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Filipinos dominate 2022 SEARCA Photo Contest

2022 SEARCA Photo Contest

Filipinos won six of the seven prizes in the latest edition of the annual photo contest of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

Themed “Emerging Agricultural Innovations for the Next Generation,” the 2022 edition of the competition searched for images that depict technologies and innovation that are modernizing and transforming agriculture and rural development towards increased food supply and security.

Now on its 16th year, the SEARCA annual photo contest attracted 760 entries from 182 photographers from 10 countries, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The top three prizes went to pictures of innovation in planting crops, while images showing various technology used in agricultural activities were selected for the special awards.

The first prize winner is a photo by Lea Caguiat showing children happily watching a rice seedling transplanter at work in a rice field.

Dennis Ivan Baliguat bagged the second prize for his photo of a Fresco-Greenovation project that integrates hydroponics, Internet of Things, automation, computer vision, and machine learning technologies for precision farming. Fresco-Greenovation is a social enterprise founded by young farmers with degrees in agricultural science and engineering know-how.

The third prize went to Fredelon Sison’s picture of a man building a locally designed aquaponics system in his small shop well after the sun had gone down.

The SEARCA Director’s Choice Award was bestowed on Jaime Singlador’s photo of an agricultural technician introducing to a young student a hydroponic system that uses a solar power-controlled water sprinkler inside plant boxes that are suitable for small spaces and backyard farming.

Jomar Mariñas won the DepEd Secretary’s Choice Award for his picture of a combine harvester juxtaposed with a carabao in the foreground.

Robert Dela Vega was selected as Best Youth Photographer for his photo of a young boy looking up from a laptop and reading material while seated near an elderly person grasping some rice grains in a flat basket. His picture also won the People’s Choice Award via online voting.

Pham Quoc Hung’s photo of rice seedlings in rolled-up mat nurseries ready for transplanting won the Best Agricultural Innovation/Technology Award. Mat nurseries use less land, can be installed closer to the farmer’s house than traditional field nurseries, and use less labor for both transporting seedling mats and replanting.

The winning images received cash prizes and will be displayed within the SEARCA building, shared on its social media and website, and featured in various SEARCA publications.

Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture