for development activities.

DA-BAR Impact Evaluation and Policy Section Head Kris Thea Marie Hernandez recognized SEARCA’s value proposition in the agricultural R4D project.

“We recognize SEARCA’s wide network and potential to establish connections that can be beneficial to both DA-BAR and the funding agencies to be benchmarked,” Hernandez said.

DA-BAR Research Program Development Division Acting Head Raymond Patrick Cabrera noted that the collaboration with SEARCA is very fitting for the project, especially regarding the institution’s experience, staff, and quality of work given their years of partnership.

The benchmarking will be led by SEARCA’s team of experts, including EIGD Program Specialist Imelda Batangantang and Project Associates Stella Faye Estrella and Lonnaflor Germo.

Gregorio affirmed that the project is a significant step towards enhancing the management of agriculture research for development in Southeast Asia, and its outcomes are expected to benefit the region’s agricultural sector and its stakeholders.

The project is expected to be completed in December 2024.