All about the project: The “OURFood Chronicles” online.
Official end of the project
After seven years of very successful collaboration of AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation with Filipino Chambers of Commerce & Industry in the central Visayas region, supported by the Federal German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, sequa gGmbH, BKU e. V.and many other partners, the OURFood Project was officially closed on 30th September 2018. AFOS Foundation staff are very proud of the many positive results, this vocational training partnership project has achieved.
With the objective of implementing and improving qualification programs, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the regional agro industry, 12 agricultural associations, involved in the project, have obtained certifications of their „good agricultural practices“ (GAP) – three of those have even reached ‘organic standards’. In the project regions on the islands Negros and Cebu, a total of 1,365 small farmers have been trained in organic and sustainable agricultural techniques, 285 farmers have been taught basics of business administration. Moreover, the organic focus of the farmers‘ associations permitted improving the access to the market insofar, as more than 20 products have been produced, complying with market requirements and product standards; also, the members of the farmers’ associations have gained access to six new markets for their products.
In the course of the project, not only the competitiveness of the individual small agro enterprises was improved, also a positive influence on the development of the local and regional food industry sector can be observed: project chambers of commerce or business associations, which have incorporated services like GAP training and consultation in their regular portfolios, have linked themselves in different communities with local government units, in order to implement measures, to sensitize consumers on food quality and food safety.
The official end of the OURFood project means in no way the end of a highly successful project: the environmentally friendly and healthy practices, which have been acquired during the OURFood program, are already employed by 75 per cent of the project farmers. Moreover, media multiplyers are sensitizing ‘non-project farmers’ on food safety and quality standards, thus passing on their know how.
Qualification in the food sector
The choice of the food economy as pilot sector reflects development needs and potentials. The Philippines are a net importer of foodstuffs. Farming and the further-processing food economy are not productive enough and do not fulfil common standards of food safety and quality.
The aim of the pilot project is to improve the quality of products by means of vocational training at the three levels of the value-added chain in the food economy (production, processing, trade) and to fit those involved for production in accordance with the quality standards in force at any time.
(Good Agricultural Practice)-compliant. The farmers’ associations in Negros Oriental and Cebu Province are set to do the same in the course of 2016.
For the purposes of catch-up vocational training training courses in specific vocational fields (e.g. baking, butchery, food technology) have been offered by the trade & industry chambers for the food sector since 2013.
The chambers’ portfolio further includes services and training seminars in the area of GMP (good manufacturing practice) or HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points).
With the OURFood vocational training partnership programme the AFOS Foundation for Enterprise Development Cooperation in close cooperation with local partners, the Chamber of Industry and Trade in Cebu (CCCI) and those in Bacolod and Dumaguete have been supporting more than 800 farmers and 150 food producers earning a basic income mostly well below the poverty level.
The AFOS Foundation offers under the programme training, further-training and certification through the trade & industry chambers to raise the competitiveness of the businesses and their product quality and open up new markets.
Economic background conditions are thereby created that ensure our target groups lastingly stable incomes, open up long-term economic prospects and enable them and their families to live worthwhile lives.
A very satisfying and gratifying task for me as programme manager!
My very hearty thanks for your support!
Dietmar Speckmaier, long-term expert for OURFood in the Philippines
Here you can support the OURFood Project directly by your donation: