March 2020, Los Baños, Laguna – Fully committed to continuing the delivery of credible, science-based information on agricultural biotechnology for Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has renewed its 20-year partnership with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) for the Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) in the Philippines. Signatories to the memorandum of agreement are SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio and ISAAA Southeast Asian Center Director Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita.

SEARCA and ISAAA jointly established the SEARCA BIC, which serves as the Philippine biotechnology information node that is part of the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology.

As such, SEARCA BIC is part of ISAAA’s global network of BICs which respond to information needs, promote and advance a broader public understanding of crop biotechnology, and monitor the local agri-biotech environment.

Signatories to the memorandum of agreement are SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (seated, left) and ISAAA Southeast Asian Center Director Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita. The ceremonial signing was witnessed by Mr. Joselito G. Florendo (standing, right), SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration, and Mr. Jerome C. Barradas, SEARCA BIC Special Project Coordinator.

“Researchers have developed a lot of technologies aimed at boosting farm productivity, meeting the challenges in food security, and improving lives of farmers. The use of biotech crops is one solution that science offers us,” Dr. Gregorio said.

Since 2000, the SEARCA BIC has been actively reaching out to various stakeholders from different sectors in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region. It has carried out knowledge sharing and capacity building initiatives to create an enabling environment that will unleash the potential of biotechnology for agricultural development.

“SEARCA stands by its long commitment to help farmers understand the science and enable them to make well-informed decisions about these technologies,” Dr. Gregorio asserted.

Dr. Aldemita affirmed that “SEARCA is one of our active collaborators in the region and we are very pleased that we are continuing our joint knowledge sharing initiatives that would hopefully lead to maximizing the potential of biotechnology to benefit various stakeholders, particularly resource-poor farmers in developing countries.”