Dairy farmer-trustees of two South Cotabato-based associations underwent social preparation training (SPT) on May 19-22 to further strengthen their readiness and capacity for engagement in their respective groups.
The training, which was requested by the Center Director Benjamin John Basilio of Philippine Carabao Center at University of Southern Mindanao (PCC at USM), is a prerequisite to the engagement of dairy farmers in carabao-based enterprise development (CBED).
The SPT is aimed at setting a suitable socio-economic mindset that helps develop a strong commitment to project co-ownership among stakeholders and engages advocates, champions and entrepreneurs to support CBED.
Those who completed the training consisted of 41 participants from the Canahay Dairy Farmers Association and 24 were from the Sto. Niño Dairy Farmers Association.
The 65 dairy farmers are owners of crossbred carabaos. They are expected to be partner-champions of PCC at USM in the implementation of dairy buffalo modules and carabao-based enterprises.
The first to undergo training was the Canahay Dairy Farmers Association on May 19-20 at the Canahay barangay hall, Surallah and the second was the Sto. Niño Dairy Farmers Association on May 21-22 at Janitos Place, Purok Lapu-Lapu Village, Sto. Niño, both in South Cotabato.
The training facilitators included Jeffrey Rabanal, PCC at USM training coordinator; Mary Joy Paman, CBED coordinator; Ericson Dela Cruz, PCC training and extension national coordinator; Conrado Penuliar, resource speaker and PCC human resource development officer; and Raquel Bermudez, community organizer.
The dairy farmer-participants experienced two learning methodologies utilized during the training course. One was the discovery learning method, which involved problem-solving and lectures to elicit healthy and dynamic interaction between the resource person and participants. The other involved practicum or demonstration, which comprised group presentations focusing on their techniques and needs as association members.
The two associations also formulated their respective internal policies as part of their SPT output, which will serve as their guide in the implementation of their projects.
Some of their internal policies include that all members are encouraged to help look for market outlets for their products, such as milk and cheese; female buffalo crossbreds may be sold, giving priority to PCC given a buy-back scheme or interested buyers within the community; and all crossbred, native or purebred owners will provide proper feeding and health management.
Partners from the concerned local government units (LGUs) also participated in the social preparation training, nine from the Sto Niño LGU and five were from the Canahay LGU.