The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), under the leadership of its new Chancellor, Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., has committed to launch the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) Summer School on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia in July 2015. This was firmed up during the 27th UC Executive Board Meeting on 14 November 2014 at the New World Hotel, Makati City, Philippines.
Recognizing the importance of attaining food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia, the six member-universities of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) have agreed to implement a number of collaborative projects to address this emerging concern in the region.
MANILA, Philippines – The 62nd meeting of the Governing Board (GB) of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) was held at the Holiday Inn and Suites Makati on 17-18 November 2014.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation that borders Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand. Its capital city is Phnom Penh. With a surface area of 181,035 sq. km., Cambodia is once a French colony and is now divided into 20 provinces. It has a distinct geographical personality: it is a wide basin surrounded by highlands. Its terrain consists mainly of low plains, with mountains to the southwest and north. Two dominant physical features of Cambodia are the Mekong river, which runs from north to south of the country, and the Tonlé Sap Lake. Natural resources include oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, and hydropower potential. (http://www.tourismcambodia.org/contents/about_cambodia/)
Khmers have called their country Kampuchea (usually rendered Kambuja) since the 16th century. The name is derived from the word kambu-ja, meaning those born of Kambu (a figure of Indian mythology), which was first used to refer to the people of Cambodia in the 10th century. The Portuguese Cambodia and French Cambodge from which the English name Cambodia is derived, are adaptations of “Kampuja.”
It was the Khmer Rouge who insisted that the outside world use the name Kampuchea. Changing the country’s official English name back to Cambodia was intended as a symbolic move to distance the present government in Phnom Penh from the bitter connotations of the name Kampuchea, which the outside world associate with the murderous Khmer Rouge regime. As a result of the United Nations sponsored and enforced election in May 1993, the Kingdom of Cambodia is now safe to travel and tourism has once again become possible. Often overshadowed by the traumatic events of its recent past, Cambodia, as home of the Khmer culture remains one of the most important and exotic countries in Southeast Asia. (http://www.asiatravel.com/cambinfo.html)
Battambang, located in northwestern Cambodia, has the second most populous city in the country after Phnom Peng. The provincial capital, also Battambang, has always been a popular destination for its nearby ancient temples, French colonial architecture, and Buddhist shrines. Sitting on the Sangker River just southwest of the Tonlé Sap lake, Battambang town is the heart of Cambodia’s “rice bowl,” and it maintains an untouched, bucolic feel. The streets are filled with remarkably well-preserved French colonial buildings alongside traditional Cambodian houses. The nearby countryside harbors old pagodas, Angkorian era ruins, caves, waterfalls, and Khmer Rouge period killing fields. (http://www.tourismcambodia.org/provincial_guide/index.php?view=detail&prv=2)
The World Bank (2013) puts Cambodia’s total population at 15.14 million, with an annual growth rate of 1.8 percent. Ninety-nine percent of residents are Khmer; the rest are Cham (Khmer Muslim), Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Phnorng, Kuoy, Stieng, Tamil, etc.
Khmer is spoken by some 13 million people in Cambodia, where it is the official language. It is advanced in education with application of Indic languages Pali and Sangkrit from India. Some technical languages are borrowed from French. However, English is commonly communicated in hotels and business compounds. French and Mandarin are also frequently spoken in the country; most elderly Cambodians speak French and many people in the Khmer-Chinese population speak Mandarin.
Thearavada Buddhism is the official religion in Cambodia which is practiced by 95 percent of the population-- just like that of Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka. However, Christianity and Cham Muslim are being active and popular among a large number of population as well in the capital and provinces, showing a sign of growth. Daoism and Confusionism are also commonly practiced among the Chinese people.
Buddhists see the universe and all life as part of a cycle of eternal change. They follow the teaching of Buddha, an Indian prince born in the sixth century B.C. Buddhists believe that a person is continually reborn, in human or nonhuman form, depending on his or her actions in a previous life. They are released from this cycle only when they reach nirvana, which may be attained by achieving good karma through earning merit and following the Buddhist path of correct living.
