UPLB’s CEM Delegation Excels in ASEAN University Symposium for Sustainable Food System

The College of Economics and Management (CEM) delegates from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) showcased outstanding research and academic contributions at the recently concluded ASEAN University Symposium for Sustainable Food System.

Hosted by the Faculty of Economics at Kasetsart University, Thailand, and held both in-person and online from April 18 to 19, 2024, the symposium brought together academia from 11 ASEAN universities to address critical issues surrounding sustainable food systems in the Region.

UPLB’s CEM delegation, led by Dean Maria Angeles Catelo  as representative of Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr., was comprised of faculty members and  graduate students who made significant contributions to the event.

Dr. Julieta Delos Reyes, Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (DAAE) served as session moderator and enriched the discussions with her expertise in agricultural economics.

Asst. Prof. Bates Bathan of DAAE-CEM and currently  a Ph.D. student at Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Economics, presented a paper on “Spatial Price Transmission in the Philippine Retail Rice Markets,” which earned for him the  Best Paper Honorable Mention award from the Agricultural Economics Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage. He also served as  moderator in one of the keynote sessions.

Mr. Reymond Denver Buenaseda, an instructor of DAAE-CEM and an M.S. student at Kasetsart University, shared his research on “Determinants of Using Cold Storage Technology: Insights from Onion Farmers in Bongabon and San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.”

Mr. Erwin Torres, a Ph.D. student of DAAE-CEM, presented his study on the “Technical and Economic Analysis of Technological Progress in the Pili Industry,” which uses concepts and theories in natural resource and production economics.

Ms. Daniza Mae Oco, another Ph.D. student of DAAE-CEM, contributed to the discourse with her research on “Valuation of Reef Tourism,” presenting systematic review of valuation practices in reef tourism.

Ms. Abigail T. Lat, an M.M. student of DAME-CEM, presented her findings on “An Assessment of the Economic Effect of Value Adding Activities in the Production and Marketing System of Salt in Ilocos Norte,” highlighting benefits of technology and packaging adoption.

The symposium is structured with various tracks: towards sustainable production, resilience of food system, coping with vulnerability and risk, natural resource and nature positive system transformation, consumer behavior, agribusiness and sustainable management, food and nutrition security, and food system and innovation.

More importantly, the signing of a Letter of Intent among the participating universities underscored the commitment to continued cooperation by establishing a long-term academic initiative within a Southeast Asian regional framework for teaching, research, capacity building, and knowledge sharing with the purpose of promoting sustainable food system and academic excellence in agricultural economics, resource economics, environmental economics, agricultural and food policies, applied economics, agribusiness and agri-food systems within national and Southeast Asia sub-regional levels.

With a total of 31 research papers presented and esteemed speakers sharing their insights, the event marked a significant step forward in advancing sustainable food systems in ASEAN.

The 2025 symposium will be held at IPB University, Indonesia, continuing the momentum of knowledge sharing and collaboration among ASEAN universities. -Asst. Prof. Bates Bathan

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