The International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS) held its International Congress and Annual Meeting last February 23-27, 2009 at the Emerald Hotel, Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok, Thailand. The Theme for the congress was “Agriculture for the 3 Es: Economy, Environment and Energy”.

The congress was attended by over a hundred participants from the 6-member countries of ISSAAS which includes Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and other non-member countries of Iran, India, Myanmar, Iraq, South Korea, Egypt and Australia. The Thailand Chapter of ISSAAS is the host for the 2008 and 2009 ISSAAS Congress.

The biggest foreign delegation came from the Philippines headed by Dr. Roberto F. Rañola, Jr., Philippine Chapter Vice President. The number of Filipino delegates would have been much higher it not postponed last December because of the Political Crises in Thailand. Of the 180 participants, 35 came from the Philippines. The Philippine delegates came from 12 Philippine State Colleges and Universities, namely, the University of the Philippines Los Banos, Occidental Mindoro National College, Pangasinan State University, Bicol University, Benguet State University, University of the Northern Philippines, Kalinga State College, Nueva Vizcaya State University, UP Diliman Institute of Marine Sciences, Abra State Institute of Science and Technology, University of Rizal System, STARRDEC/Cavite State University, and the Department of Agriculture-Northern Luzon. There were also 47 participants coming from non-member countries.

Professor Emeritus Izuru Yamamoto of Tokyo University of Agriculture, one of the Founders of ISSAAS, delivered the keynote paper entitled “Harmonization of Agricultural Practices”. He stressed the need for agricultural scientists to work together on various issues and approaches which at times may be conflicting. According to him “Bloom, where you are planted. However, to make a heavenly garden, each flower should be arranged in a right way, not excluding, and not acting envious of others, but rather evaluating and appreciating other flowers. It is important to find one’s own niche and keep habitat segregation”. While there are contrasting and sometimes conflicting views among agricultural scientists about economy, environment and energy, there is consensus on the need to practice Integrated Pest and Crop Management and Alternative, Environmentally-Friendly, Sustainable and Low Input Agriculture.

The plenary speaker for the Philippines was Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya, the incumbent President of Bicol University in Legaspi City, Albay. Her topic on “ Philippine Agricultural Education for the 3E’s: Economy, Environment and Energy” stressed the importance of responsive Agricultural Education to address the threats facing agriculture itself. Unfortunately however, she said that there has been a progressive decline in enrollment in Agricultural Programs throughout the country.

For more information about the papers, check

There were 123 paper/oral and 107 poster presentations. These presentations revolved around agrotechnology, alternative farming, bioenergy, community empowerment, food safety and food security, sustainable management of bio resources, and transboundary agriculture and sufficiency economy.

The next ISAAS International Congress is slated on January 11-15, 2010 in the beautiful tourism area of Pattaya, Thailand. This is an event worth looking forward to. It is expected that there will be more Filipino participants to this congress. (LLTolentino and RFRañola Jr.)

See Congress photos

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International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS)
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