The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) inked recently a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to strengthen the institutional development of coconut farmers cooperatives.
The MoA was signed by Administrator Euclides G. Forbes on behalf of PCA and Chairman Emmanuel M. Santiaguel on behalf of CDA.
This program will be managed and supervised jointly by PCA and CDA through a Program Management Committee which will be co-headed by PCA Administrator and CDA Chairman or their respective representative. Fostering institutional development of cooperatives include promotion, organization and training provisions. The coverage of most non-government organizations (NGOs) and cooperative unions and federations is presently limited to specified priority areas and by the number of staff, it cannot possibly cover the majority of PCA’s directly assisted coconut farmers especially those in the remote barangays. “PCA technical staff and agriculturists shall undergo trainings for cooperative development to acquire professional expertise in the particular discipline, ” Forbes said. CDA, as the lead government agency mandated to promote the viability and growth of Philippine cooperative will facilitate the organization and conduct of trainings on financial management, microfinance, enterprise development and marketing strategies. There are 108 cooperatives registered and accredited by CDA.
Both parties will identify qualified technical staff to constitute the Program Management Committee which will manage, monitor and document the implementation of the program. It will also conduct periodic and annual review and evaluation on the effectiveness and outcome of the institution and capacity building program to the overall objectives of the said joint undertaking between them.
Based on the MOA, PCA’s responsibilities include the identification of technical staff that shall undergo follow-up trainer’s trainings and seminars for cooperative development. PCA will also allot available funds for the conduct of these trainings. Accomplishment reports on the trainings conducted for the farmer’s organization/cooperative will also be submitted to CDA for the periodic overall assessment of the training activities undertaken during the year. PCA will also issue certificate of completion of training conducted for cooperatives under its jurisdiction.
CDA’s responsibilities include the identification of cooperative consultants, CDA’s Accredited Cooperative Training Services Providers and institution on organizing and conducting of trainings. It will facilitate the registration of cooperatives formed and organized through the assistance of PCA’s Field Services Branch (FSB) core groups. It also includes the recognition of PCA as the agency in-charge of the overall supervision of cooperative trainers during the conduct of their trainings and organizing activities in their respective areas of assignments as trainers and organizers of coconut farmers cooperatives and farmer-members of cooperatives.
“We recognize the role of cooperatives in revitalizing the coconut industry in the country. Forming cooperatives is a strategy to help improve our economy as well as raising the quality of life of our coconut farmers,” Forbes added.
The implementation of the said program will start in the year 2014. — COCONUT MEDIA SERVICE