The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has recently accorded to VSU's Q-Seedling Project the Second Runner Up Award in the 2010 Best Higher Education Research Program (Regional Level). The award was received on November 18, 2011 by Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, VSU President, together with the research team members: Dr. Rotacio S. Gravoso, Dr. Arturo E. Pasa and Ms. Maria Anabelle D. Gerona during the Eastern Visayas Summit on Research, Development and Extension in Higher Education Institutions at the Leyte Normal University. The award carries with it a plaque of recognition and a P100,000 cash prize.

qseed award

The Q-seedling Project, also known as "Enhancing Tree Seedling Supply via Economic and Policy Changes in Philippine Nursery Sector", began in late 2007 and ended in 2010. It drew support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in collaboration with the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Visayas State University (VSU).


Other cooperating agencies involved in the project were the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Regions 8 and 10, and the local government units of Palompon, Bato, Isabel in Leyte and Libagon in Southern Leyte. Dr. John Herbohn of UQ and Dr. Nestor Gregorio of VSU served as the project leaders.

Among the tangible accomplishments of the project was the issuance of the national policy on forest nursery accreditation which is part of DAO 2010-11, otherwise known as the "Revised Regulations in Governing Forest Tree Seed and Seedling Production, Collection and Disposition." This policy is now being implemented in the National Greening Program of President Simeon Benigno C. Aquino III.

Prior to the issuance of DAO 2010-11, the project had partnered with the local government units of Palompon, Leyte; Tampakan, South Cotabato; and Colombio, Sultan Kudarat to develop and pilot test a municipal ordinance on forest nursery accreditation. The same policy was pilot tested within the jurisdiction of Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Positive results from the pilot implementation of the policy at the local level paved way for developing the national policy.

The project has improved the research capacity of VSU. It acquired various equipment that are very useful in maintaining the high standard of instruction, research and extension in the fields of forestry and agriculture.

The publication it produced made the University more visible in scientific discourse in the Philippines and abroad. Through the project, some VSU researchers availed of scholarship grants to pursue graduate degrees at UQ and participated in educational tours in Australia and countries in Southeast Asia.

The remarkable achievement of the Q-seedling project has resulted in the approval of a new five-year ACIAR-funded project at VSU. This project will focus on the best watershed management practices.