VICTORIA, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines –The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) conducted the training on organizational development to strengthen the capacities of the Victoria Kalamansi Farmers' Federation (VKFF) on 22-23 July 2017. This is in line with the Center's flagship program, Piloting and Up-scaling Effective Models of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD). The training was organized in collaboration with the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT) and the Local Government of Victoria, Oriental Mindoro, and provided opportunities for the farmers to upgrade their skills in organic farming, as well as enhance their capacities in organizational management by promoting the use of collective effort to community development.
Learnings from previous technical trainings were integrated and used for organizational management to promote empowerment among the farmers. At the end of the training, VKFF members acquired an understanding of sustainable and organic farming. They analyzed the current conditions that farmers in Victoria face in terms of calamansi production, postharvest, and marketing.
The participants also explored ways of improving decision-making given current constraints, and came up with a plan of action for the next six to 12 months.
The training was delivered by Ms. Karina C. Javier, Legal Officer of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) MIMAROPA and Dr. Jose R. Medina, the Overall Coordinator of the ISARD program. Dr. Jesse T. Zamora, President of MinSCAT awarded the certificates to the participants and challenged them to become a stronger organization.
The Victoria pilot project titled "Revitalizing Calamansi Industry in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro through Strengthening Linkages among Farmers, LGU, NGAs, SUCs, CSOs, and the Private Sector" aims to provide sustainable income and food and nutrition security to the community through revitalizing the calamansi industry. It is one of the pilot projects under the ISARD Piloting program spearheaded by the SEARCA Research and Development Department.