Cambodia lies in a tropical zone between 10 and 14 degree of latitude north of the equator. The temperature is fairly uniform throughout the year and averages 25°C (77°F). The relative humidity is higher at night and usually in excess of 90 percent, during the day the average humidity is 80 percent.
Cambodia’s dry season runs from November to April, and the rainy season between May and October can make overland travel impossible, with some areas flooded out.
Modest dress is the rule in Cambodia, particularly for women. Although many tourists wear shorts to deal with the heat, the locals tend to cover as much skin as possible. In Cambodia, shorts are considered proper attire only for schoolchildren.
Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended for the dry season, when the weather is hot and humid. Visitors may wish to pack long pants and long-sleeved shirts for hiking, trekking, or outdoor activities. A hat and sunglasses may be useful for when walking around under the sun.
During the rainy season, visitors may want to bring a light rain poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased cheaply in Cambodia) or a sturdy umbrella. A light jacket or cardigan will come in handy during the months of December and January, when temperatures are at their coolest.
Men in Cambodia typically wear collared shirts and long pants. Women should not wear short skirts or show their shoulders.
Although tourism has caused this standard to lax somewhat, always dress conservatively when visiting temples, homes, or entering a public office.
Bring light cotton clothes and a hat to beat Cambodia’s heat. Sturdy shoes are well-advised for the major walking around when visiting cultural sites like temples and pagodas. Also, when visiting these sites, both sexes will be wise to wear something modest.
Cambodian food is closely related to the cuisines of neighboring Thailand and Laos, and to a lesser extent, Vietnam, but there are some distinct local dishes. Cambodian cuisine includes noodles, soups, grills, stir-fried, curries, salads, desserts, lots of vegetables, tropical fruits, and of course, rice, which is the staple food for Cambodians. Battambang region is the country’s rice bowl. Most Cambodian dishes are cooked in...
26-30 January 2015 University of Battambang, Cambodia
The course fees are US$681 for live-in participants and US$447 for live-out participants. Registration will be open until 18 December 2014 (for those applying for limited training support) and 8 January 2015 (for those applying as fee-paying participants).
The following options are available for interested participants:A 5% discount on course tuition for registered participants paying on or before 22 December 2014
A 10% discount on course tuition for government employees and SEARCA Training Alumni/Fellows
One (1) complimentary course tuition for every five (5) paying participants from the same organization, valid only until 6 January 2015We regret that we cannot give a refund upon availing of any of these options. However, arranging for an alternate participant if you suddenly have to cancel is most welcome.
Course fees may be paid in cash, check, or international bank transfer. If payment will be made in check, please make the check payable to SEAMEO SEARCA. Payment by international bank transfer may be made through the following account (please note that an additional US$10 must be added to cover bank charges):Account Name:
SEAMEO SEARCABank Name:
CITIBANK, N. A.Bank Address:
8741 PASEO DE ROXAS, MAKATI CITY 1200, PHILIPPINESAccount Number:
US DOLLAR SAVINGS ACCOUNTSwift Code:
Course/Registration Fee for Name of Participant/Organization for the Sixth Executive Forum on Leadership Excellence in Academe Program for Southeast Asia (LEAP SEA)
Download Registration Form:For those applying for limited training support (Application Form for Training Grant and Nomination Form)
For those applying as fee-based participants (Course Application Form)
Your registration form and confirmation of payment of the course fee should be sent to: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org or (63-49) 536 2283 (fax).
 Twin-sharing accommodation. Participants who wish to have single accommodation need to add US$105.00 (US$17.50/night) to the course fee.
A program for higher education administrators in agriculture
Program Background and Rationale
From 1993 to 2003, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) conducted the Advanced Higher Education Administrator Development (AHEAD) Course for 937 executives and potential executives of higher education institutions, most of which were offering agricultural programs in the Southeast Asian region. Aptly named, AHEAD was undertaken so that Southeast Asian higher education administrators would not lag behind their counterpart institutions in other areas of the world.
