On 17 – 18 August 2017, the 3rd UCGF was held at Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand with the theme “Combating Food and Energy Insecurity and Climate Change with Sustainable and Inclusive Agricultural Technology and Innovation”. The Graduate Forum is an annual initiative of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC). Its objective is to provide a venue for students from member-universities to present the results of their research papers for probable future developments and collaboration. Representatives composed of administrators, faculties, students, and notable personalities, from seven member-universities of UC attended this forum. CEM-UPLB was represented by three graduate students, namely, Mr. Mervill D. Majarais, Master of Management, Ms. Carolyn Jimenez, MS Agricultural Economics, and Ms. Marnie Mae Mendoza, MS Economics.
In the afternoon of 17 August, 31 graduate students took turns in presenting the results of their research papers. This was held in three parallel sessions, namely, 1) Agriculture and Life Sciences, 2) Agro-Industry, and 3) Agribusiness and Agricultural Extension. Mr. Majarais presented the paper titled, “Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Key to Production Efficiency and Sustainability Among Business Organizations in the Philippines”. Ms. Jimenez’s paper was titled “Discovering the Potential of Pili Oil from Waste Pulp” while Ms. Mendoza’s paper was about “The Cost of Illness of Exposure to Concentration Levels of PM10 Pollution from Public Transport in Los Baños, Laguna”.
The second day, 18 August 2017, was spent inside Kamphaeng Saen Campus in Nakhon Pathom Province which is around 80 kilometers from Bangkok. The delegates were brought to several destinations including a vegetable plantation under the care of the Faculty of Agriculture, Rice Science Center & Rice Gene Discovery, DNA Profiling and Technology Laboratory, and Center of Natural Breeding of Tilapia – Faculty of Fisheries.
Farewells and well-wishes were exchanged by the students after the campus tour which signaled the end of the two-day event. Everyone went home with better understanding of the forum’s theme and the path that SEAMEO-SEARCA is navigating, new experience to share, new friends from different universities across Asia (or “networks” as we call in the business management course), and smile on their faces. Mervill D. Majarais