The National Sectoral Committee (NSC) on Coconut together with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) gathered online to discuss the enhancement of capacity-building programs for coconut farmers on August 16, 2023.

The Meeting is in line with the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries NSC on Coconut Resolution No. 06, series of 2023, which recommends the ATI and the TESDA to re-evaluate the skills requirements of the coconut sector and enhance the capacity-building programs towards the development of the industry.

ATI Deputy Director Antonieta Arceo explained to the Committee that the trainings conducted by their agency are based on the training needs assessment (TNA), accomplished by the Development Academy of the Philippines. Other trainings were also carried out in support of the distribution programs of the Department of Agriculture.

“For example, may nakaschedule na distribution ng seeds or dairy animals, then the trainings to be conducted in the area will be about seed and dairy. We will have another TNA later this year and yun na ang magiging basehan ng mga magiging trainings next year, as response na din to the resolution forwarded to us,” Deputy Dir. Arceo furthered.

Meanwhile, Yvette Joy Lazada of TESDA also expressed their agency’s openness to facilitate the development of the needed programs that have no existing Training Regulations (TR) with the help of the industry players. The TR defines the competency standards for a national qualification, containing the competency-based curriculum, instructional materials, and competency assessment tools.

She also presented their 2023 Work and Financial Plan as well as their programs and initiatives under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP). This included the Coconut Farmers Scholarship Program and the list of initially identified skills requirements, validated by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), including the ongoing survey with PCA to determine the priority qualifications/skills in every region.

The Committee decided to recommend to the DA, through the PCA, the creation of a technical working group that will develop and harmonize the capacity-building programs for the coconut stakeholders. It also requested to intensify the information dissemination campaign on the CFIDP to expand the reach of stakeholders, especially those in remote areas. | Joy Camille Luza