Since its first establishment in the 1980s, Shell Training Farms (STF) has taken pride in helping upskill Filipino farmers by educating them on sustainable practices, providing skills development opportunities, and helping them understand innovative technologies to optimize their harvest. Over the years, STF has helped communities and their farmers, one of them is Jason Losares.
“Ang Shell Training Farms (STF) ay nagtuturo ng Integrated Farming Bio-System (IFBS) at tumutulong sa farmers kagaya namin.”
At STF Bombon, one can find Jason Losares. Losares is a barangay kagawad, committee chairman on agriculture in their community, and a member of San Joaquin Vegetables Farmers Association or ‘Sajovespa’.
Losares, along with the other members of Sajovespa, had learned through the IFBS program to improve their approach.
The program is designed to promote the positive effects of crop production and animal agro-forestry, creating and using bio-organic fertilizers, and farm entrepreneurship. Through those actions, the IFBS program helps farmers maximize crop production and income with less work input and less production cost.
Participating in the IFBS program created positive results for Mr. Losares — from his farming approach to his daily life as a farmer.
“Dahil sa IFBS, naging progresibo at mas nakatitipid kami sa mga gastusin araw-araw.” Losares explains “Hindi na rin naming kailangan bumili ng sintetik na ispray at kemikal na pataba dahil natuto kami sa Shell Training Farm na gumawa ng sarili naming pataba.”
Part of the IFBS program involves helping farmers to make their own organic sprays and fertilizers, and farming without relying on any unnecessary chemicals. Other learnings from the farm include (but aren’t limited to) planting crops according to the season, and vermicomposting to create a type of fertilizer called Vermica.
Helping farmers learn innovative techniques is important. Though some parts of the program might sound tedious, the people at STF go out of their way to ensure that the program runs smoothly for everyone.
“Ang mga staff ng Shell Training Farms ay sobrang approachable talaga. Ang karanasang ‘di namin malilimutan habang nasa training ay ang magandang natutunan namin sa pagtatanim at sa pamamagitan ng IFBS.”
When it comes to the competency of the program and those handling it, Losares is confident that the training farm is capable of sharing advancements to the country’s farmers.
“Sa aking palagay ang STF ay may sapat na pangangasiwa at pasilidad sa pagtuturo ng IFBS. Sa palagay ko ang management ng STF ay may sapat na kakayahan para magturo ng mga bagong kaalaman.” he adds.
Losares is optimistic that more farmers will participate and learn from the IFBS program at Shell Training Farms. He’s hopeful that the program will continue to change lives moving forward. He expresses his desire for STF and the program to expand and help farmers in more aspects outside the program.
“Sana ang mga susunod na magsasanay ay may mga bagong matutunan at sana hindi lang nagtatapos sa pagsasanay. Sana rin magkaron ng teknikal support at intervention sa tulad namin na maliliit na magsasaka.”
Furthermore Losares wishes that more farmers, even at farther communities could get access to the wonderful programs offered by the training farm.
“kung maaari po ang pagsasanay ay maibaba o madala sa mga barangay ng sa ganon madaming makadalo sa pagsasanay sa IFBS.”
As more effective agricultural practices and technology come into light, STF continuously researches, studies, and adapts programs to help Filipino farmers achieve better results. The IFBS program is among the different efforts Shell Training Farms does to proactively upskill farmers. Despite challenges, the training farms push through and the efforts to make progress in agricultural stability continues to move the Filipino forward.