CISC brings learning opportunities to the community

Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) did not have to leave their community to attend the seminar and training-workshop on enterprise and organizational management.

On July 25, the Community Innovations Studies Center (CISC) conducted learning events at Barangay Imok in Calauan, Laguna for the Imok-ARC Women’s and Farmers’ Multi-purpose Cooperative (IARCWFMPC). Thirty nine (39) coop members and their teenage children participated in the said activities.

IARCWFMPC, an agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organization (ARBO), is a registered multi-purpose cooperative. It was formally registered with the Cooperative Development Authority in 2009. Currently, it has several agriculture-based businesses including coconut coir production and processing. The coop started its coco coir enterprise in 2010 after receiving a coco coir decorticating machine and a series of training on coir processing and business operation from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Trade and Industry.

“With the current membership profile and management capacities of the coop, the full potential of its coir business has not yet been achieved,” said CISC researcher Florita P. Rañeses.

Thus, CISC organized learning events on promotion and marketing and organizational management. Ruben Simon, Jr., CEO of Ben’s Blend, gave an overview of e-commerce and marketing during the half-day seminar on online promotion and marketing. He also shared how he established his online business and how it is currently working. Ben’s Blend is a company specializing in craft chocolates. It operates solely online.

After the seminar, the training-workshop was conducted with CISC researchers Mena E. Umali and Rañeses as resource persons. They facilitated the crafting of the mission statement, goals, and objectives of the coco coir business.

“Mission statement defines the purpose of a business, while goals and objectives provide a direction on how to achieve the purpose,” Umali explained. “Having clear goals and objectives will help the cooperative in decision making,” she added.

The CISC will conduct follow-up activities such as training, coaching, and mentoring to enhance the coop’s capacities, particularly in terms of organizational management, business operation, and production operation. Specifically, CISC will conduct training on social media marketing, crafting an operations manual, and strategic planning. These activities will be supported by DAR Laguna.

The activities for IARCWFMPC are part of CISC’s in-house project titled “Promotion and Market Linkaging of ARBO’s products.” The Center has been conducting capacity-building activities and providing market linkage to ARBOs since 2018 under this project.

CISC is a research center at the College of Public Affairs and Development. Its main research thrusts include community education, communities in transition, and community-based strategies for sustainable development.

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Roxanne Banalo