ACIAR 2024

In a reception ceremony held in honor of the Australian Commission for International Agricultural Research, top officials of the Visayas State University went to Manila to engage in high-level discussions with a longtime institutional partner of the university.

This event was held on May 20, 2024 at the Australian Ambassador’s Residence in North Forbes Park, Makati City. 

The VSU delegation is led by no less than University President Dr. Prose Ivy G. Yepes accompanied by the newly appointed Vice Presidents Dr. Santiago T. Peña (Research, Extension and Innovation) and Dr. Moises Neil V. Seriño (Planning, Resource Generation and Auxiliary Services).

The said Commission is an advisory body to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs in relation to program formulation, priority setting and resourcing for development programs for partner countries like the Philippines. 

They were accompanied by the senior officials from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)—an organization that invests in agricultural research for developing countries located in four regions of Eastern and Southern Africa, East and Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and South Asia.

With the ultimate aim of building a more food secure future, ACIAR has been engaging with many Philippine government agencies and academic institutions like VSU to allow Australian agricultural researchers and scientists to use their skills for the benefit of partner countries while at the same time contributing to solutions that will meet Australia’s own agricultural challenges.


At VSU in particular, ACIAR has been one of the staunchest partners of the university with its partnership now spanning for almost half a decade now. 

ACIAR has been supporting the university’s research and development (R&D) programs in livestock, vegetables and forestry that generated publications and policies that are now being implemented in the Philippines today. The scientific publications emanating from this collaboration has improved VSU’s visibility in the scientific community.

One of the most notable R&D initiatives that ACIAR funded at VSU is the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) project that concluded just this year. This project provided multiple benefits to the rural people in three regions of the Visayas who depended on the forest by improving their land use while also ensuring that they engage in sustainable practices that also protected and conserved the environment.

Another significant project under the VSU-ACIAR partnership is the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program hopes to develop and strengthen the local vegetable value chain to meet the evolving market demands in the Philippines. This ongoing research program serves as an integration of ACIAR’s previous projects in VSU, namely Protective Cropping that began in 2009, and Integrated Crop Management that ran from 2014 to 2018.

On top of all these, several faculty and staff of VSU have also been recipients of the prestigious Professor John L. Dillon Fellowship that aims to develop the leadership and management skills of mid-career professionals, particularly scientists, researchers and economists working for more effective agricultural research for development outcomes in ACIAR partner countries.


Some VSU faculty members who went to study in Australia under this fellowship were Dr. Rotacio S. Gravoso, Dr. Zenaida Z. Gonzaga, Dr. Lucia M. Borines, , Ms. Lilia P. Vega, Dr. Dennis P. Peque, Ms. Hadasha N. Bongat, Mr. Dhenber C. Lusanta, Dr. Arturo S. Pasa, and Dr. Moises Neil V. Seriño.

Dr. Serino is also currently working with ACIAR being the national lead convenor of the Australia Alumni Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Community of Practice (AANCoP). 

Hosting the reception ceremony is Her Excellency HK Yu PSM, FCPA who is currently serving as the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines. She was joined by her husband Mr. Fergus Murphy.

Among the national officials of the Philippines who graced the event are Secretary Renato U. Solidum of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and Executive Director Reynaldo V. Eborra of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

VSU President Yepes expressed her thanks to the Australian government and ACIAR for the continued support they have been providing to propel research and development programs of the university.

“We in VSU are very grateful to the Australian government and to ACIAR for our strong partnership that has been sustained for almost 25 years now. This has benefitted the university in many areas that are not only exclusive to research and development but also in building the capacity of our faculty researchers and scientists to engage with our Australian counterparts in areas of forest restoration, sustainable agricultural practices, environmental conservation among many others. We are committed to working with all our partners so that we can propel our beloved university further and farther,” Dr. Yepes said.

Customer Feedback

Your feedback matters!

As we commit to continually improve our services, we have developed ways for you to reach us online!
Your responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will only be used to improve our services.

Submit Feedback

Or Email Us Directly