LAMUT, Ifugao – Officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are currently monitoring and status of the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) at the Ifugao State University (IFSU) here.
The ISMTP is a program that aims to empower the village people in the heritage sites of Ifugao to improve their quality of lives by harmonizing heritage conservation, environmental preservation and economic activities.
This is aligned with the Human Resource Development Program (HRDP) of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) designated- site in the Philippines which is the Ifugao Rice Terrraces. The methods of the program are patterned after the Noto Satoyama Satoumi Meister Training Project being spearheaded by the Kanazawa University of Japan.
At least 17 trainees from the heritage sites of the province attended the various lectures under the program such as the natural farming system, land utilization, management of heirloom rice production, ecological concepts and practices and others.
The trainees, who are expected to graduate this March, also attended hands-on trainings on food production, native delicacy preparation and were given educational tour to some successful small scale enterprises in Ifugao like the taro production and traditional and modern rice wine facilities. They also visited Japan where they interacted with their counterpart trainees.
JICA Senior Representative Azukizawa Eigo expressed hope that the trainees under the ISMTP would be involved in economic activities in their respective communities where they should apply what they learned from the training.
IFSU President Serafin Ngohayon said that the continuous collaboration between IFSU, the provincial and municipal local government of Ifugao, Japan’s Kanazawa University and the University of the Philippines Open University will help ensure productivity of the trainees even after the program is finished.