Center offers course seeking to boost farm productivity
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - December 15, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Government research partner Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research (SEARCA) has established a capability-building course for trainers and agricultural entrepreneurs as part of helping boost productivity in the production of mango, abaca, cacao, and herbal-medicinal products.

The training for trainers and farmer-entrepreneurs will beef up skills of Filipino farmer-businessmen in ensuring their farms thrive as profit-making businesses, rather than mere source of sustenance.

The course is called “Financial Viability and Profitability Analysis of New Technologies and Enterprises under the High Value Crops Development Program.”

SEARCA also supported the publication of an investment guide of the Bureau of Agricultural Research-Department of Agriculture (BAR-DA) with the same title.

BAR launched the investment guide during its Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum last August 30.

“We believe that given the right opportunities, training, and innovations, farmers and fishers can be ‘agripreneurs’,” said DA-BAR Executive Director Nicomedes Eleazar said.

Participants in these courses will also be trainers of agricultural entrepreneurs or support them on how to plan financial viability for businesses after training themselves first.

A higher education center forming part of ASEAN bond, SEARCA’s major thrust is to support training of farm technologists and farm entrepreneurs as aid in agricultural progress toward ASEAN Economic Community.

It is also pushing for harmonization of skills standards of farm technicians in ASEAN through a competency certification in partnership with institutions as Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

It is hoped such programs will raise farm production and export of the Philippines while ensuring the future generation are lured into becoming farmers and agriculture businessmen.

Those that have already completed the program include agriculture technocrats of Department of Agriculture (DA) and DA-attached agencies’ staff, state universities and colleges in 16 selected projects funded by DA-BAR, and farm managers.

SEARCA is one of the oldest among 24 specialist institutions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education.

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