MANILA, Philippines – An Asian forum on food and farms will be held here on Dec. 7.
The top-level scientific meeting is titled "Regional Forum on Farms, Food and Future: Toward Inclusive and Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ISARD) in Southeast Asia."
It is organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture hosted by he Philippine government in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
The conference will discuss and revisit the challenges and contemporary issues in ISARD in Southeast Asia that affect food security and poverty alleviation efforts, with particular focus on social inclusion, sustainability, institutions and governance, and regional and sub-regional integration.
It will also provide recommendations that could guide further directions, policies, and initiatives of various stakeholders of the agricultural and rural sectors in Southeast Asia based on a synthesis of lessons learned and experiences from the past.
The forum is among the events lined up by SEARCA to commemorate its 50th anniversary this year.
Keynote speaker is Myanmar's foremost economist, Dr. Tin Htut, who is presently permanent secretary of his country's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation.
Earlier, last Nov. 24, SEARCA honored Dr. Tin Htut for having been chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development in Southeast Asia. The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Umali, assistant director general for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), SEARCA's founding director, and long-time UP College of Agriculture dean.
Another main speaker at the forum is Dr. Cielito Habito, former Philippine Socioeconomic Planning secretary and director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). He is currently professor at Ateneo de Manila University and SEARCA senior fellow.
The other speakers and resource persons are academics, economists, scientists. and research administrators from Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.