CDA-PhilMec Partnership started on March 10, 2021, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the joint implementation of the project.
After a successful implementation of the first phase, “Entrepreneurial Capability Enhancement of the FCA Beneficiaries of the RCEF – Mechanization Program, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) agreed to pursue the benefits and empowerment initiatives for farmers to enhance the entrepreneurial capability of the FCAs through cooperativism.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Phase II of the partnership project was signed on June 9, 2022, at PhilMech Training Hall, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija. A budget of Php 21Million has been allocated to conduct 120 training batches for 1,800 Farmers’ Cooperative Associations (FCAs) from the different regions nationwide.
This phase of the Project focuses on enhancing the capability of FCAs to operate and manage the Farm Machinery Service Provider (FMSP) and Rice Processing System (RPS). The objectives of the Project are, to 1) inculcate cooperative awareness among the FCA beneficiaries, including its value and merit in the sound operation of an agricultural business enterprise, and 2) equip the FCA officers and members with the basic values and skills required to sustainably operate the agricultural business enterprise.
For CDA Caraga, a total target of 94 FCAs with 188 pax across the region were conducted in 7 batches. For the first batch, it was a 2-day extensive training held at Hotel Karajaw, in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur attended by 16 FCAs with 32 pax. The 2nd batch was held at Tandag City with 16 FCAs and 32 pax. The 3rd , 4th and 5th batches were held at Del’s Hotel, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur with 14 FCAs and 28 pax, 15 FCAs with 30 pax and 13 FCAs with 30 pax respectively. The6 th and 7th batches were held at Balanghai Hotel, Butuan City with 8 FCAs, 14 pax; and 12 FCAs with 26 pax, respectively.
Participants were given training kit in an expanding envelope. Inclusions were 2 pencils, spreadsheets, record books, name tags, notebooks and a collared tee shirt. The participants were also given accommodation on the hotel/ same venue where the trainings were held.
There were 8 modules in total that were being tackled in every batch: 1. Training Overview, 2. Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Mechanization Program, 3. The Cooperative Development Authority, 4. Introduction to Concepts of Entrepreneurship, 5. Fundamentals of A Successful Enterprise and Cooperatives, 6. Introduction to Bookkeeping, 7. Roles of FCAs in Attaining the Goals of the RCEF-Mechanization Program & Sustaining the Farm Machinery Service Provider and 8. Introduction to Farm Machinery Utilization Record Book.
The resource persons for the entire duration of the training were: Leopoldo B. Cabiad, Niño Rosil C. Bantayan, Demelyne B. Gabales, Alvi May D. Musico, Gezzel B. Quiao and Jeffrey Raya with the support of the CDSes assigned in the area.
Simply, the objective of the CDA-PhilMech Program is to increase the profit of every farmer entrepreneur. The formula is “lessen the production cost, increase the production “.
One participant promised after receiving the support: “we are thankful for the machineries we received. These have helped us in our farming activities. We can assure you that we will take care of our machineries”.
The CDA-PhilMech trainings were all done/implemented to give hope and right mind-set to every farmer. . . that they will take an advance step forward to become farmer- entrepreneurs. ********
By Niño Rosil C. Bantayan, Acting CRITS Head