SEARCA, UPLB collaborate for baseline assessment of coconut industry in Quezon

THE Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). organized a training for the baseline assessment of the coconut industry in Quezon province.

The two-day program held on July 5 and 6 was participated by UPLB's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics student-interns and representatives from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) of Quezon province and Catanauan town's Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMA).

Conducted at the SEARCA Residence Hotel, the training was for the participants to familiarize themselves with the survey tool and to provide them with the technical knowledge and skills useful for the actual survey.

The activity was led by Dr. Pedcris Orencio, Program Head for Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD) of SEARCA, and Blanquita Pantoja, Technical Coordinator and University Researcher from UPLB, with the assistance of Anna Gale Vallez and Pauline Gonzales, Program Specialist and Project Associate of SEARCA's RTLD.

SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration Joselito Florendo, on behalf of SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio, welcomed the participants.

With the firm belief that knowledge development should be a diffused process, Florendo noted that SEARCA conducts capacity building to strengthen value chains and agribusiness commodity systems which will lead to inclusive growth and development of smallholder farms.

He also recognized the importance of innovative agri-business models that can increase farmer productivity and income, one of SEARCA's priorities in its 11th Five-Year Plan.

During the training, Orencio presented the overview while Pantoja led the discussion on the survey form to be used.

SEARCA said the participants were allowed to conduct an actual interview of the coconut farmers in San Pablo City in Laguna in coordination with the City Agriculture Office on July 6, where 11 Samahang Magniniyog ng San Pablo members also joined the activity.

The activity served as a platform for the participants to learn and acquire knowledge and skills for the baseline assessment of the coconut industry in Quezon province.

SEARCA said student interns and the selected representatives of the OPA-Quezon and OMA-Catanauan will be deployed from July 20 to 26 with around 80 coconut farmers and/or processors in Barangay San Antonio Pala in Catanauan town expected to join this activity.

It said the activities are part of scaling of the processes based on the SEED Guidebook: Scaling and Expanding for Effective Development Experiences and Learning, which resulted from SEARCA's approach for commodity-specific intervention.

This will now be applied in the development of a project for the coconut industry growth areas in the Province of Quezon, starting with the Municipality of Catanauan, SEARCA said.