In May 2009, SEARCA piloted the enhanced version of the AHEAD program, called Leadership Excellence in Academe Program for Southeast Asia (LEAP SEA), in cooperation with the Asian Institute of Management, SEAMEO Regional Center for Higher Education (RIHED), University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), Asian Association of Agriculture Colleges and Universities (AAACU), and SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES). The second offering of the LEAP SEA Executive Forum took place in Bogor, Indonesia in July 2010, with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Tropical Biology (SEAMEO BIOTROP) as co-organizer and host. Its third run took place in March 2012 at SEARCA. The fourth LEAP SEA was co-organized with and implemented at Maejo University in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 21-25 January 2013. The fifth offering of the forum was co-organized and implemented with Universitas Brawijaya in Malang, Indonesia on 20-24 January 2014.
Fourteen higher education administrators from five Southeast Asian countries participated in the LEAP SEA pilot executive forum; 22 from seven countries participated in the second offering; 17 from seven countries participated in the third offering; 14 participants plus 2 observers from seven countries participated in the fourth offering; and 12 participants from six countries participated in the fifth offering. The sixth LEAP SEA offering will also be a regional forum. It will accommodate 20 to 25 participants from SEAMEO member countries.
LEAP SEA recognizes that the greater proportion of executives of higher education institutions in the region, having had ample experience in academic administration, actually just need updated information about the management of higher education in agriculture. On the other hand, academic administrations periodically take a change in hands, as younger faculty members gain experience and academic credentials; and are appointed to such executive positions. Also, the amount of new information that academic administrators, particularly of colleges and universities, may need to know increases rapidly over time.
LEAP SEA is offered to leaders, particularly those in their first year or first term of administration, of tertiary and post-graduate academic institutions in agriculture, forestry, or environmental studies in Southeast Asian countries.
The program aims to:Provide a learning forum where significant new knowledge about leadership in and management of higher education, especially those in agriculture, may flow between experts and senior or mid-level executives of higher education institutions in the SEAMEO member countries.Provide an opportunity for academic executives to reflect on their common contemporary challenges and suggest appropriate solutions in higher education leadership/management in Southeast Asia.Invite writing of LEAP SEA cases as knowledge and learning resources appropriate for Southeast Asia.
The major learning event of the program is a five-day face-to-face executive seminar-workshop where participants will discuss advances in higher education leadership in the context of contemporary challenges in the Southeast Asian region and the world as against the contemporary challenges they face and appropriate solutions tried. In this seminar-workshop, they will identify and prioritize crosscutting issues that they are addressing and will address in the next few years. The seminar-workshop also includes a review of management principles and will guide participants to applying these in higher education in agriculture and forestry.
Expected OutputsA cadre and network of highly competent academic leaders in Southeast Asia;
Potential synergies among such institutions.
The Sixth LEAP SEA Executive Forum will cover the following modules:
Module 1: The Environment of Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture in Southeast Asia (Analysis of External Factors – challenges of the 21st century impinging on higher education institutions, and development and practices across the globe, with focus on what is relevant for Southeast Asia.
Module 2: Challenges, Issues, and Opportunities: Strategic Positioning of HEIs in Agriculture and Southeast Asia (Analysis of Issues Internal to Higher Education Circles) – principles and process of strategic planning and management, pointing out the importance for each HEI to be clear on its niche or strategic positioning.
Module 3: Managing Instruction – issues and principles in managing academic programs in agriculture with innovative curricula/content, delivery approaches, organization and administration, and overall design that are highly responsive to 21st century realities of Southeast Asian HEIs.
Module 4: Managing Research and Extension – concepts and principles of managing research and extension, cognizant of the challenges faced by HEI executives in agriculture in Southeast Asia, with model cases or practices.
