August 8, 2018
JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada (left) with Dr. Blanquita Pantoja, Team Leader, University of the Philippines Los Banos (in pink) and Engr. Santos Meracap, Jr., National Irrigation Administration, acting Project Management Officer for HCAAP (right) award the certificate to a farmer from Northern Samar who has completed the JICA training on new rice farming technology
One hundred fifty-nine farmers in Northern Samar underwent a series of training from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to help them explore agribusiness opportunities and boost their income.
The training is part of Special Assistance for Project Sustainability (SAPs) for the Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAAP) composed of 11 modules that began from May to July 2018.
"JICA has dedicated much of its work to alleviating the plight of farmers and those living in rural areas. We are well aware of the needs of the common farmers to increase their income and raise productivity of their soil," said JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada. "This is why this training aims to help farmers change their mindset on farming as a way of life to an agribusiness opportunity."
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2015 Family Income and Expenditure Survey showed that Filipino farmers remain among the country's poorest sectors, with poverty incidence at 34.3%.
Farmer beneficiaries of the project were trained on values formation and use of technology such as PalayCheck and organic farming.
The training for farmers from Catubig and Las Navas in Northern Samar is in fact a follow-up support to an earlier JICA assistance to accelerate agriculture development in Central Visayas in 2001 involving construction of irrigation facilities, farm-to-market roads, and rural water supply systems to name a few.
Since the 1960s, JICA's official development assistance (ODA) to the Philippines has included agriculture as among its priorities. The first batch of Japanese volunteers in the country after the war was dispatched in Benguet Province to help local farmers. JICA has also assisted more than 300 agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in the Philippines from 1996-2015.