The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) has established 22 info-hubs among the different model farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) who are beneficiaries of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program.
The establishment of info-hubs is a convergence communication intervention project of the Rice Extension Services Program (RESP)1 of RCEF implemented by PhilRice, ATI, PHilMech and TESDA.
It aims to provide the FCA recipients comprehensive and diverse communication materials where farmer-beneficiaries and their dependents can have free access to localized information, education, and communication (IEC) materials about the program, where knowledge sharing and learning (KSL) activities can be conducted locally.
PHilMech sees the said project as a strategy to educate and inform not just the primary target audience which are the farmer-recipients, but also the secondary audience which are the women and the youth (wives and children of farmer-members of the FCAs).
“Nagpapasalamat po ako dahil sa mga karagdagang kaalaman po na dumating dito sa SOPCO. Malaking tulong po ito para sa mga magsasaka at sa amin po na wala pang masyadong kaalaman sa paggamit ng iba’t-ibang uri ng makinarya,” said Mary Grace E. Orguino, person-in-charge of the info-hub of Samaleño Organiko Producers Cooperative (SOPCO) in Samal, Bataan.
“Ngayon magkakaroon na kami ng idea kung paano gamitin ng maayos yung hand tractor na bigay sa amin ng PHilMech,” she added.
A total of 13 info-hubs among the model FCAs from Luzon, 1 from Visayas and 8 from Mindanao were already established.
Monitoring and evaluation of this project will be conducted quarterly by PHilMech Info-Hub officers and PIC of the FCA.
“Madalas at gustong-gusto kinukuha ng mga farmer members ay yung Reference Manual kasi nandoon na lahat ng information tungkol sa mga makinarya mula land preparation hanggang milling”, said Evangeline T. Atio-Ann, info-hub PIC of the Villaverde Development Cooperative (VILDECO).
“Nakakatuwa dahil pati mga kabataang magsasaka na miyembro ng aming cooperative ay nagbabasa at kumukuha ng mga IEC materials dito sa info-hub,” she added.
Meanwhile, pre-intervention surveys (PIS) were also conducted prior to the distribution of info-hub materials to gauge the level of awareness, knowledge and practice of the farmers in terms of mechanized farming. By the end of the program, an evaluation will be conducted in order to determine the outcome of the intervention to the target audience.
Article by Jenny Angeline B. Poco