Education and training for farmers on organic shrimp certification

Published: February 2019
Last edited: February 2019

In order to obtain organic certification, farmers require training on installing and using toilets with septic tanks, and household waste management. Co-financing the provision of toilet kits and the replanting of mangroves in shrimp ponds are also required during a pilot demonstration.

 

Not only do farmers need to be trained, but forest protectors also need to be trained on applicable new technology for mangrove management and protection in order to monitor and audit the contracted mangrove cover. From 2013-2017, the project organised regular training to help transform the forest management system of the Forest Management Boards from one that relied on manually drawn cadastral maps and field measurement to one that is based on digital maps, using remote sensing, GIS, and GPS measurement and monitoring systems.

 

The project also needs to provide shrimp processing companies with training to establish and maintain Internal Control System teams. This training helps the companies to establish organic farming auditors and monitoring teams of their own. These teams are required to support and supervise the organic farmers over large areas to meet the standard for organic certification.  

Classifications

Category
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Inception phase
Implementation
Monitoring

Enabling factors

  • Financial investment in education and educational resources.
  • Scientific and technical expertise to develop education programmes for certification.
  • Incentives for farmers to be trained and certified.
  • Support from local government, especially the forestry sector, to organise much of the training.

Lessons learned

  • Training must not be a one-off training, but a series of training and retraining each year. Farmer awareness must be built gradually.
  • Convincing farmers to participate in the initial training is the most difficult as they often have difficulty in understanding the idea of organic farming, and some of the required changes in farm practice goes against their common knowledge.
  • Support from local authorities, especially the forest management boards are crucial.