Twenty-five new graduates of Training of Trainers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on Banana Production are expected to help boost the Banana Industry in Region 2 to be on par with the banana producers and suppliers in the southern part of the country. The training included post-harvest handling and processing of the crop which was conducted at ATI-RTC 02, San Mateo, Isabela from June 6-10, 2020.
The trainees learned the status of the banana industry in the region and the basic principles and concepts of good agricultural practices (GAP) and its application for GAP compliance. Also, they showed their skills in post-harvest handling and processing, and discussed market product analysis, labelling and marketing. These sets of knowledge and skills are both relevant in improving the banana industry.
"At first, I had a doubt in coming into this training because we are already planting banana since my childhood. But I still attended because that’s the order of my boss. And I am really glad because all I thought I know already what banana production is. But then, there are so many lectures/discussions yet to learn about especially on Good Agricultural Practices, GMPs and post-harvest handling and processing. New knowledge and skills unlocked," Engr. Gerald B. Carmelo, an AEW from San Agustin, Isabela said.
Grouped into teams, the trainees produced various products using banana as primary ingredient. Some of the products were muffins, marmalade, and chips.
Agricultural extension workers and farmer-leaders from various municipalities in Region 2 comprised the trainees.
"Marami talaga kaming natutunan lalo na sa good agricultural practices at sa good manufacturing practices. Sana ay maiapply din namin ito lalo na sa mga produkto namin na sana ay ma-GAP Certified din. Kaya as extension worker, ito ang challenge sa atin kung paano natin iimplement ang lahat ng mga program na ito sa ating mga municipalities," AEW John Christopher M. Suhat of Alfonso Castańeda, Nueva Vizcaya said.