Southeast Asia-wide photo contest launched
Rudy Fernandez (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2015 - 9:00am

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – The 2015 edition of a Southeast Asia-wide photography competition has been launched by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) hosted by the Philippine government in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) complex here.

“SEARCA Photo Contest 2015” focuses on the theme “From Farm to Plate: Smallholders’ Participation in Inclusive Value Chains.” It is open to citizens of member-countries of SEARCA’s mother association, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO).

Celebrating its golden anniversary this year, SEAMEO was founded in 1965 to promote cooperation among Southeast Asian nations in the fields of education, science and culture. It now has 21 regional centers, among them SEARCA, through which it pursues its programs, projects and activities.

Originally composed of six nations (the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Laos), SEAMEO also now has as members the five other Southeast Asian countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Vietnam).

The winners in the SEARCA-sponsored photo contest will receive cash prizes and plaques of recognition.

“We are looking for photographs that depict real situations in which the smallest producers are able to link to and profit from modern integrated markets (domestically or even abroad),” said SEARCA director Gil Saguiguit Jr., who has just been reappointed to an unprecedented third three-year term as head of the 50-year-old center.

Photographs preferred by the contest are those on smallholders (farmers) who have transformed themselves into entrepreneurs and have applied contract farming as an instrument for inclusion and up-scaling; those who ensure the quality of their products by applying good agricultural practices, using certified seeds, adhering to quality standards, maintaining cold chains, and accessing information and communication technology tools; and who safeguard their farms’ sustainability by reducing their impact on the natural environment and increasing their farms' resilience to climate change.

To minimize cases of plagiarism, contestants should certify that they own the photographs and that submission of an entry to the contest indicates full permission granted to SEARCA to use it – with proper credit to the photographer (for mass-produced print and publication) – in SEARCA activities.

The photograph should be original and has not won in any previous photo contest; has not been published elsewhere (print or electronics), and has not been digitally altered or enhanced.

Since 2006, SEARCA has been sponsoring the art competition “to catch a glimpse of the contemporary issues in agriculture and rural development in the SEAMEO region, through quality photographic images that easily capture the current state and future endeavors of the center’s major stakeholders: the agriculture and rural communities in Southeast Asia,” Saguiguit said.

ACIRC ATILDE FROM FARM GIL SAGUIGUIT JR. GRADUATE STUDY AND RESEARCH INCLUSIVE VALUE CHAINS PHOTO CONTEST SEARCA SINGAPORE AND LAOS SOUTHEAST ASIA SOUTHEAST ASIAN
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