Development of Codes of Practice (CoPs) along the critical points of the Kinnow and mango supply chains was identified as major activity in the inception report of TRTA II programme to provide comprehensive guidelines to farmers, processors, exporters and other stakeholders involved with the aim to improve quality, increase production, maximize profit, and reduce losses.
National institutions such as Mango Research Station (MRS), Multan, Citrus Research Institute (CRI), Sargodha and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) having expertise for the development of CoPs were identified.
Ten farm clusters were selected in each sector. The four plus one approach of the cluster development was applied where each cluster has one big farmer with four or more associated members. Each farm cluster has an area of around 250 acres. The farm clusters also have the associated Pack Houses.
Research Institutes conduct Farmer Field Schools and training on regular basis in each cluster where all the members of the respective cluster participate. The researchers advise the farmers on application of good/preferred practices depending upon the stage of the crop. The CoPs developed by the pilot application, through the FFSs and trainings address all the critical points of the entire supply chain.
The TRTA II programme has been providing the technical assistance through the International and National Expertise to the farmers and processors/exporters on Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) since the initiation of the programme. Over the past 3 years the programme has fielded the International Expert in Good Agriculture Practice, Mr Kit Chan, to facilitate the Farmer Field Schools (FFSs) and hands on training of the technical staff of MRS, CRI and UAF to ensure the smooth and appropriate dissemination of relevant information to the farmers and processors/exporters.
The International Expert also conducted extensive training of the staff of the research institutes for the identification of the critical control points (CCPs) of the supply chain and helped them to narrate the CCPs and the CoPs in a way which is easily understandable to the farmers.
TRTA II programme organized a workshop to discuss and finalize the first Draft of CoPs and CCPs from 8-10 October 2013, at Serena Hotel Faisalabad. All the relevant stake holders participated in the workshop. The comments of all the participants were considered and the necessary changes were made in the Codes of Practice.
TRAINING OF MASTER TRAINERS
In order to further disseminate the CoPs beyond the 100 already assisted farms, TRTA II programme organized the Training of Master Trainers. TRTA II IE, Kit Chan and the NE M. Aurangzaib along with the officers from Research Directorate of Agricultural Dept. of Govt. of The Punjab [who developed the CoPs] conducted the training programs.
The officers of the Directorate of Extension, Pest Warning and Quality Control of Pesticides and In-service Agriculture Training Institute of the Agriculture Department of the Government of The Punjab and Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) were trained as Master Trainers.
The training of Master Trainers in Mango was conducted at Ramada Hotel, Multan from 17-20 November 2014 and the Training of Master Trainers in Kinnow was conducted from 25-28 November at Serena Hotel Faisalabad.
The CoP manuals were written for trainers in governmental and non-governmental developmental organizations who are preparing their staff to work together with farmers for the development of technologies appropriate to ecological agriculture and using few external inputs. The training programs were conceived and designed to stimulate active learning by participants who drew from their own experience an approach which mirrors the type of interaction between facilitator and farmers.
The training participants were given detailed presentations on each and every aspect of Mango and Kinnow farming and processing. A field trip was organized to Multan and another one to Sargodha for the practical hands-on training at the farms and the pack houses.
The Chief Executive Officer of PHDEC participated in the opening ceremony and the Director General Research of the Agriculture Department of the Govt. of The Punjab participated in the closing ceremony and also distributed the certificates to the participants.
Nineteen participants attended the training program on mango CoPs included the Agriculture Extension officers from major mango growing areas such as Rahim Yar Khan, Vehari, Khanewal, Muzaffargarh, Lodhran and Multan. Officers of the In-Service Agriculture Training Institute, Regional Agricultural Economic Development Centre (RAEDC) of the Agriculture Department of Government of The Punjab and PHDEC also attended the training.
Twenty four participants attended the training on Kinnow CoPs included the Agriculture officers from major Kinnow growing areas such as Toba Tek Singh and Sahiwal. Officers of the In-Service Agriculture Training Institute and Horticulture Research Institute of the Agriculture Department of Government of The Punjab and PHDEC also attended the training.
Master Trainers shall disseminate the CoPs to the farmers in their respective areas. TRTA II expects that through the application of the CoPs there should be an overall 20-25% increase in the production and improvement in quality.
In March-May 2015 TRTA II will conduct the training of additional twenty officers each in Kinnow and Mango sectors.
TRTA II is identifying additional 10 farm clusters in mango and 10 farm clusters in Kinnow [altogether 100 farms]. TRTA II will assign 1 farm cluster to 2 master trainers, who will conduct the Farm Field Schools under the guidance of Research Institutes. TRTA II will monitor the implementation and the progress.