REPRESENTATIVES of the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) along with other stakeholders in Negros Occidental recently attended a workshop on sustainable agriculture in Vinh Long, Vietnam.
Dubbed “WeTrace Workshop on Implementation Tools for Multi-stakeholder Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture,” the five-day activity was held from March 16 to 21.
ANP was represented by its external affairs manager Sybel Nobleza and agri-technician Idyl Li Valendez.
Other participants from the province are Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Negros Occidental Director Allan Francis Daraug, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino and farmer Andrew Pelomeo.
DOST-Western Visayas Director Rowen Gelonga also attended the training-workshop.
“WeTrace” is a project of ANP focusing on implementing a traceability system for sustainable agriculture.
The association, in a statement, said the rest of the world has been moving towards contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals particularly on creating sustainable production and consumption patterns.
One of the main features is the requirement of traceability of all produced and consumed products, it said.
While working with at least 350 farmers in Negros Occidental, ANP, in cooperation with a German organization JusticeF, said that the latter provided the technology and funding through a private-public partnership project.
DOST- Western Visayas provided the electronic equipment to collect the data for stakeholders’ use.
There is an online platform where farmers, government and private sectors can communicate about farm-related concerns, farmer needs and consumer requirements, the organization also said.
“WeTrace” is also implemented at Vinh Long Province in Vietnam through Vietnam Support Center for Enterprise and Farm, a private partner headed by its Director Thanh Dang Huy.
The government counterpart in Vietnam included Dr. Kim Dinh Huyn of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
During the workshop, farmers in Vietnam were represented by the chief executive officers of various agricultural cooperatives such as Longgan Cooperative, Rambutan Cooperative, and Pomelo Cooperative.
ANP said the training followed a “soft approach” so that farmers will be able to understand and relate multi-stakeholder partnership (MSP) to their colleagues.
“MSP is an academic and abstract term. Stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, however, have to identify the concrete benefit in their day-to-day work. Thus, we laymanize the training workshop,” it said.
The project is considered unique in Asia. The output of the workshop will be documented into a guide book. (EPN)