By planter’s child adventures
Growing up with a father who is an agriculture extension officer, I have witnessed and have seen the day to day significant challenges of delivering farmer trainings in rural villages with limited or nil resources.
In Kaiapit in Markham where agriculture extension is active, officers still go out to teach farmers and serve the people.
As seen in the photographs above this training was basically to train farmers to grow rice and other crops like cucumbers, watermelon and Chinese cabbages in the off season.
NARI through Taiwan ICDF supplied seedlings and also gave a rice milling machine for the farmers to use.
This kind of training is important as it can guide farmers to meet targets like how many kilograms of rice to harvest and the expected quality during harvest time.
When farmers are empowered with relevant knowledge and skill, they are better placed to see where value chain meets the supply chain.
These are little things but they are very very important at the grass root farmer level. This kind of training coupled with specific others can have a remarkable improvement on the lives of farmers. It can also encourage farmers to go down the food chain and diversify in the sale of their produce.
This means getting enough quality and scale right to meet the consistent quality required and premium markets desired which is the bigger picture.
Farmers always welcome this kind of training with gratitude and humility to learn.
Dad told me that they enjoyed a hearty meal of taro creamed in gur(claypot) and chicken with the farmers after the training.
This is also an opportunity for the Taiwanese officials to learn about peoples livelihood, culture and the language of Markham people which is important part of people to people connection and public diplomacy in practice.
And collaborations like this is the way forward in agriculture extension at the district level. Investing in rural agriculture is key to improve farmer knowledge and skills and meeting key expectations along the value and supply chain. It is also significant for peoples livelihood sustenance.