Farmer-members of seven Nueva Ecija-based cooperatives have successfully completed a social preparation training held November 11-12 at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz.
The training is one of the major requirements for farmers to qualify as trustees under the 25-dairy cow module project of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Conducted by the PCC’s Dairy Herd Improvement and Enterprise Development Program (DHI-EDP) team, the training is intended to enhance the level of understanding and awareness of the farmer-trustees in relation to the steps and processes of applying for the PCC’s dairy module.
Those who completed the training comprised 43 farmer-members of various cooperatives in Nueva Ecija, which is the PCC’s National Impact Zone for carabao dairying. Of the trainees, 21 were from the Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (EPMPC), nine from Bagong Pag-asa sa Bagong Talavera (BPPT), two from Licaong Dairy Producer Cooperative (LDPC), three from Agpapa Irrigators Credit Cooperative (AICC), six were from Nag-iisang Masikap (NMMPC), and one each from Bubalus Bubalis Dairy Farmers Association (BBDFA) and New Mabuhay Multi-Purpose Cooperative (NMMPC).
Based on the selection process of the DHI-EDP, the farmer-trustees qualified for the requirements or criteria for eligibility. Each of them, including their respective cooperatives, passed through the different stages of project implementation, such as orientation, background investigation and ocular inspection, social preparation training, technical training on basic buffalo management, final evaluation and field validation.
The trainees were given insights on the PCC’s Carabao Development Program, awareness on the factors affecting the performance of dairy enterprise and the importance of knowing one’s self, community, cooperative and the Filipino values in relation to project implementation.
“The trainees were made aware of the social and technical aspects of the dairy module project. They were also apprised of inadequacies observed in transferring animals to other farmer-trustees,” Marilou Santos, project development officer of PCC, said.
She also noted that some farmer-trustees, instead of surrendering the animals to the agency, were transferring the animals to other farmers who did not undergo proper training and thus were non-compliant with the requirements of the project.
“The training corrected this practice as prospective farmer-trustee must first undergo the required training,” she stressed.
Santos, organizer of the training, added that social preparation is one of the basic trainings that a farmer-trustee and his cooperative must undergo to be able to meet the selection criteria of the dairy module.
She also said that there are a number of buffaloes available for entrustment to the participants as long as they meet all the requirements for the project.
“Itong training na ito ay inasahan naming makatutulong sa ating mga magsasaka-katiwala para malaman at maging pamilyar sa mga dapat at hindi dapat gawin sa proyektong gatasang kalabaw ng PCC. Sa training na ito, nalaman din namin ang iba’t-ibang kapakinabangang kayang ibigay ng kalabaw (This training was expected to help the prospective farmer-trustee to know and be familiar with the do’s and don’ts in the dairy module project of PCC. It also makes us become aware of the advantages that a dairy buffalo can provide to us),” Zoren Moralla, one of the participants from Nag-iisang Masikap MPC, said.
The two-day training involved lectures, discussions, workshop, experiential learning, brainstorming and group dynamics.