Capability building for EPP teachers/coordinators of DepEd held

In connection with the promotion and commercialization of dragon fruit production here in the Ilocos region, a three-day seminar workshop titled Capability Building for EPP Teachers/Coordinators of DepEd was conducted by the Ilocos Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (ILARRDEC) in collaboration with the Mariano Marcos State University, Province of Ilocos Norte, and Department of Education (DepEd) last November 6-8, 2012 held at MMSU Function Hall, Batac City. Almost 150 participants composed of EPP Teachers/Coordinators from DepEd-Ilocos Norte, Laoag City, and Batac City attended the said training. The aim of the three-day training was to equip the EPP teachers/coordinators knowledge, skills, and understanding on the nature and benefits of dragon fruit as well as the process involved in propagation. One of the outputs of the training is to come up with a training module highlighting the dragon fruit to be included in the curriculum of the DepEd. Mr. Leonardo T. Pascua, the regional techno-transfer coordinator of ILARRDEC and project leader of the dragon fruit RDE, led the initiative in conducting said activity. During the opening program of the workshop, he discussed the rationale and objectives of the activity and what will be the impact of it not only to the youth but also in the society. Head of the different agencies such as MMSU President Miriam E. Pascua, Consortium Director Dr. Stanley C. Malab, Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Cecilia Aribuabo, and Ms. Araceli C. Pastor represented by Mr. Marju Miguel attended the training and gave their messages for the said activity.

Lecturers and resource persons of the workshop were from MMSU-CAFSD, CBEA, CTE, and CIT. Mr. Pascua led the first lecture on the first day which he discussed about the dragon fruit and its health benefits followed by Prof. Maura Luisa S. Gabriel with her topic on how to grow dragon fruit and Prof. Imelda Najorda’s sustaining dragon fruit production through values integration. On the second day, the participants were given an opportunity to have a tour at Catuguing Elementary School in San Nicolas and at REEER Farm of Mr. Rogel Castillo in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. They had witnessed the outcomes and success of these growers and adopters through planting dragon fruit.  After that, they returned to the function hall for the dragon fruit food processing demonstration led by Dr. Lorma Valera and company. In here, they learned different dishes and delicacies to be processed through dragon fruit as its main ingredient. The participants were also tasked to make an observations and lessons learned based from the sites visited earlier. Then their outputs were presented by district. Moreover, economics of dragon fruit production was also presented by Dr. Marilou P. Lucas wherein she explained the economic aspects on engaging dragon fruit as a business.

Lastly, on the third day, another informative learning was presented to the participants. Prof. Rose Francis E. Mina, department chair of BEED Department of CTE, discussed the module designing for techno-transfer of dragon fruit. Through this lecture, the participants were given example of making a module highlighting the importance of dragon fruit written in local dialect. After that, they were tasked to make such for them to be able to submit a module as the main output of their 3-day workshop. Another topic was presented by the last lecturer Prof. Edwin B. Rivera entitled integrating dragon fruit production in the K-12 curriculum. Aside from these, special testimonial acts were delivered by Engr. Albert Calsada of Bacarra and Engr. Dondie Arcangel of Laoag Cty. They discussed their experiences and lessons learned for being a successful dragon fruit growers. By this training, it is expected that each participant will apply what they have learned in the training and include in their curriculum about the health benefits and wonders of dragon fruit not only because of its booming industry in the province but also for their pupils  to learn and adopt the good practices in venturing dragon fruit production.