From early 2008 until June, 2009 the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) supported a project known as the FOR THE EAST ASEAN INITIATIVE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES PILOT PROJECT (EAI-BDS). Under EAI-BDS two BDS (business development service) units were formed as a means of collaborating with government agencies and the private sector to build capacity among farmer groups.
The two BDS units are Sea Farmers Development Services Inc. (SFDS) in Zamboanga, Philippines and P.T. Flores Mitra Bersama FMB) in Maumere, Flores, Indonesia. Through these BDS seaweed technical training materials were prepared in the form of nine modules. The modules were based on materials originally developed by Seaplant.net under the IFC-PENSA program and during a GTZ-sponsored BIMP-EAGA initiative. The particular contribution of EAI-BDS has been to support editing, translation and production of these modules from English into Bahasa Indonesia and Pilipino. EAI-BDS has also supported workshops for farmers, trainers andtrainers of trainers.
The modules are available as free downloads from www.seaplant.net and www.jasuda.net:
Contents, overview, glossary and references for Good Aquaculture Practices for Cottonii and Spinosum Seaweeds including an overview of basic biology.
Module 1 - Social and Environmental Impacts
Module 2 - Taxonomy, Reproduction and Morphology
Module 3 - Basic Physiology
Module 4 - Agronomics and Crop Logging
Module 5 - Grazers, Diseases, Weeds and Other Problems
Module 6 - Farm Habitat Systems
Module 7 - Crop growth and yields
Module 8 - A short course of training for good post-harvest treatment of raw dried seaweeds (RDS)
Module 9 - Basic Book-keeping for Seaweed Farmers
Since April 25 there have been 239 downloads of the English version and 431 downloads of the Indonesian version. The Pilipino version was posted on June 26 and ten downloads occurred that day.
Besides being available as website downloads the nine modules have been used in the conduct of courses. Seaweed technical training has been provided to three types of participants:
- Seaweed farmers and farm enterprise managers
- Managers of BDS units
- Trainers and extension workers of government agencies responsible for seaweed farmer training
Of special note is the collaborative effort that has been undertaken by regional extension organizations in support of BIMP-EAGA seaweed farmer training initiatives. In order to function effectively as BDS it is necessary for FMB and SFDS to assist and complement the seaweed farmer training activities of farmer trainers and extension workers with the fisheries departments and other agencies of the BIMP-EAGA countries.
One of the main requirements of such training agencies is the availability of course materials such as the nine modules produced in English, Pilipino and Bahasa during EAI-BDS. During the project we were given three opportunities to present the EAI-BDS modules to trainers and to trainers of trainers at three BIMP-EAGA workshops that were partially funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and mostly funded by the national or state fisheries departments receiving the training.
The first workshop was held from March 24-28, 2009 in Semporna, Sabah under the title “Bengkel Rantaian Nilai Dalam Industri Rumpai Laut (Value Chain Training on Seaweed)”. The workshop was funded by the Sabah Fisheries Department and University Malaysia, Sabah and by GTZ. It was organized by Prof. Madya Dr. Suhaimi Md. Nasir and his staff from the School of Science and Technology at University Malaysia Sabah. The workshop was attended by fourty-four registered attendees from East and West Malaysian universities, government agencies and private companes including 35 male and 9 female trainers.
Seaweed farmer trainers and extension people that attended Bengkel Rantaian Nilai Dalam Industri Rumpai Laut in Semporna durin March, 2009.
The second workshop was held in Zamboanga, Philippines from May 6-8, 2009 under the title of “Seaweeds Multipliers Training”. It was funded by the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and by GTZ. The workshop was organized by Ms. Evelyn Vargas and Mr. Noel Barut and their staff from BFAR. It was attended by 39 registered attendees from business, government and academia in Mindanao and Palawan including 24 male and15 female trainers. Regional representation was from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Western Mindanao Seaweed Industry Foundation Inc. (WIMSIDFI); Zamboanga City College (Fisheries); BFAR Manila; and BFAR represeantatives from Regions 4B, 9, 10, 12 and 13.
Seaweed farmer trainers and extension people that attended the “Seaweeds Multipliers Training workshop in Zamboanga from May 6-8, 2009.
The third workshop was held in Makassar, Indonesia from June 10-13, 2009 under the banner “Multiplier Training on Good Aquaculture Practice on Seaweed”. It was funded by Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan (DKP) ( Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries) and GTZ. The workshop was organized by Seaplant.net with the assistance of Mr. Ateng Supriatna and his staff from DKP. The training was attended by 19 registered DKP Field Facilitators including 12 male and 7 female trainers. They were from nine South Sulawesi regencies including Takalar, Bantaeng, Janeponto, Bulukumba, Pangkep, Baru, Wajo, Bone and Luwu Utara.
Seaweed farmer trainers and extension people that attended Multiplier Training on Good Aquaculture Practice on Seaweed in Makassar during June 10-13, 2009
The EAI-BDS training modules were reviewed page-by-page at these workshops not only as a matter of training but also as a means of learning by the EAI-BDS team. There was a great deal of useful feedback from the workshop participants, many of whom have had several years experience with seaweed farmer training. The general response of participants at all three workshops was very positive and there was lively discussion about farming techniques and value chain issues – especially price and “trading games”.
All in all the workshops were a positive experience for all parties concerned. The modules will continue to be improved by the feedback recieved during these events.