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Livelihood training course ready for tobacco farmers, dependents

NTA will start giving training courses for tobacco farmers and their dependents through the agency's Livelihood Assistance Program in November.

A total of 1,100 trainees are expected to complete the courses which will end in June next year. The selected trainees are tobacco farmers and their dependents who are members of farmers' organizations or cooperatives in the dif-ferent tobacco-growing municipalities in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, and Isabela.

"We implement livelihood activities to augment farmers' income to enable them to support the basic needs of their families," NTA Administrator Robert L. Seares said.

"With these livelihood training courses, we expect our farmers to participate dynamically in the improvement of their economic and living conditions and raise the quality of life of their own families," he added.

The four training courses, spearheaded by the Farm Technology and Services Department (FTSD), are Sari-Sari Store or Rolling Store Management; Agro-Mechanic; Noodle, Bread and Pastry Making; and Food Processing.

FTSD Manager Imelda N. RiƱen said that after the training, the participants can avail of livelihood assistance package from the NTA to help them set up their own businesses.

NTA has invited resource persons from different training providers such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and state universities and colleges in the province where the training is held.

The provincial branches will host the training on the first course Sari-Sari Store or Rolling Store Management on the following schedule: Candon Branch, November 8 and 9; Isabela Branch, Ilagan City, November 15-16; Cagayan Branch, Tuguegarao City, November 23-24; Pangasinan Branch, Rosales, Pangasinan, November 27-28. The provincial branches in La Union, Abra Ilocos Norte, and Vigan City will conduct the training on separate schedules in December.

The Livelihood Assistance Program is in line with the thrust of the agency through its Farmers Organizational Development Program to provide continuous education to the tobacco farmers and their dependents through training support and livelihood assistance to increase the farmers' income.

FTSD also conducted livelihood trainings on food business, agribusiness, crafts, and health and wellness to 1,234 members of farmers' cooperatives, particularly the tobacco farming families, in 2014.