LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – A total of 177 farm technicians have been trained on agriculture entrepreneurship under a program being implemented by the government and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
The farmers are members of Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs) in Nueva Ecija.
The program is being undertaken by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and SEARCA, and hosted by the Philippine government in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
SEARCA, headed by director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., has been commissioned by DAR to implement the project titled “Market-Oriented Agri-Technology and Agri-Extension Services under the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS).”
Under the project, SEARCA provides technical assistance to seven ARBOs in Nueva Ecija to improve their productivity and jumpstart their entrepreneurial activities.
This is done by providing strategic subsidies in the form of agricultural technology and agricultural extension services, particularly on the proper use of common service facilities (CSF) or farm equipment distributed by DAR.
The ARBOs are Masaganang Buhay Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Barangay Aquino Development Cooperative, Aglipay Producers Cooperative, Farmer Vegetable Credit Cooperative, Tanglaw Buhay Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Sitio Sapang Kubo Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Talabutab Norte Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
The ARBOs have already convened special general assemblies where they formally acknowledged and adopted the four training activities and four technical manuals provided by SEARCA.
The training courses tackled the following: How to Package a Business Proposal; Integrated Production Management Systems; CSF Business Enterprise Management; and System of Use, Maintenance, Operation, and Trouble Shooting of CSF.
The technical manuals distributed were titled: Rice and Vegetable Technoguide; Farm Production and Management Plan per Farmer Participant; CSF Business Management Plan; and CSF Use, Maintenance, Operation, and Trouble Shooting Manual.
Prof. Jimmy Williams, project team leader for ARCCESS Nueva Ecija, facilitated the discussions regarding the SEARCA project team’s outputs during each ARBO general assembly.
DAR Nueva Ecija officials also were present during the assemblies.