Sweet potato farmers, processors, and agricultural technicians from West Leyte and Samar are now undergoing training to establish and maintain Farmer Business Schools (FBS) in this area, January 10-13, at the Philippine Rootcrops Research and Training Center (PhilRootcrops) at VSU.

Participants to this training are expected to become facilitators in the FBS in Hilongos, Baybay, Ormoc, Villaba, Isabel, and Palompon in Leyte, and Basey, Sta. Rita, and Dulag in Samar. They will mentor and monitor the upkeep of the local enterprise groups.

The training is led by the Sweet Potato Industry Strategic Programme (SP-ISP) through PhilRootcrops value chain practitioners Dr. Julieta Roa and Marlon Tambis, and Technical Working Group member Dr. Roberta Lauzon.

The FBS concept was developed by the Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP) based in Lima, Peru in 2008 through a project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research that sought to link vegetable farmers with markets in West and Central Java, Indonesia. FBS is a participatory learning approach supporting farmers’ participation in dynamic agricultural value chains. Guided by a structured yet flexible curricular framework, FBS comprises a series of group-based experiential learning activities over a production marketing cycle while interacting with other chain actors and stakeholders.

A training of FBS facilitators for farmers and processors in Albay, Bicol is slated on January 24-27. This will be the third after the first facilitators training in Tarlac in November last year.

SP-ISP is a value chain development program funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development. PhilRootcrops, government research, training, and development center housed at VSU leads the support and capacity building project of SP-ISP. 

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