LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – A noted agricultural economist from Myanmar is this year's recipient of the prestigious Dioscoro L. Umali award to be conferred here tomorrow.
Tin Htut Oo, chair of Myanmar's Center for Economic and Social Development, will receive the "Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development" given by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization-Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEAMEO SEARCA), National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), and Dioscoro L. Umali Foundation (DLUF).
SEARCA, which is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year and currently headed by Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr,, was established in 1966 to provide capacity-building interventions to promote agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia through its graduate scholarship, research, knowledge management, and expert training programs.
The Umali award is an honorific award that recognizes "exemplary Southeast Asian professionals whose work has provided exceptionally positive impact on the development of agriculture and improvement of the quality of life in rural communities in the region."
It was named after SEARCA's founding director, a long-time dean of the UP College of Agriculture, and assistant director general for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
As this year's Umali awardee, Tin Htut Oo will deliver a lecture on his lifetime work in Myanmar.
An alumnus of the University of Mandalay (Myanmar) and Ohio State University (United States), he has served the Myanmar government for 37 years, receiving prestigious awards, among them the Good Public Service Medal and Excellent Performance in Administrative Field. He has also worked with international and regional institutions and organizations.
Among his significant achievements was the initiation of Myanmar's "New Vision for Agricultural and Economic Policy."
Four other Southeast Asians have received the award, among them noted Filipino agricultural scientist Dr. Ramon Barba, who developed the mango flower induction technology which revolutionized mango production in the Philippines and other part of the world.