Jenny stayed in Barneveld for nine months. She studied pig husbandry and enrolled in the Feed programme. Jenny studied Agriculture at the University of the Philippines and works at the International Training Center on Pig Husbandry (ITCPH) as a trainer. She teaches Pig Husbandry and related disciplines at ITCPH. The centre has students from various professional backgrounds, from universities, private industries, local government offices and various organizations. It caters to the needs of local livestock farmers and livestock extension workers to be trained in pig husbandry.
Jenny says that the difference between Pig Husbandry in the Netherlands and the Philippines is impressive. “We visited various farms here, some conventional farms and a biological farm. The conventional farms pay attention to the welfare of the animals. They practice antibiotic reduction under Integrated Chain Control (in Dutch: IKB) protocols. Pig farming back home uses a lot of medicines. The conventional farm in the Netherlands had automated technology to keep the work efficient. At the organic farm, the welfare of the animals is a key priority. Of course, back home we also take measures to prevent the livestock from falling ill.
For instance, I was accustomed to disinfect my shoes and hands before entering a farm. But at one farm we visited, the procedures were very strict. We did not only have to take shower, but we were also not allowed to wear our own underwear under the overalls during the visit. That really surprised me. You can enter a hospital without having any problems, but if you want to enter a pig farm, you have to take a shower and leave your underwear behind. Later, one of the trainers told us that this is hard to understand for people in the Netherlands, too.”
If a man can do it...
Aeres TCI has more male students than female students. At the training centre where Jenny works, back home in the Philippines, the number of women employed exceeds the number of men. Jenny: “Of the 35 employees in our office, 63% is female. By contrast, only 37% are men. My boss is a woman, the second in rank is also a woman. In my country it is very common that women work. Philippine women are very productive and men and women are equal. In the Philippines we say: ‘If a man can do it, a woman can too’. Just like it is in the Netherlands.”
Things to take back home
There are quite a few things that Jenny learned at Aeres TCI that she wants to implement in her work back home. Jenny: “Technology. It would be great if we could implement some of the technological developments that I saw in the Netherlands. I would like to update the technology concepts and introduce some animal production technologies (automated use) to become more efficient.”
Another lesson learned is how to handle the use of antibiotics. Jenny: “The human medical field back home is starting to impose some restrictions on the use of antibiotics. The reduction of antibiotics prevents resistance to antibiotics: an important issue. Back home antibiotics are given to livestock – but also to people – to prevent problems. I think it would be good to reduce that.
Last but not least, I want to adopt the ‘learning by doing’ motto of Aeres TCI. Back home we do a lot of training, so I want to include a skills competence list. So that my students not only have the knowledge, but also the skills. Back home trainers and teachers are often focused on the theoretical side of learning. The learning by doing method does not only teach you the necessary knowledge, but also gives you the skills.”