New Aqua-based Business School curriculum to be piloted by FishCORAL with FoodSTART+

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FoodSTART+’s Farmer Business School approach has taken a new notch as FishCORAL has adapted it into the Aqua-based Business School (ABS).

A writeshop for finalizing the ABS curriculum was conducted on 26-28 February 2018 at the Icon Hotel, Quezon City, Philippines. The writeshop was attended by ten (10) FishCORAL participants representing the four regions targeted by the project – mostly Livelihood Officers, Gender and Institution Officers, and representatives of the National Office – and 3 resources persons from CIP-FoodSTART+, Philippines.

Participants in discussion during the curriculum finalisation writeshop on 26-28 February at Quezon City, Philippines.

The new curriculum will be disseminated in the upcoming Training of Facilitators (ToF) scheduled on May 8-12 in Tacloban City for Region 8, and May 15-18 in Butuan City for Caraga Region. The ToF is the first step before the actual implementation of ABS in FishCORAL’s project sites.

The intensive writeshop was a collaborative effort of FishCORAL and FoodSTART+ staff in refining the curriculum drafted in Tacloban City on 24 November 2017. The new curriculum had been already reviewed and refined by the FishCORAL Regional Project Management Offices (RPMO) from all FishCORAL project sites, Project Support and Coordination Office (PSCO) at the national level, and CIP-FoodSTART+ project staff.

The participants brainstorming on the final curriculum.

Session 1 of the writeshop opened with the customary preparatory activities: prayer, singing of the National Anthem, BFAR Hymn, and welcome remarks (given by Ms. Jessica Muñoz, National Project Coordinator of FishCORAL), followed by a short message from Ms. Melanie Guerra, Officer-in-Charge of the Fisheries Policy & Economic Division (FPED). After acknowledging the participants, an overview of the updates was presented by Ms. Kit Alano, FishCORAL Livelihood Specialist. Session 2 started with the presentation of the draft manual by Ms. Arma Bertuso, Senior Research Associate of CIP-FoodSTART+. Going systematically through all modules of the ABS curriculum, from the General Overview until the Post-ABS Support, the content of the draft manual was reviewed word by word and discussed in depth by participants until it was edited in consensus.

The next step is the actual implementation of ABS in FishCORAL target sites. At the end of the process, led by FishCORAL facilitators and supported by FoodSTART+ and locally available business development services, participant farmers are expected to have strengthened entrepreneurial capacities and new or better products launched in the market, including composite products made of a combination of roots, tubers and fisheries.

Written by: Guada Babilonia, Philippines Country Facilitator, CIP-FoodSTART+