TESDA, DA to train 104,808 farmers in 2020

TAGUIG CITY - The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its attached agencies, is eyeing the provision of skills training for 104, 808 rice farmers this 2020.

Through the Rice Extension Services Program (RESP) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), skills training are provided to farmers and their dependents listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

Among the 104,808 listed, 73,425 scholarship slots are allotted for Farmer Field Schools (FFS); 15,648 for Rice Machinery Operations (RMO) NC II; 3,871 for Drying and Milling Plant Servicing NC III; 2,875 for Solar Powered Irrigation System Operation and Maintenance NC II; and 8,989 for Small Engine Servicing (Certificate of Competency). 

The FFS covers 14 days of training in a span of 4-5 months, while Small Engine Servicing covers 18 days. RMO covers 29 days, and 32 for Drying and Milling.

Currently, there are 1,010 municipalities in 57 priority provinces targeted for the RCEF program.

These municipalities were the identified rice-producing areas by DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), except for those in the National Capital Region (NCR), which is a non-rice-producing Region.

Data from the TESDA Scholarships Management Division - Regional Operations Management Office (SMD-ROMO) shows that TESDA Eastern Visayas (Region VIII) has the biggest number of scholarships benefiting 3,363 rice farmers.

This is followed by Western Visayas (TESDA-Region VI) which has implemented skills training to 3,100 farmers while TESDA –Region II in Cagayan Valley has granted scholarships to 1,769 rice farmers.

All other concerned TESDA regional offices are currently implementing their respective skills training as provided under the RESP.  

Last January 9 and 10, the DA and TESDA conducted a planning workshop to intensify the RCEF implementation.

The two-day workshop gathered some 200 regional representatives of TESDA and several concerned attached agencies of the DA such as the Agricultural Training Institute, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering as well as representatives from the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.  The DA chief, Secretary William Dar was also in attendance to welcome the workshop participants.

The workshop allowed the participants to draft plans on how to fast track the implementation of the various components of the fund.  It also strengthened the coordinative linkages among the involved agencies at the national, regional and provincial levels.

“The fact that the law compels several agencies to join forces indicates the urgency of the situation,” said TESDA Director General, Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña during his opening message.

“The more we understand what is expected of us, the better we can coordinate our plans and address the concerns that may crop up in this workshop” added the TESDA chief.

The Rice Extension Services Program (RESP) of the RCEF is implemented by TESDA among other DA attached agencies to provide services such as skills training on rice crop production, modern rice farming techniques, seed production, farm mechanization, and knowledge/technology transfer through farm schools nationwide.