FoodSTART+ staff shares expertise in FishCORAL’s nation-wide Business plan development training

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The Fisheries, Coastal Resources, and Livelihood Project or FishCORAL is one of FoodSTART+’s IFAD-investment project partners in the Philippines. FishCORAL is present in 4 regions in the country: the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Region 5 (Bicol region), Region 13 (CARAGA region), and Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) – where the project partnership originated. The FoodSTART+ partnered with FishCORAL in Region 8 to build resilience fishing and farming households through the integration of root and tuber crops in their livelihood systems.

A Business Plan Development Training cum Writeshop was conducted in the 4 FishCORAL regions: ARMM on July 3-7 in Davao city, CARAGA on July 10-14 in Butuan city, Bicol on July 17-21 in Sorsogon city, and Eastern Visayas on July 24-29 in Tolosa, to capacitate community facilitators (CFs) in business plan writing and development. The CFs, in consultation with their beneficiary-slash-partner People’s Organization (PO), are to submit project proposals accompanied by business plans to IFAD, hence the training and writeshop. Prior to it, the National Project Coordinating Office (NPCO) sent the regions with field guides to facilitate gathering the data vital in writing the business plans.

The 1st session about Sustainable livelihood framework was discussed by Ms. Mariquit Alano, FishCORAL Livelihood Specialist, which also gave the 2nd session about Social Investigation. The 3rdsession was discussed by Mr. Ruel Cabile, FishCORAL Gender and Institutions Specialist. The last session, Business plan writeshop proper was given by CIP-FoodSTART+ Technical Advisory Pool (TAP) member Dr. Julieta Roa, Senior Research Associate Ms. Arma Bertuso, and Research Assistant Ms. Guada Marie Babilonia.

The participants were divided into groups based on the commodities/technologies their People’s Organization (PO) are going to pursue. The different regions have varied commodities which depend on geographical attributes and resources existing in the area. Some of these technologies include lobster (family NephropidaeHomaridae) production, mud crab (Scylla serrata) or blue swimming crab (Portunus pelagicus) fattening, fish e.g. milkfish (Chanos chanos), siganids (genus Siganidae), etc. in cage culture production, seaweeds (Kappaphycus alvareziiEucheuma denticulatum) culture, fish pots technology, fish and other seafood processing, and fish pond culture production. Non-aquaculture or mariculture technologies are also encouraged as a livelihood of fishing households such as vegetable and root and tuber crops production.

Initial data from the field guides were processed prior to writing the business plan. The lectures were divided per business plan component where participants were given ample time after each lecture to write their own. These plans were refined afterward, then a representative from each group presented a sample from their group for critiquing, then further refined later.

Participants are composed of 127 community facilitators, 14 members of People’s Organization, 4 TWG members, 6 Provincial Fishery Officers, 3 LGUs, 32 RPMO officers and staff, 3 resource speakers and 6 from PSCO. A total of 195 participants, 90 males and 105 females.

Prepared by Guada Marie Babilonia
Read the original blog post on the IFAD Asia website.