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Indon rice scientist wins Dioscoro Umali award for agricultural development

A SCIENTIST and former agriculture minister widely regarded as the architect of Indonesia’s rice self-sufficiency has won the 2013 Dioscoro L. Umali Award for Agricultural Development.

Dr. Sjarifudin Baharsjah is credited for increasing rice yield in Indonesia through the Rice Mass Intensification Program, thus helping the country achieve rice self-sufficiency.

The award is bestowed annually by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Research and Graduate Study in Agriculture (Searca), based in Los Baños, Laguna, and headed by Director General Dr. Gil Saguiguit Jr., and the Dioscoro L. Umali Foundation.

Umali was a well-known Filipino agriculturist, dean of the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture in Los Baños, and a scientist who helped immensely in developing agricultural research and development.

Saguiguit will lead the ceremonies, which are slated to start at 9 a.m., and welcome the guests, led by National Economic and Development Authority Director General Arsenio Balisacan, who will also speak.

Nelia T. Gonzalez, president of the Dioscoro L. Umali Foundation, will discuss the awards.

Searca senior fellow Dr. Geronimo L. Collado will introduce the awardee, while Saguiguit, Dr. William Padolina and Gonzalez will confer the award.

Dr. Sjarifudin Baharsjah was also a member of the board of trustees of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute.

In 2001 he was elected chairman of the IRRI board.

From 1997 to 2001, he served as independent chairman of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Baharsjah will be conferred the Dioscoro L. Umali Award on January 16 at the New World Hotel in Makati City at 10:45 a.m., after which he will deliver his lecture.

He has been cited for his significant contributions to agricultural and rural development in Indonesia, particularly his introduction of agribusiness and agro-industry to promote agricultural development in his country.






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