THE Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) has revived its partnership with its Malaysian counterpart.
PCAARRD is one of the three councils of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
In an email to SDN — Science and Digital News, it was learned that DOST-PCAARRD is intensifying its partnership and collaboration with international partners, thus, its signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).
MARDI is a statutory body under the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MAABI) conducting research in agriculture, food, and agro-based industries.
They signed the MOU on June 26, 2019 at the PCAARRD Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.
PCAARRD and MARDI’s partnership goes a long way, in 1975.
They previously had two agreements in July 1975 and in November 1994. Both agreements focused on joint planning and implementation of collaborative research projects and exchange of scientists, experts, and researchers for sharing of experiences and scientific and technical knowledge and achievements.
Realizing the significance of the collaboration, both agencies decided to revive their partnership and explore more areas and modes of cooperation.
In the new MOU, modes of cooperation include joint planning and implementation of collaborative research and development (R&D) projects; exchange of scientists, experts, and researchers; conduct of joint training, conferences, symposia, and workshops; participation in scientific seminars, workshops, conferences, symposia, other related meetings; exchange of scientific, technical publications; and encouraging collaboration between other relevant scientific institutions and organizations from the Philippines and Malaysia through PCAARRD and MARDI.
Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, acting executive director, PCAARRD, and YBhg. Datuk Dr. Mohamad Roff bin Mohamad Noor, director general, MARDI, signed the 2019 MOU.
Both sides are now working on the details of the work plan of cooperation focusing on areas such as development of aquafeeds, technologies for value addition of corn products and process, technologies for value addition of coconut products and process, livestock breeding, and technology transfer and commercialization.
PCAARRD Acting Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, and MARDI Director General YBhg. Datuk Dr. Mohamad Roff bin Mohamad Noor, display their MOU as they look ahead to a fruitful partnership. (Photo: PCAARRD)
Ebora said, “the signing of our MOU is only the beginning. I hope we stay committed and true to our vision for this partnership for the many years to come.”
Mohamad Noor and his delegation toured the facilities of PCAARRD, a highlight of the MOU signing.
With him were Mohamad Rashid bin Rabu, director, Governance & Legal Center; Ms. Nur Aida Mohamad Padzil, International Networking Program, Corporate Communication Center; and Mrs. Datin Rahmah Hussin, wife of Dr. Mohamad Noor.
The visit formalized the ceremonial signing of their MOU as they discussed its work plan of cooperation from 2019 to 2024.
To maximize the visit, the MARDI team also visited other agriculture-related agencies in Los Baños including the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), National Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology (UPLB-BIOTECH), and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
They also conducted a benchmarking mission on coconut at the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)-Region IV-A in Lucena City.
The PCAARRD Directors’ Council (DC) members and representatives, led by Ebora welcomed Dr. Mohamad Noor and his delegation from MARDI.
They were toured at the S&T Promotion Hub of the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC) and the Seeds and Seedlings Plaza SciCAT Farm Tourism Site, which is a project of PCAARRD with Bureau of Plant Industry-Los Baños National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center (BPI-LBNCRDPSC).
Technologies and innovations generated from R&D projects implemented by PCAARRD’s partners in the AANR sector were showcased during the tour.
Some more photographs of the MOU signing on June 26 this year. (Photo: PCAARRD)
Ebora shared the partnership history of PCAARRD and MARDI, which started in 1975 when a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed in Kuala Lumpur by the former Philippine Council for Agricultural Research (PCAR), through its executive director, Dr. Joseph C. Madamba; and MARDI, through its director general, Dr. Tan Sri Datuk Haji Mohamad bin Jamil.
He also shared the Philippines’ long history of partnership and collaboration with other Malayan states, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, prior to the birth of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Ebora assured MARDI’s director general of PCAARRD’s continued support and active cooperation in implementing programs and projects under the MOU.
As a response, Mohamad Noor opened up about his excitement to be in the Philippines and in Los Baños as it is his first time to visit the country.
He expressed confident that their visit will be very productive, particularly the discussion regarding the work plan of cooperation for 2019-2024, which is the first step in implementing the MOU.
Both PCAARRD and MARDI committed to work together to achieve the goal on growth and development of agricultural R&D in science and technology. (DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services)