DEMOCRATIZING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION (DARE)
Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam
2011 to 2013
Implemented from 2011 to 2013 in six Asian countries, namely: Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, the project DEMOCRATIZING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION (DARE) enhanced the capacity of farming families in managing on-farm agricultural biodiversity as an adaptive mechanism to climate change.
A. Capacity Development of Farming Families
The DARE project saw greater awareness and better appreciation by the major stakeholders on the importance of conserving and developing plant genetic resources (PGR) for enhancing agricultural biodiversity for food security and seed security, especially in the midst of climate change; and the need to secure the farmers as well, being a major stakeholder and key player, yet the most vulnerable sector confronted by the impacts of climate change.
The project catered not only to enhancing the farmers’ capacity, but also to 184 government and non-government research and development organizations or institutions from the agriculture and rural development, biodiversity, and environment sectors from across the six partner countries.
B. Mainstreaming of Farmers’ Innovation in Research and Extension Systems
Through information and awareness creation strategies, such as meetings and workshops, and through diplomatic talks with the relevant government institutions, the Project was able to get the government support, including the needed manpower as well as supplemental financial resources.
The Project has contributed substantially in securing the local seed system and improving the farmers’ livelihoods. The Project’s contribution to social transformation through the work on on-farm conservation and participatory plant breeding of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, specifically in changing the perceptions and attitudes of researchers, extension agents, development workers, and policy makers towards the role of farmers as innovators and technology developers, also cannot be dismissed.
C. Contribution to Policies and Programs Supportive of Farmers’ Seed Management and Community Innovation Systems
Over and above the achievements in mainstreaming and capacity building, the Project has also effectively made some policy and institutional changes, particularly on the adoption of participatory plant breeding as part of the local government programs in the partner countries.
SEARICE took an active role in the national processes for the implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the sustainable use and access and benefit-sharing scheme in its partner countries and continues to do so.
National Biodiversity Center (NBC) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MAF)
Department of Rice Crop under the General Directorate of Agriculture (DRCGDA)
Agriculture Research Centre (ARC) under the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DOA), both under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
National IPM Programme of the Department of Agriculture (DA)
Agrarian Land Reform Office (ALRO) and Joko Learning Center (JLC)
Mekong Delta Development Research Institute (MDI) under the Can Tho University (CTU)