RCEF in E. Visayas: Creating a pool of trainers

Baybay City, Leyte - The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) has 4 components: farm machinery and equipment, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion, expanded rice credit assistance, and rice extension services. As most of these components are implemented in an integrated manner, experts from partner agencies come together to train a pool of trainers to help in the full implementation of the program.

The Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center 8 has conducted Batch 1 of the Training of Trainers on Modernized Production of Inbred Rice and Seeds. The 12-day training aims to develop the participants to become effective trainers, facilitators and resource persons in the conduct of the RCEF Farmer Field School (FFS). Under the RCEF, the FFS will be the ones to carry out the scholarship programs under the Technical Educations and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) where interested individuals and rice farmers can be given scholarships.

The training taught the participants about the importance of RA 11203 which created the RCEF; the procedure in conducting the FFS, and the updated 9 Key Checks in rice production. Participants also performed the Agro-Ecosystem Analysis (AESA), identified the morphology of rice and rice farm machineries. They also demonstrated the use of ICT tools and services in rice production. RPs discussed the right kind, amount and timing of nutrient fertilizer applications; teaching the participants how to calculate the amount of fertilizer materials needed per hectare of rice.

Maximo T. Locop Jr. (MUFDA Board of Director/Chairman - Hinundayan, So. Leyte) enthused, "I am very much thankful to ATI, our Resource Persons, and the training management team for being so gentle and approachable speakers and facilitators during this training. We are thankful for all our speakers who are competent enough to transfer their knowledge to us. I am happy to tell you that our farmers are waiting now to grab the new technologies that we had learned from this training. I'm sure that majority of our rice farmers as of now are practicing the improper way of rice farming, so as graduates of this training, this is now our new challenge because "when Abraham was called by God, He told Abraham to “feed my children". So, who are they? The Children of God? They are our rice farmers waiting for so long. Since we have enough knowledge now, let's strike while the iron is hot."

The 12-day training was held on Oct. 21- Nov. 1, 2019 at the ATI RTC 8 Hall B, VSU, Baybay City, Leyte. It heightened the sense of mission of the farm schools and Learning Site operators to help rice farmers become competitive thru the conduct of the Farmer Field School in their respective communities.