Svalof Consulting and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) brought into the country 22 participants for the second phase of their International Training in Plant Breeding and Seed Production in collaboration with the Departrment of Agriculture (DA) last month.
The program was launched at the Manila Hotel, after which the participants engaged in a thorough discussion on seed production and the development of sturdier, more nutritious crops.
Svalof Consulting and Sida worked with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), in organizing the training workshop.
The 17 countries represented in the workshop were Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Kenya, Mozambique, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Plant breeders, seed growers, geneticists, and seed technologists from both the private and public sector joined the workshop.
According to Svalof, a seed company, the training was especially designed for qualified individuals who could contribute in strategic reforms or hold positions with mandate to run processes of change. The first phase of the training was conducted in Sweden last year.
Before the start of the training, the participants were assigned to write a situation analysis describing the current situation in plant breeding and seed production in their home countries.
Based on this analysis and as one of the most important output of the training, they were asked to propose a relevant project which they will carry out in their home countries.
For the second phase of the training, each participant was required to present progress reports on respective projects.
Per Andersson, Svalof program director, during the opening program held at the Manila Hotel on March 7, said he is thankful for the warm welcome they received from the Philippines and hopes to continue Svalof’s collaboration with the country.
“The program aims to broaden the participants’ knowledge of modern plant breeding and seed industry, and improve their understanding of organization management and modern technology in the complete chain from plant breeding to marketing,” he said.
“As an agricultural country where most farmers are smallholders, the Philippines is always in need of an accessible supply of high-quality seeds of different crop varieties. The government is now working towards empowering the farmers to become seed growers themselves instead of relying from dole outs,” said BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar, who welcomed the participants and gave a brief presentation on the recent research and development (R&D) management innovations in agriculture and fisheries.