The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is a non-profit organization established by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1966.

Founded in 1965, SEAMEO is a chartered international organization whose purpose is to promote cooperation in education, science and culture in the Southeast Asian region. Its highest policymaking body is the SEAMEO Council, which comprises the Ministers of Education of the 11 Southeast Asian countries.

The Center derives its juridical personality from the SEAMEO Charter and possesses full capacity to contract; acquire, and dispose of, immovable and movable property; and institute legal proceedings. Moreover, SEARCA enjoys in the territory of each of its member states such privileges and immunities as are normally accorded United Nations institutions. Representatives of member states and officials of the Center shall similarly enjoy such privileges and immunities in the Philippines as are necessary for the exercise of their functions in connection with SEARCA and SEAMEO.


Searca Building

As SEAMEO’s center of excellence in agriculture, SEARCA is mandated “to provide to the participating countries high quality graduate study in agriculture; promote, undertake, and coordinate research programs related to the needs and problems of the Southeast Asian region; and disseminate the findings of agricultural research and experimentation.”

Specifically, the functions of SEARCA are to:

  1. Promote and facilitate high-quality study programs leading to the master’s and doctor’s degrees;
  2. Provide graduate scholarships, fellowships, and/or assistantships for students from member countries;
  3. Promote, undertake, and coordinate research programs, as instituted and supported by the Center, with special emphasis on research related to the needs and pressing problems of agriculture in Southeast Asia;
  4. Provide direction and funds for research by graduate students, faculty members, and other cooperating research workers of member countries;
  5. Publish the findings of agricultural research done in the region, or other pertinent research done elsewhere;
  6. Hold short-term training courses, seminars, workshops, and conferences on selected agricultural problems and topics;
  7. Provide advisory and consulting services to member countries through staff visits and exchanges, seminars, and participation in national training and extension programs.
  8. Stimulate and assist further development of agricultural institutions in Southeast Asia, and to enlist their efforts in a concerted attack on agricultural problems of the region

SEARCA is hosted by the Philippine government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna, Philippines.

For more information:
ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Phase III