The year 2020 might not be a good year. But, for the 95 graduates of RCEF Training of Trainers, the year 2020 is one to be cherished. These graduates are expected to have acquired skills in producing high-quality inbred seeds, seed certification process, and, operating field machinery.
Thousands of rice farmers will face fresh, eager, and, committed individuals that would guide them in their journey to becoming globally competitive. Skills must be upgraded, efforts must be doubled. And whether we like it or not, farming is no longer like before. Today, the climate is erratic, market competition is tighter, and demand for sufficient quality rice is higher.
This is a challenge not only for the new farmer trainers but also for the entire training team composed in this program. Despite the threat of pandemic, they managed to pull this off with utmost precaution with respect to the health protocols, through the support of the Provincial Agriculture Office headed by Atty. Japhet Masculino and his reliable staff, PhilRice Negros Branch Director Dr. Gerardo Estoy, Jr., Training Coordinators, Ms. May Osano-Palanog and Mr. Gerald Bello and their unrelenting training management team, the IATF and DA Region VI who made this possible to be pushed through, LGUs and Farm Schools for sending their trainees, and, of course, the competent team of resource speakers from Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), National Seed Quality Control Services (NSQCS), OPA Negros Occidental, and PhilRice Negros technical staff.
This training of trainers is mandated under RA 11203 signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on February 14, 2019, to increase the number of technical experts on rice productions, strengthen knowledge sharing and learning, and to reach more numbers of farmers using recommended techniques.