Module 5: Managing Change and Conflict in HEIs in Agriculture – change management concepts and principles, with specific cases.
Module 6: Generating and Managing Resources in HEIs in Agriculture – exceptional case on resource generation and management in higher education in agriculture.
Module 7: Academic Leadership Principles and Practices – managerial leadership principles and practices appropriate in an academic context.
Executive Forum Duration and Venue
26-30 January 2015 (5 days) | University of Battambang, Cambodia
Executive Forum FeeThe forum fee is US$681 per participant, which covers forum materials, meals during the duration of the forum, accommodation (twin-sharing), and airport transfers. Live-out rate is US$447.00. Subsidized rates are available upon request.
All other expenses associated with the forum (international air travel, visa, airport terminal fees, travel/health insurance, and other personal expenses) are at the participants’ own expense.NOTE: Limited training support is open only to qualified nationals of SEAMEO member countries (i.e., Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam).
The deadline for application with limited training support is 18 December 2014. Deadline for registration of all other applicants is 6 January 2015.
For the application form for fee-paying participants, please click here.
For training grant applicants, please click on the application form and nomination form.
Additional InformationProgram Brochure
Travel Information  Participants who wish to have single accommodation will add US$105.00 (US$17.50/night) to the course fee.
Research and Development Generating information, knowledge, lessons, and insights that will influence policies, investments, trade, and other actions that will promote competitive agriculture, as well as inclusive and sustainable ARD. Read More
Knowledge Management Promoting a learning culture, knowledge creation, knowledge-sharing and use, with a predominant focus on the broad strategic theme of ISARD. Read More
“Agritourism is not for everyone, it’s a niche product but it has a lot of potential”, asserted Prof. Eli Paolo Fresnoza, Assistant Professor at UP’s Asian Institute of Tourism during SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series on 5 July 2011 at the Drilon Hall.
As a hybrid concept fusing together the elements of the tourism and agriculture industries, agritourism can be harnessed as a form of special interest tourism focusing on the unique travel experiences and activities that people can have in agricultural settings. When people travel, it is the attraction or experience that people go for; if food and beverage, accommodation and transportation are included in the package, even a farm can be a tourist destination. Prof. Fresnoza explained that agritourism is sustainable tourism as it marries the concept of enjoyment with resource management, community empowerment, cooperation, fair trade and diversification. Moreover, agritourism does not need large capital investment outlay because many existing farm sites just need to be enhanced.
In 2002, with the vision of the Philippines becoming the premier agritourism destination in Asia, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) worked with the UP Asian Institute of Tourism on a manual that identified initial agritourism sites all over the country such as the C & B Orchid Farm in San Rafael, Bulacan, Sonya’s Secret Garden in Alfonso, Cavite, Oroverde in Guimaras, and Del Monte Plantation in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. In recent years, more agritourism sites have been developed including Bohol Bee Farm in Dauis, Bohol, Dragon Fruit Farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte and The Farm at San Benito, Batangas.
As the agritourism sector is still largely private-sector-driven, a few challenges to meeting agritourism’s potential in the Philippines include confusion on which government agency will lead the potential (Is it DOT or DA?), and limited standardization and accreditation. Prof. Fresnoza put forward a few specific recommendations to meet these challenges. These include: education and curriculum development in secondary and post-secondary schools, improvement of access to capital, technical training and accreditation and certification, setting up of an agritourism center for research, development and innovation as well as an agritourism destination marketing bureau.
“Harnessing agritourism opportunities is key to regional development”, Prof. Fresnoza reiterated. This can be done in two ways. One is the bottom-up approach, where established farms approach DOT and DA to help them market and promote the experiences they offer. The other is the top-down approach, where through training and financial grants, the two departments help farms that have potential but lack the capability to market their destinations.
DISCLAIMER: The point of view taken by this article is entirely that of the presenter's and does not reflect in any way, SEARCA’s position.