TRTA II signed an MoU with ASF in July 2015. ASF is working in the Kinnow sector, hence it was agreed that both programs collaborate for the dissemination of CoPs in Kinnow sector. It was agreed that the TRTA II programme would provide the technical expertise to conduct the training of Master Trainers.
The training of the Master Trainers took place from 13-16 October 2015 at Serena Hotel, Faisalabad. Thirty five participants were trained as Master Trainers. The participants included officers from the directorate of Agriculture Extension, Agriculture Marketing of the Government of The Punjab, farmers, processors/exporters, middlemen and the research scholars of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
Mr Altaf-ur-Rehman Khan, Director, Citrus Research Institute participated in the opening session. Speaking on the occasion, he said that development of CoPs for the entire Kinnow supply chain is a wonderful initiative of the TRTA II programme and the stakeholders of the entire supply chain are benefitting from it. He added that the idea to identify Critical Control Points (CCPs) for the Kinnow supply chain and developing guidelines to address them is a great contribution, as this is the first time that they have been identified. He also thanked ASF and the TRTA II programme for jointly conducting the training of Master Trainers that shall help in the dissemination of CoPs to the masses.
The participants of the training sessions were given detailed presentations on each and every aspect of Kinnow farming, processing and export. In addition, the Critical Control Points (CCPs) of the entire Kinnow supply chain were analyzed in detail. The training participants appreciated TRTA II for the development of guidelines to address the CCPs.
A field trip for a practical hands-on training at the farm and at the pack house was also organized for Sargodha on the last day of the training programme. Different farm practices were demonstrated to the participants during this trip.
The participants showed keen interest in the Furrow Irrigation system developed by the researchers of CRI. The Kinnow farmers of Sargodha are facing a shortage of irrigation water, especially in summers, therefore appreciated the idea of the development of an irrigation system. The scientists of CRI demonstrated to them that the Furrow Irrigation system saves at least up to 40% water and also helps to keep the plants healthy. All the farmers agreed to develop this irrigation system at their farms.At the pack house, the participants were briefed on Kinnow harvesting and processing for export purposes.
Mr. Bruno Valanzuolo, the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) of the TRTA II programme participated in the closing session and handed over the certificates to the trainees. While speaking to the new Master Trainers, Mr. Bruno stressed on the need to visualize the “forest” dimension of the problem, even though they are working on a “single tree”.
The “forest” dimension is the fact that Pakistan is still a rural based economy and produces more than two million tons of Kinnow fruit every year, but is able to export just 10% of it, while 40% of the crop is wasted. Countless men and women’s livelihood depends on the quality and quantity of mandarins produced. He encouraged the new Master Trainers to do their utmost to train as many illiterate farmers as possible on good agricultural practices. He concluded saying that he was confident that the CoPs and CCPs developed by the TRTA II programme would help farmers increase yield, improve quality and reduce losses. These goals will help the country in increasing its exports of Kinnow mandarins.