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SEARCA steps up drive to empower youth for solutions to agri problems

SEARCA

The Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has teamed up with United Kingdom-based ClimateScience to empower people, especially the youth, to contribute to climate solutions.

ClimateScience is a United Kingdom-based non-profit organization providing free educational content about the causes, consequences, and solutions to climate change. It aims to make learning fun, accessible, and science-backed. The volunteer-driven team has become the leading provider of accessible educational resources on solutions to climate change globally.

“Agriculture takes up everything even the largest share of our usable land resources and we recognize that it can make a huge difference in all places and communities around the world. In turn, solving climate change will always be part of agricultural innovations and agricultural education,” said ClimateScience Co-founder Eric Steinberger.

SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio said SEARCA’s partnership with ClimateScience is expected to provide in-depth knowledge and co-creation in initiatives in the digital sphere.

ClimateScience and SEARCA have agreed to collaborate in the translation of publications and information materials to ASEAN languages, idea grants for youth, leadership trainings, use of materials for awareness campaigns and programs for the youth, and agriculture-focused cohorts in agriculture.

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Steinberger said “SEARCA is a prime example that is a multiplier of impacts on an enormous scale. If we can inspire young people to take responsibility towards a good use such as solving climate change, we would be able to further the productivity for research and development and solve global issues faster.”

“That is why we launched #Y4AGRI or the Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation as part of our 11th Five-Year Plan. #Y4AGRI is the banner youth engagement initiative of SEARCA. Guided by the principle of ‘by the youth, for the youth, and with the once youth,’ the program aims to nurture young people like learners as partners and leaders for agricultural innovation,” Dr. Gregorio said.

In the 34th SEARCA Online Learning and Virtual Engagement (SOLVE) webinar titled “SOLVE Gaps in the Agri-Food System: Promoting Youth Inclusion and Innovation,” SEARCA highlighted the challenges faced by the youth and the success stories of Thai and Filipino young enablers in implementing community efforts to combat food insecurity and food shortage. A faculty member of Thailand’s Udon Thani Rajabhat University talked about motivations for obtaining Halal food certification, including food quality guarantee, customer demand, positive attitude on Halal certification, and broaden business opportunities. The Cacao Project Founder Louise Emmanuelle Mabulo spoke about how her venture harnessed resources to rethink consumption and production methods with the spirit of empowering the next generation to make a tangible difference by working with small communities to have global impact.

SEARCA also launched the second edition of its Youth COVIDeo Contest to feature personal experience, practice, or advocacy of Southeast Asian youth ages 15-35 to contribute to sustainable food consumption and food waste management. The videos may be about healthier diet, responsibly consuming food or properly managing food waste, particularly during the pandemic.