CESO: PhiBI’s Arm
The National Apiculture Research Training and Development Institute (NARTDI) based at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), Sapilang, Bacnotan, La Union is not alone in the advancement and improvement of the Philippine Beekeeping Industry.
The Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) is a Canadian not-for-profit volunteer support organization founded in 1967. CESO’s mission is to contribute to the development by building capacity in governance and economic development through the transfer of knowledge and skills by Volunteer Adviser (VA’s). Its objective as identified in its 2007-2010 Strategic Plan approved by the CESO Board of Directors in February 2007 is to contribute towards poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods through capacity building, governance, interests, and engagement of the Canadian public with respect to the value and importance of international development and cooperation.
CESO implements programs both nationally and internationally. CESO National Services delivers development assistance to Aboriginal communities across Canada. On the other hand, CESO International Services contributes towards bridging the economic and social gap between developed and developing nations.
The National Apiculture Research Training and Development Institute (NARTDI) of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) created through RA 9151 is mandated to educate and train beekeepers and apiculturists, conduct research and extend technologies for the development and promotion of the honeybee industry in the Philippines.
To achieve this, DMMMSU through NARTDI has partnered with CESO for five years (2009-2014) to provide short-term specialists, technical, professional and managerial assistance to the Institute. Satellite Apiculture Centers identified beekeeping associations, and individual beekeepers, including relevant academic institutions, as outlined in the needs assessment and gap analysis undertaken jointly by DMMMSU-NARTDI and CESO Philippines.
The said partnership is supported by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which formalized the following: a) institutional strengthening of apiculture centers, beekeeping associations and academic institutions interested in offering apiculture programs; b) provision of advisory services to individual business and clusters; and c) joint responsibility for the monitoring and evaluation of this partnership and its results.
From 2009-2011, there were nine CESO-Philippine Program Leaders designated through the arranged selection by In-Country Representative, Mr. Matt Navalta at the CESO office in Toronto, Canada. They were Mr. Anicet Disrochers, Prof. Charles Poclyn, Prof. Stan Sandler, Prof. Kelly Wilson, Prof. Peter Keating, Prof. Kerry Clark and Prof. Peter Veldhuis, Prof. Murray Smith and Prof. Robert Thivierge (CESO VA up to the present), respectively. These Volunteer Advisers rendered continuing assistance to Filipino beekeepers. With these Vas, impact of the honeybee industry was felt in the countryside in the areas of: increasing the number of bees, its products, presence of successful beekeepers, identifying low cost supplies, reduction of predators, identifying apiary sites and formulation of strategic plans among others.
Another component of the said partnership is the Reverse Assignment and the Study Exposure Tours which involved practical and theoretical trainings to further strengthen the development and capacity of partner groups through practical experiences and in-Canada preparations provided by local host companies or institutions with the support of Vas.
As a result, participants of the above-cited activities were able to personally see tons of honey produced by indivual beekeepers ready for domestic and export market. The state-of-the-art facilities in Manitoba being operated inside the production area: the numerous large apiary sites; and the first hand expansion of beekeepers on bee diseases, prevention and cure.
The Canadian beekeeping practices and technologies acquired by participants are adapted in the country a as means to improve the Philippine Beekeeping Industry.