TSEP-RLI was a technical cooperation project jointly conducted by GOP thru DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and GOJ thru JICA aimed at institutionalizing the training program for Rural Life Improvement (RLI) at the (ATI). As expected, farmers, fisherfolk, women, youth and extension agents were provided with efficient and effective training services from ATI leading to the improvement of quality of life in the rural areas through efforts of human resource development. The ATI- Bohol was chosen as the model center where participatory trials and various activities of the project were undertaken for five years. These activities were participatory surveys and data collection of on-farm and off-farm productive activities; planning workshop for RLI; feedbacking of survey results and action plans to the community and the Local Government Units (LGUs), and signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the Project and participating LGUs. The above activities were done to facilitate the planning and development of most effective and necessary rural life improvement activities, to confirm the willingness of the people to support and participate and to formalize the partnership between the Project and the LGUs. Since the concept of rural life covers a vast range of activities, a consensus had been reached that the total aspects of rural life be grasped in three spheres, namely, Production & Livelihood (P/L), Rural Living Condition (RLC) and Community Environment (C/E). The RLI for Ubi (Yam) Growers was one of the pilot activities undertaken in two pilot barangays and the target beneficiaries were members of the Rural Improvement Club (RIC- a group of organized women) with the LGU of the Municipality of Corella as the implementing partner. During the planning workshop, the barangay residents articulated their desire to promote production and processing of ubi (sphere on P/L - as the entry point), lack of nutritious food was one of the identified problem (sphere on RLC- expansion point) and environmental degradation such as deforestation, and soil erosion was another problem articulated by the community people (sphere on C/E- expansion point). Major activities that were undertaken namely, Ubi cooking contest, cooking/processing seminar, training courses on entrepreneurial development, ubi production and storage technology, packaging and product design, human resource development and simplified bookkeeping motivated the beneficiaries as well as developed and enhanced their skills & capabilities while strengthening their associations. Their participation to the 5 ubi festivals and other related activities had brought some impacts on their economic and rural life improvement activities. The seven principles of TSEP-RLI include the participatory process, holistic approach, dialogical approach, bottom -up training needs assessment, demand-driven approach, cost sharing approach and collaborative implementation with other agencies including LGUs and the community
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