BAR aims for better A/F R4DE management system; studies THA agri

To assess the effectiveness of the mechanisms that the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) employs for its agri-fisheries research for development (R4D) program management, the bureau conducted a benchmarking activity in Thailand on 6-12 August 2023. 

As a kickoff for the activity, the DA-BAR delegation, led by director Junel B. Soriano, had a courtesy meeting with Ms. Edna May G. Lazaro,  Deputy Chief of Mission, Philippine Embassy in Thailand. Director Soriano discussed that the mission aims to gather baseline information on various agricultural institutions in Thailand that offer R4D funding akin to DA-BAR, to establish benchmarks. To this, Deputy Chief of Mission Lazaro underscored that food security is one of the top priorities of the Thai government, giving emphasis on ensuring convenient and cost-effective access to food for its domestic population.

Participated in by the DA-BAR and key officials from Thailand’s Agriculture Research Development Agency (ARDA), the benchmarking proper was conducted in a form of a focused group discussion. The activity served as an avenue for the bureau to have an overview of ARDA’s role in the agri-fisheries R4D of Thailand. Likewise, it allowed an exchange of information and strategies for both countries to learn from each other.

To further immerse in the agri-fisheries R4D of the country, DA-BAR engaged with various R4D institutions in Thailand during the Thailand Research Expo 2023. With the theme 'Advancing Research for a Sustainable Thai Economy,' the exposition stands as one of the significant national occasions in Thailand, targeting  exceptional research outcomes and innovative ideas. It intends to encourage and accelerate the dissemination and implementation of practical knowledge and technologies that are prepared for real-world use. 

This activity is part of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture’s policy research, titled Benchmarking of the Agricultural R4D Management System with Selected Asian Countries. It aims to assess the various factors that affect the management of agri-fisheries R4D system in several Asian countries to strengthen the bureau’s policy-based decision making mechanisms. (### Geline Nicole A. Morillo)