A farm owner in Guimba, Nueva Ecija gains additional income from establishing a farm school accredited under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP).
Myriad Farms owner Viola Fern Sebastian, together with her partner Frianina V. Resplandor, said they have been earning a net income of P100,000 per batch of training after their farm school was accredited by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“Our farm school is an additional source of income. We receive a grant of more than P200,000 for one batch of training with 25 students. Deducting expenses, the net income would be around P100,000,” Resplandor said.
Myriad farms serve as venue for RCEF-funded Farmers Field School where rice growers are trained on the production of high-quality inbred rice, seed certification, and farm mechanization. The farm school has already accommodated five batches of training since April 2020.
“Currently, we have 200 farm scholars who started learning in December 2020 and are expected to finish end of April 2021. Batches are limited to 25 students following health protocols of the national government,” she said.
The farm, according to Resplandor, started as an accredited Learning Site by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), then applied as a Farm School at TESDA.
“We followed the guidelines to be an accredited farm school. We gathered the necessary documentary requirements. Then, TESDA came over to conduct site inspection and after we passed that level, TESDA validated us as an accredited farm school,” Resplandor recalled.
Resplandor had received positive feedback from the first batch of trainees especially on mechanization.
“Our trainees are excited to try the machines. One student even took a step further. He made his own drumseeder because he said it helps him lower his production cost compared with broadcasting,” Resplandor said.
She furthered encouraged farm owners to apply for farm school accreditations.
“You’re helping the community while gaining more income,” she said.
Farm schools are established nationwide as part of the RCEF program to equip rice farmers and farmworkers with knowledge and skills on the latest rice farming technologies.