As part of the agreement during the initial meeting held on April 19, 2021, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) conducted a joint project development workshop attended by members of the Joint Management Committee (JMC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) of both agencies. Facilitated by PHilMech, the one-day workshop, held on April 30, 2021, aimed at discussing the areas of collaboration for the crafting of a Project Development Plan or Framework as basis for enhancing the capability of Farmers’ Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs), through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Mechanization and Rice Extension Services Program. The said Project Development Plan contains the areas of development intervention to be conducted for farmers’ associations that can be organized into cooperatives identified as beneficiaries of the program. It intends to enhance the technical and entrepreneurial capacities of farmer-beneficiaries and strengthen the cooperative as a business enterprise. Its end goal is to increase the farmers’ income while reducing the production cost of farming through farm machinery provision.
Present in the activity were PHilMech representatives led by Dr. Baldwin G. Jallorina, Dir. Arnel Ramir M. Apaga and his technical staff, CDA Assistant Secretary Dr. Virgilio R. Lazaga, Head of the Agriculture Cluster, with Executive Director Ray R. Elevazo and members of the TWG.
Among the processes identified in the Project Development Plan are training needs assessment, capability enhancement activities, development of training modules, support systems through coaching and mentoring sessions and other developmental interventions.
As agreed during the workshop, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be finalized to formalize the partnership. The MOA shall set forth the plans and strategies of intervention, implementation activities and the resource sharing mechanism. The MOA signing was set on the last week of May during PHilMech’s founding anniversary.