Maejo University, SEARCA co-organise forum on agriculture sustainability

 | Thu 18 May 2023 17:35 ICT

Maejo University (MJU) and Philippines-based Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) are jointly organising the 8th UC Graduate Forum under the auspices of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC).

To be held on 18-19 May 2023 in the Furama Chiang Mai Hotel, the 8th UC Graduate Forum is themed “Prospect of Agriculture Sustainability: Agroforestry, Precision Agriculture, Smart farming, and Innovative Agri Products.”

At least 70 researchers, experts, practitioners, policymakers, and students from around the world are expected to convene in Chiang Mai to exchange ideas, discuss cutting-edge advancements, and develop strategies to overcome the challenges facing our food and agriculture systems.

Dr. Glenn Gregorio, SEARCA Director, said the 8th UC Graduate Forum adopts a conceptual model focused on promoting economic success, improved living conditions, a better quality of life, and the advancement of individuals from developing nations through the enhancement of agronomic systems.

“The global community is confronted with urgent challenges that jeopardize the long-term viability of our food and agriculture systems and the well-being of countless family farmers. These challenges encompass the depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, population growth, and the persistent impacts of climate change,” Gregorio explained.

To address these issues, Gregorio said it is imperative to acknowledge the pivotal role of agriculture and food production in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

“Innovation emerges as a crucial element in revolutionizing farming methods, elevating farmers out of poverty, and attaining food security, sustainable agriculture, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Gregorio stressed.

By considering the impacts of climate change and integrating new sensor and IoT technology, the UC Graduate Forum will explore ways to improve agricultural production, particularly through the utilization of smart farming techniques.

Four sub-themes will be covered by the forum: Smart Agriculture Technologies: Precision agriculture, vertical farming, and innovative agri-products; Sustainable Agricultural Management: Biotechnology, agroforestry, agro-tourism, community-based tourism; Organic Intelligent Agriculture: A way towards ancient farming practices; and Digital Agro-Economy: BCG model, digital economics, and farm management.

Given the range of topics covered, the forum is also expected to enhance the participants’ skills and knowledge to adapt to a changing environment and address environmental concerns.

“The 8th UC Graduate Forum promises to be a platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and innovation in the field of agriculture sustainability,” Gregorio affirmed.