The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has started training new brred of rice specialists to help the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) beneficiaries become competitive.
Titled Rice Specialists’ Training Course (RSTC), it is set to enhance the technical competence of rice focal persons from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Regional Centers and DA-Regional Field Offices, June 24-Aug. 17.Twenty-nine participants completed part 1 of the training course that focused on mind-setting to strengthen their sense of mission of helping farmers become more competitive through the transformational leadership framework. The second part of the training will focus on strengthening the rice specialists skills on diagnosing and managing field problems based on PalayCheck and Palayamanan Systems.
The modular season-long training, conducted by the Technology and Management Services Division (TMSD), is one of the preparatory activities of the Rice Extension Services Program established through the implementing rules and guidelines of RA 11203.
“There is a need to train a new generation of rice specialists as most of the graduates from the first training program were either retired, promoted to higher positions in the government, or transferred to private sector,” said TMSD Head Lea dR. Abaoag.
The first training of rice specialists was conducted in early 1990s during the implementation of KASAKALIKASAN Program, which focused on pest and disease management and facilitating FFS. The second generation were trained 2008-2011. They were hired by the Institute as Rice Sufficiency Officers and deployed in major rice-producing provinces.
Abaoag said that the third part of the training, slated on Sept. 23-Oct 25, will focus on other knowledge and skills that will help in improving the delivery and sharing of rice production technologies to farmers.
The trainees will be divided into five groups to handle field demonstration in the learning farm located at PhilRice. They will also manage a Farmers’ Field School and establish PalayCheck technology demonstration in Llanera and Rizal, Nueva Ecija where they can immediately apply their learnings from the training.
“We are aligning our modules with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) module/guidelines so that the trainees will be ready for NC II assessment on Grains Production” Abaoag explained.
The new generation of rice specialists will be included in the pool of resource persons for the rice production trainings after completing the course. They will also handle technical dispatches in their respective areas.
RCEF or Rice Fund was created through RA 11203, an act liberalizing the importation, exportation and trading of rice, lifting for the purpose the quantitative import restriction on rice, and for other purposes. Sen. Cynthia A. Villar is the principal author and proponent of the said law. Ten percent of the Rice Fund will be used for the provision of extension services by PhilRice, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech), ATI, and TESDA.