JICA introduce the SHEP approach in MAFAR

COTABATO CITY- The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on October 19, led a one-day seminar on the introduction of Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP).

Around Fifty participants, mostly MAFAR Municipal Officers, Supervising Agriculturists, senior agriculturists, and Technical staff, participated in the activity at the Paragon Hotel.

Chief Advisor of CDPB-JICA, Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi, welcomed the participants and expressed his positive looking toward the said event.

“This approach will likely help the farmers change their livelihood, especially those smallholder farmers here in BARMM Region,” Mr. Hoshi said.

He also emphasized that the SHEP approach had already been introduced and practiced in almost 60 countries worldwide.

“We are fortunate and lucky to have this new program for our farmers, especially in the transition period,” said Director II for Agriculture Operations Engr. Ismail A. Guiamel, who represents MAFAR Minister Mohammad S. Yacob, Ph.D.

Director Guiamel also commends the JICA for their full support and untiring partnership within the ministry for the promotion of changing the living condition of every Bangsamoro farmer.

Meanwhile, the Senior Advisor of JICA and founder of SHEP, Dr. Jiro Aikawa, presents the introduction and orientation of the SHEP Approach, including some success stories.

Also, Senior Agriculturist Ramil M. Timpolok, who attended the knowledge Co-Creation Program on SHEP, presents his Action Plan.

The SHEP was Developed in Kenya through a technical cooperation project by JICA, which was started in 2006 in East Africa. An extension approach that realizes “Market-Oriented Agriculture” and aims to change the farmer’s mindset on marketing from “Grow and Sell” to “Grow to Sell.”

It also includes Promoting “Farming as a Business” and Developing and Motivating people with effective activity designs and tips.

Other officials were also present in the said activity, including AMAD OIC Chief Datu Hamsur Zaid, Advisor to the Chief Minister MR. Naoyuki Ochiai, JICA Field Coordinators, and other staff.