Saturday, August 2, 2008

Japan-ASEAN, ATI conducted International Training on Agricultural Marketing

Participants listened intently during the International Training Course on Agricultural Marketing (Focused on Cooperatives)

Under the Project for strengthening Partnership Among Japan and ASEAN Countries, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) sponsored a 15-day International Training Course on Agricultural Marketing which was held on June 2-11, 2008 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, Sasa, Davao City and from June 12-15, 2008 at Bayview Park Hotel, Metro Manila.

The implementer of this international training is the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI). The ATI is the training and educational arm of the Department of Agriculture. This training was conducted in relation to the implementation of the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) South-South Cooperation Project which focuses on Agricultural Productivity Enhancement in Developing Countries.

A total of 33 participants attended the said training. The participants came from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei Darusallam, and Philippines. Each country has three (3) participants composed of one (1) extension worker and two (2) member representatives of the cooperative sector and 12 (CDA-5; ATI-4; and LGUs-3) from Philippines being the host country.

The training aimed to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the participants on agricultural marketing focused on cooperatives.

To officially start the international training, an Opening Ceremony was done around 3:30-5:00 in the afternoon. The Hon. Rodrigo R. Duterte, City Mayor of Davao , Dir. Asterio P. Saliot and Asst. Dir. Alberto Maningding of DA-ATI, Center Dir. Richard C. Rubis of ATI-XI, and Edna Mabesa, Phd., chief of Agricultural Extension Academy (AEA) Division of ATI graced the occasion.

The course content included the following Modules: I - Philippine Cooperatives- A Situationer; II- Organizational Development and Strengthening of Cooperatives; III- Cooperative Governance; IV- Agricultural Marketing as a Cooperative Business, and V- Resource Mobilization. To ensure maximum learning, the following methodologies were adapted: lecture-discussion, brainstorming, workshops, structured learning exercises, report presentation, plenary sessions, experiential sharing and field trips.

The following competent resource persons discussed topics on their field of expertise, to wit; Ms. Lecira V. Juarez, chairperson of CDA Manila, Mr. JA Zenchu of Japan, Ms. Elma R. Oguis, assistant regional director of CDA-XI, Mr. Glenn S. Garcia, Mr. Antonio C. Ecobar, Ms. Margarita A. Bauto of CDA-XI, Ms. Nenita R. Malbas, president of CU-TE, Mr. Rodney Cordova of local government unit of Davao del Norte, Mr. Francisco A. Ramos, director of DA-AMAS, Engr. Vedastito C. Galvez, division chief of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Davao del Norte, Dr. Alexander M. Campaner, president SPAMAST, and Ms. Necitas S. Lazaga.

Part of the training was exposure of the participants in field learning activities and interaction with members, officers and management of a Marketing/Processing Cooperatives and Technology Farms at Magsaysay Cooperative and Bansalan Cooperative. Likewise, they visited CASMIDECO, Cavendish Banana Producer, to observe on the cooperative operations and services rendered and a field trip to BIAO MPC- a Banana Paper Making Consumers Cooperative at Matina, Davao City and of course, to include an environmental appreciation of Davao City.

Action Planning, Workshop on Action Plan Preparation, Presentation of Action Plan, and evaluation of the training was done at Bayview Park Hotel , Metro Manila. Also, a tour around the National Capital Region was also included in the scheduled field trips.

Agricultural cooperatives worldwide are confronted with new sets of issues and problems. The globalization of the world trade market makes the local farmers to compete with farm products imported from abroad. More so, the changes in the market structure coupled with the ever-changing consumer preferences leave the agricultural cooperatives groping for an efficient business strategies in an increasingly harsh economy.

The participants was expected to integrate their learning, observations and insights in their marketing and action plan output and will be implemented when they go back to their respective countries.


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