Empowering Coconut Farmers: ATI-RTC8 Holds Training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Wed, 08/09/2023 - 11:28
GAP participants field visit

BAYBAY CITY, Leyte - In its effort to boost the development of the coconut farming industry in the region, the Agricultural Training Institute - Regional Training Center 8 (ATI-RTC 8) demonstrated its continuous support for the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Program (CFIDP). ATI-RTC 8 conducted a Training of Trainers (TOT) on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) specifically tailored for coconut production.

The five-day TOT workshop took place on July 24-28, 2023 at ATI-RTC 8, VSU, Baybay City, Leyte. Attending the activity were participants from various provinces in the Eastern Visayas region, including Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Samar. The attendees, comprised of twenty (20) individuals, were Agriculture Extension Workers (AEWs), enthusiastic farm school owners, and dedicated farm school trainers.

The training sessions were designed to ensure that the participants could actively engage and immerse themselves in the learning process. Throughout the workshop, attendees looked into various aspects of GAP for Coconut farming, receiving comprehensive instruction on the best practices for sustainable cultivation, pest and disease management, soil fertility enhancement, and efficient water resource management. Additionally, they were introduced to innovative techniques for post-harvest handling, processing, and value-addition to further maximize the economic potential of coconuts.

The participants found great value in the diverse workshops conducted during the training, particularly those focusing on the essential documents required for GAP certification. These workshops proved instrumental in helping the participants become well-versed in the preparation of necessary documents when they decide to pursue GAP certification for their agricultural endeavors. Moreover, the ACIAR Project staff assisting the activity expressed their keen enthusiasm to evaluate and support those individuals who showed interest in being GAP certified.

The farm visit to GAP certified farms in Baybay was met with enthusiastic appreciation from the participants. It provided them with a unique opportunity to closely observe the farms' well-maintained facilities and meticulously kept record books. Witnessing these successful GAP certified farms firsthand allowed the participants to realize that achieving certification is attainable even with the use of simple and cost-effective materials for their facilities. The visit served as an inspiring and eye-opening experience, instilling confidence in the participants that they too can achieve GAP certification and implement sustainable practices in their own farms.

The significance of adopting Good Agricultural Practices cannot be overstated. The proper implementation of GAP not only ensures the production of high-quality coconuts but also facilitates compliance with international standards, paving the way for certification and access to wider markets.