The 23 days virtual International Certificate Course for Coconut Development Officers has been concluded on 5th November. The course is a collaboration between the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka (CRISL) and the International Coconut Community (ICC) which started on 4th October 2021.
The closing function started with the welcome address by Dr. Athula Nainanayake, Course Director, CRISL, followed by the views of the participants. Almost all participants shared their experience and appreciated the organizing of the course virtually by CRISL and ICC. The lecturers provided will help them to update their knowledge and the developments happened in the sector. The information’s they gained will enable them to apply in their work sector where they are posted.
In his address, H.E Ambassador Diar Nurbintoro, Acting Director, NAM CSSTC, hoped that participants can apply these experiences and knowledge to their work and share them with colleagues in their home country. This is the beginning of collaborative efforts with the new networks, either with fellow participants or with trainers, to support the capacity needed to further revitalize coconut cultivation. He hoped that participants can create a platform where they can continue to share information and experiences. NAM Centre ensures to continue promoting capacity-building activities in developing countries to improve agriculture.
Represented the NLOs, Mrs. Supattra Lertwattanakiat, Horticulture Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, Thailand and Mrs. Deepthi Nair S., Deputy Director, Coconut Development Board, Government of India addressed the participants and appreciated the efforts of CRI and ICC.
Dr. Saranga Alahapperuma, Chairman, CRISL in his address expressed his happiness to hear the trainee’s testimonials that they were extremely happy with the way CRI conducted the program and hoped that they have absorbed the knowledge and experience the CRI scientists have shared. He added that the participants will be able to implement what they gained during these 23 days in their countries for the betterment of their country, people, all human being, and the environment. In this pandemic situation, this is one of most successful virtual training programs conducted by CRI SL as the first coconut dedicated research center. He also proposed to arrange in trainee’s countries this kind of training program, so they can gather more officers in their areas with a less cost, in which CRI’s experts can enter to their countries, and apply their knowledge. he assured that when the situation allows the participants were invited for a one-week practical session at CRI Campus.
Dr Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director, ICC, in her remarks, emphasized that information and technologies are essential in the entire value chains from the upstream to the downstream process and the development of strong science technology and innovation capacity are some of the keys to address many of the persistent and emerging challenges associated with the low coconut productivity poverty of small-scale farmers, climate change problems, that coconut producing countries are facing. Competent coconut development officers are very essential to facilitate linkages in the capacity building and technology transfer program to farmers to micro and small enterprises in collaboration with other actors, such as private companies and local government. The certificate of participation in this course will be more beneficial if it can be transformed into a real and significant contribution to the sustainability of coconut sector development. Substantial knowledge technology shared in the training will enable coconut development officers to be applied not only to themselves, or the organization who nominated them but also to other stakeholders, so there will be multiplying effects to many beneficiaries, including our beloved farmers. With the spirit of coconut, we are united in global solidarity to address challenges in the coconut sector.
The function was concluded with the vote of thanks by Dr. Nayanie Aratchige, Deputy Director (Research), CRISL.