CSU Partners with AusAID and PCAARRD on Rubber Research

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The project on rubber research will be handled by two faculty members from CAAI and COFES. Dr. Raquel M. Balanay of the College of Agriculture and Agri-industries, and Mr. Richie P. Lador of the College of Forestry and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Balanay has been actively involved in PCAARRD-funded research projects since 2001, mostly on wood-based industry’s economic issues in Caraga Region. She has been trained in Australia in 2015-2017 through a postdoctoral research on circular economy under Dr. Anthony Halog of the University of Queensland, through the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship. She will take care of “Land Management of Diverse Rubber-based Systems in Southern Philippines.”

On the other hand, Mr. Lador who has been trained in environmental management and has done land suitability assessment through GIS in his previous research work is in charge of the land suitability component with his counterpart at the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS).

Caraga State University (CSU) will join forces with the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS), and the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM). USM with Dr. Adeflor Garcia, a soil scientist will lead the implementation of the project in the Philippines. Moreover, Griffith University is the lead implementer for the partnership of Australia and Philippines in the project with Dr. Chengrong Chen as principal investigator; Dr. Jim Smart (environmental economist), Dr. Leah Burns (social scientist), Dr. Johnvie Goloran (soil scientist) and the staff members of Dr. Chen’s team as co-investigators.

The project introduces a comprehensive approach that highlights the importance of understanding and managing soil health to provide sustainability to rubber productivity and the productivity of buffer crops for more stable farm income generation. Its implementation in selected areas of Mindanao (Caraga Region and North Cotabato) will run for five (5) years from 2019 to 2023.

For CSU, it is the first of its kind that will put strategic directions over the next few years on internationalization efforts towards the vision of CSU as being globally-engaged. Griffith University is an active partner of CSU through the project from which CSU will have learning opportunities to be a university of the future. RMB/pico

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