The Council of Agriculture organized the “Cornerstone Program in Product Displays” on September 3, a training curriculum for the director-general of farmers’ associations. This is one of the training programs held by the Council to facilitate the innovative operations of farmers’ associations and enhance the competitiveness of their businesses. This program targets the director-general and their management teams of farmers’ associations. The topic of this year is “How to Create Commodities for Long-term Sales”. This training class combines theories and practices, covering product positioning, packaging, and display. The goal is to facilitate learning from corporate experts via hands-on experience in product development and marketing, and to enable learning-by-doing backed up with theory so that the lessons acquired can apply to the development of the farmers’ associations.
Mr. Tsai Shi-Chieh, director-general of Erlin Farmers’ Association, Changhua County , along with his colleagues in the marketing department were invited today to share their experiences in the training program and the subsequent improvements they have made. Their story was very well received by other farmers’ associations trainees. In the practical lessons on product display, the participating farmers’ associations were very proactive in demonstrating what they had learned in class. Relevant experts were invited to make modifications to the work in class so as to facilitate mutual learning via observation.
The Council of Agriculture indicated that in the past, farmers’ associations and farmers focused mostly on production. However, it was difficult to boost their top lines despite their abundant fine products. Due to fierce competition in the marketplace, good product is not necessarily a popular commodity. Therefore, it is necessary for farmers’ associations to know that change starts with concepts. They must know where the customers are, what the demand is, how to develop products, and how to retain customers. This will boost the operating capabilities of the associations and in turn benefit farmers.
Outline of what this series of training programs entail according to the Council of Agriculture are as follows:
Theories and practices are combined with hands-on experience. This training program offers experience in the five senses (smell, taste, sight, sound and touch).
The teams can only attend the training program with director-general registering for the program. Those absent more than the required number of hours will be asked to leave. This is to encourage team spirit.
There are daily homework assignments. Students are called on randomly to give presentations the following day. Homework has to be handed in at the end of class for evaluation of the learning achievements.
Target candidates for the Cornerstone Programs are the association’s director-generals and colleagues that undertake farm products marketing affairs in farmers’ associations. Each program requires three complete sessions of the same series and each session lasts two days and one evening. The programs tailor-made for director-general and directors of the marketing department are held separately during the first two sessions and jointly during the last session. There are reasons for such an arrangement. The development and marketing of produce as well as products of farmers’ associations require collective efforts. Director-general have the decision-making responsibilities so they should be equipped with relevant knowledge. Similarly, personnel in marketing department should have a clear understanding of policies and properly implement them with pragmatic know-how. Therefore, the last session facilitates the interaction between director-general and personnel from the marketing department so that they can learn from each other through hands-on practice. Graduation will also be held during the third session.
Finally, the Council of Agriculture indicated that the transformation of farmers’ associations is inevitable due to changes in the operating environment. It will continue providing assistance and support interested farmers’ associations to enhance the functions of their farmers’ associations so that they can serve their member farmers well.
Contact: Liao Chao-Hsien, Deputy Director, Department of Farmers' Service
Mobile : +886-910-131383