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Published by the SRA-La Granja Agricultural Research and Extension Center La Granja, La Carlota City Negros Occidental, Philippines ? 0912-510-1003

Vol. 1 No. 7

October 1997

OPSI: An Update
The Outreach Program for the Sugar Industry (OPSI) is one of the priority projects of the SRA Extension Department. This project, started in 1989, is conducted in LGAREC as a series of 5-day live-in seminars every off-milling season from June to September. Later, one or two-day seminars - a variation of the original program, were held in the different Mill Districts usually requested and sponsored by planters associations or private organizations. Topics discussed in the LGAREC OPSI seminars include technologies in sugarcane cultural practices, crop protection, soil management, irrigation and water management, weed management, sugarcane varieties as well as farm accounting and bookkeeping, sugar milling and updates on sugar regulations and sugar orders. Topics included in the Mill District seminars are usually selected by the sponsoring organizations based on their client needs. The activities of OPSI are guided by the following objectives: 1. To provide training opportunities for all people

involved in the sugar industry; 2. To hasten transfer of recommended technologies by SRA to sugarcane planters; 3. To increase profitability per unit area; and, 4. To prepare the Philippine Sugar Industry for global competitiveness by the year 2000. To date the OPSI in LGAREC has already conducted 55 batches having a total of 1,940 graduates.
Year 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 TOTAL Number of Batches 10 6 5 4 3 6 8 7 6 55
Number of Graduates

409 200 201 138 102 260 275 259 96 1,940

significant number of graduates coming from Eastern Visayas as well as the Mindanao areas were also observed. Based on surveys conducted, many of the graduates attributed their increase in production to their attendance to OPSI. Average of 12 farms, owned by OPSI graduates belonging to the different farm categories in various mill districts, revealed that after attending the seminar an increase of 0.13LKg/TC, 8.70TC/Ha, 29.9 LKg/Ha and P62.18 cost of production/ha were obtained. While many sugarcane farmers have already attended and benefited from the seminar, OPSI will still continue to transfer needed information and technologies to the sugar industry for global competitiveness. /glr
Source: OPSI: The Key to Continuing Education of Sugarcane Farmers. Proc. 39th PHILSUTECH Annual Conv. Pp.93-99. Mill District Officers in Negros-Panay Region. OPSI Secretariat, SRA, La Granja, La Carlota City.

Majority of the graduates are those directly involved in hacienda operations ranging from farm administrators to key personnel. Other graduates include planters/ owners, crop inspectors, extension technicians, sales representatives, college instructors, and students. OPSI participation is not only limited to planters in the Negros and Panay areas. A