“Make a difference. Move forward.”
This was the challenge emphasized to the PCARRD scholars in their annual meeting held at PCARRD, Los Baños, Laguna last January 8.
The meeting discussed the present situation of PCARRD scholars and at stressing the importance of the Scholarship Program. Likewise, updates on PCARRD HRD policies and guidelines were presented to the new and on-going scholars.
In the meeting, PCARRD Executive Director Patricio S. Faylon, as represented by Dr. Danilo Cardenas, PCARRD’s Deputy Executive Director for R&D, addressed the present situation of the program. Although majority of the scholars completed their program, most graduates are assigned by their respective institutions either in administrative, training, or extension functions. This is because most institutions have very limited or no funds for research, which in turn add to the problem of low R&D investments.
The sad fact is that 90% of the country’s researchers are due to retire ten years from now. Also, the number of enrollees in AFNR is declining, adding to the lack of critical mass of R&D human resources.
To address this problem, PCARRD, in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Agriculture, intends to hold a National Planning Workshop on Human Resource Development that will identify the causes of and the solution to the draining S&T human resource base and map out a common agenda for action.
Dr. Cardenas presented the challenge of increasing the human resource and developing the people’s skills in the agriculture, forestry, and natural resources (AFNR) sectors. He also challenged the scholars to maximize the opportunity given to them and apply what they have learned by contributing to research and development.
The PCARRD Scholarship Program offers opportunities on technology management, sciences, technologies and management systems for sustained growth, policy formulation and advocacy and enhancing R&D capability and governance. It was established to develop a critical pool of R&D experts to alleviate the country’s AFNR sectors.