School of Management

[UPDATED] "Exploring Women's Role in Food and Agriculture Resilience"

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in News

POSTER March 16 2021 WebinarRESIZE50The School of Management and the Office of Gender and Development invites the interested public to a webinar “Exploring Women’s Role in Food and Agriculture Resilience” on 16 March 2021 (Tuesday), 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
 It has been recognized that women have important roles in agriculture. As the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in the food and agriculture system and other relevant actors, it is likewise important to gather the current policies in place for women. What inclusive policies for women can the local government develop further to ensure and improve their role in building and enhancing resilience in the food and agriculture system?
 The webinar discussants are from the team of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)-funded and University of New England (UNE)-supported research team. They will highlight the significance of inclusive policies for women as a COVID-19 response.
[POST-EVENT UPDATE] University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao researchers are set to produce a policy guidebook that local government officials can use in developing policies that enhance the role of women in food and agriculture systems. However, the research team face challenges during the research, such as intermittent internet connection, lack of a single database of ordinances and policies, and the respondents’ busy schedules. The team disclosed these during the online forum “Exploring Women’s Role in Food and Agriculture Resilience,” spearheaded by UP Mindanao on 16 March 2021 as a public offering for the National Women’s Month (NWM) and UP Mindanao’s 26th-anniversary celebrations. “Women are significant actors in agriculture, and we want to discover enabling policies that are inclusive and responsive for them now and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” said university researcher Marilou Montiflor. Their efforts are hampered not only by the abovementioned challenges but also due to the travel restrictions. “We also found no network of local officials who head agriculture and women’s committees,” said research associate Jeia Manila. Still, the research team intends to fulfill its objectives in 2021 with the support of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Alumni Research Facility. “UP Mindanao and ACIAR have been partners in research and faculty development for more than two decades,” said agribusiness economics professor and UP Mindanao chancellor Larry Digal. In the same forum, Dr. Christie Chang, the project team’s mentor from the University of New England, shared her gender studies in agriculture/agribusiness in Papua New Guinea’s traditional society. Mr. Luis Antonio T. Hualda, UP Mindanao School of Management’s adjunct faculty member, also shared his insights on building resilience in food systems where men and women contribute to the process.

Plant Breeding for Food Security (1&2)

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in News

121176166 950905368740262 1513483134681403838 oRESIZE30The University of the Philippines Mindanao celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2020 and, as part of the year-long activities, the School of Management (SOM) offers free webinars to the general public.

UP Mindanao and SOM are inviting interested persons to attend the FREE online webinar on “Nature with Nurture: Plant Breeding for Food Security in the Midst of the Pandemic and Beyond” on 16 November 2020, Monday, 10:00 AM-12:00 NN (PST). The resource speaker is Professor Emeritus Eufemio T. Rasco Jr., University of the Philippines Mindanao’s first Professor Emeritus.

To register, click the link

For more information, email .


The video of the lecture may be viewed here:


 Recent knowledge poses thought-provoking questions about the nature of organisms and how they respond to a changing environment. A developing concept views the organism as a community rather than an individual. Indeed, a human being, for example, is really a collection of human cells and closely associated microorganisms. Various estimates show that the microorganisms outnumber human cells in a typical human body by a factor of 10 to 1! Without the associated microorganism, the human being will not survive. The same is true with plants. It is now known that many of what we consider “traits” to breed for are actually products of interactions between the plant and its associated microbiota. Thus, a new plant breeding approach might involve breeding for the associated microbiota rather than the plant directly or breeding for the combination of the plant and its associated microbiota. This new approach offers profound advantages in the face of a dynamic biological, physical, and socio-economic environment of cultivated plants. After all, it is much easier to breed microorganisms with life cycles measuring hours rather than plants with life cycles measuring months or decades.

Holobiont breeding -- as the strategy for breeding combinations of plants and microorganisms is referred to in literature -- is just one of a menu of approaches to achieve food security in the midst of environmental challenges such as the pandemic, and the much bigger one, climate change. The other strategies include diversification, intensification, and integration at the farm level, all of which suggest that traditional strategies of plant breeding focused on a few species and focused on the plant need to be re-examined.

This lecture will cover the above ideas in broad strokes and point out implications on policy, biological and plant breeding research, and education.


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