ATI, Partners Gear Up to Capacitate Coconut Farmers

Coconut development officers, AEWs & Business Resource Center staff convene to develop a training curriculum for coconut farmers

SAN MATEO, Rizal – Some 3,000 local coconut farmers are set to undergo extensive capability-enhancement activities to address the increasing poverty rate among coconut farming communities.
This initiative is through the Sustainable Certified Coconut Oil (SCNO), under Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s programme. Hence, Filipino farmers involved in coconut production can look forward to increased income through a sustainable certified coconut oil supply chain.
The SCNO is a three-year project, which started in October 2015. It is under the collaboration of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Cargill, Baden Aniline and Soda Factory, and Procter and Gamble.
This project aims to train local farmers on good agricultural practices, farm diversification and farming as a business through a Training of Trainers (TOT) approach for coconut development officers (CDOs), agricultural extension workers (AEWs) and Business Resource Center (BRC) trainers. In this line, a writeshop was held to review and harmonize existing training resources for better appreciation and application of the target farmers.
As part of the writeshop, the participants reviewed the profiles the AEWs and CDOs in Visayas and Mindanao which serve as priority areas of the project. They also leveled off on the existing modules and identified core topics and basic elements of the training curriculum.
The proposed training curriculum has three main topics: coconut farming as a business, good agricultural management of coconut, and organizational development. The participants also developed a scheme for discussion that included subtopics and their duration of delivery. They also prepared a session guide for coconut farming as a business module and a module on good coconut farm productivity based on the Instructional System Design model.
PCA Deputy Administrator Roel Rosales gladly concluded the writeshop which he said served as an opportunity to develop an innovative training curriculum towards productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of the coconut industry. He also stressed how the project will help strengthen and professionalize local extension workers.
GIZ Chief Advisor Matthias Radek likewise underscored the importance of the activity as an initial step towards achieving the targeted 5% increased income of the 3,000 smallholder farmers.
The TOT is slated this October 2016 for participants in regions VIII to XII while the training for the targeted farmers will roll out in January next year.
A total of 23 individuals from the PCA, ATI, Notre Dame Business Resource Center, Cargill and GIZ were part of the activity held on August 23 to 29, 2016 at Timberland Sports and Nature Club, in this town.