College of Law

By Dr. John Octavios S. Palina
VP for Administration and OIC, External Affairs Office

Capacity Building Workshop

{gallery cols=3 alignment=right-float height=88 width=100 margin=6}/eao/a5/a{/gallery}Saint Mary’s University through the External Affairs Office hosted a Capacity-Building Workshop last January 26, 2011 at the Tonus gym conference room, SMU attended by academicians from Bayero University of Kano, Nigeria. The workshop is part of the 3-year implementation of the Development Partnerships in Higher Education or DelPHE granted by the British Council.

The aim of the workshop is to develop the capacity of Nigerian academics on agribusiness and entrepreneurship using an Asian perspective. The participants therefore were mainly Nigerians who later participated in the field work and observations conducted in the next three days in the municipalities of Kayapa, Kasibu, and Sta. Fe.

The plenary session in the morning featured presentations from Ms. Catalina Acpal from the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Nueva Vizcaya and Ms. Claire Reginalde from the Nueva Vizcaya State University who talked about the problems and prospects of agribusiness in the province. Mrs. Juditte Asuncion, staff of the Provincial Cooperative Affairs Office explained how sustainable agribusiness operations can be achieved based on the experiences of the province. Mr. Danilo Bugtong, the Executive Director of TRICORD, Inc. shared the association’s best practices in agribusiness.

The afternoon session dwelt on the role of the national government (DTI) and financial intermediaries in agribusiness/entrepreneurship. Mr. Jack Pulido, a Senior Trade & Industry Development Specialist of DTI-Nueva Vizcaya and two bank managers, Mrs. Rachel Foronda (Rural Bank of Bayombong) and Atty. Mary Ann Saddul (Rural Bank of Solano) served as resource persons.

Field Visits and Focus Group Discussions with Rural Farmers

{gallery cols=3 alignment=left-float height=88 width=100 margin=6}/eao/a5/b{/gallery}The Nigerians stayed in the province for a week to complete their data-gathering tasks in three farming areas of Nueva Vizcaya namely: Kayapa, Kasibu and Sta. Fe.

Using a survey questionnaire and focus group discussion technique, the team composed of the Nigerian academics and SMU group (Indigenous Knowledge and Traditions Institute staff and External Affairs Officer) generated answers to the research problems which seek to identify the differences and key learning points in agribusiness and support activities between Nigeria and the Philippines. Through field work and observations, the team also investigated the agricultural and entrepreneurial practices of women groups engaged in farming activities.

The partnership between Saint Mary’s University and Bayero University of Kano started in 2008 through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Presidents of both institutions and further strengthened through a Memorandum of Agreement along Student Exchange Program, Faculty Exchange Program and other Academic-related activities.