The training program that started in January this year is in support of the Institute’s Rural Transformation Movement (RTM) to develop and promote rice-based enterprises. Key components of the program are record-keeping and marketing.
Around 30 participants were taught on how to record their expenses such as farm inputs and labor costs. Lecturers from PhilRice Bicol emphasized the importance of keeping receipts, inventories, and crop information to facilitate smooth recording of expenses.
“With this training, I deemed record-keeping necessary. It tells if I failed or succeeded in a cropping season, whether I gained or lost money,” said Expectacion Buractaon, 69, from Brgy. Pandan.
Buractaon added that farmers should be very organized, for instance, by keeping their records on a notebook.
Basic marketing principles related to farming as a business were also discussed. Sessions on this topic included interactive activities where the participants learn to manage capital, farm operations, emerging challenges, and marketing.
Participants were also trained on mushroom production in line with the PalaYamaNayon strategy which promotes diversification, intensification, and integration to boost the income of rice-based farming villages.
“We gather their [mushroom] produce and help them market it. We provide them with farm inputs until they can operate on their own,” said Kristine Paliza, a training facilitator from PhilRice.
The participants visited agri-enterprises and participatory varietal trial fields. They also performed hands-on activities on the use of rice technologies such as the Minus-One Element Technique (MOET).
Other topics introduced in the training were leadership, small farm business planning, farm management, and entrepreneurship for farmers. Participants are now set to venture into vegetable production in various demonstration sites.
“The government of Ligao partnered with PhilRice to help the participants become farmer-extension workers to hasten technical support to other farmers in the city,” said Jean Mirandilla, R&D coordinator of PhilRice Bicol.
The training management team will help the participants organize a farmer group recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to expand their network and funding opportunities.