PHILIPPINES—With the continued partnership between the Philippines and Thailand in empowering rural women to sustain agricultural growth, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) hosted a learning activity for Thai women farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs this year.
Last March, the ATI welcomed 12 representatives from the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and women farmers from Thailand who were part of the “Study Exchange Program on the Potential Development of Farm Women” between the two countries. They first took part in the opening program of the Institute’s Women’s Month Celebration activity which focused on rural women as pillars of agricultural innovation and development.
They then headed to Bicol to visit ATI-supported Learning Sites and rural-based organizations (RBOs) such as Dacara’s Farm and Garden, Bula 4-H Club garden, San Jose Rural Improvement Club (RIC), VK’s Farm, and Sonrisa Farm in Camarines Sur. Here, they learned about the beginnings and good practices of the farm owners and RBO members.
In Sorsogon, they went to Arellano Nature Farm and Gubat RIC whose members are women who live in a coastal area and has seaweed production as their main project. The Thai delegates also visited some local community projects in Camarines Sur such as the native fan-making enterprise in Canaman and a soybean processing and urban agriculture project in San Felipe, Naga.
Staff from the ATI’s Partnerships and Accreditation Division assisted the Thai delegates in the trip. They shared the positive feedback of the participants especially on the determination of the rural women to implement farming projects and programs in spite of the calamities that hit them.
The eight-day study tour of the Thai delegates in the Philippines was held on March 18-25, 2018. It also included a visit to heritage sites and livelihood programs in Laguna through the Department of Foreign Affairs-Technical Cooperation Council of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, on June 6-13, 12 RIC officers, members, and coordinators, and other partner women farmers from Regions II, III, IV-A, V, VI, VIII, XII, and ATI Central Office flew to Thailand as part of the exchange program.
The event was hosted by DOAE’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives-Office of Agriculture Extension and Development, Region 6, Chiang Mai Province. They visited different agricultural and livelihood sites to observe activities on avocado processing, strawberry processing and cultivation, food security, chili paste processing, and community bank management.
Other project areas visited included those for dried longan processing, dried fruit processing, soap-making, handicraft-making, mushroom production, egg processing, hydrophonics, and aquaphonics. —With reports from Larry Illich Souribio and Jovanee Dela Cuadra