IP Academy

As the nation continues to be plagued by the Corona Virus of 2019 (COVID-19), quarantine measures have been protracted bringing major difficulties in trade, particularly of perishable agricultural products. This is further complicated with the passage of legislation promoting the importation of rice, and by the absence of effective regulatory mechanisms over imported produce resulting in prices plummeting for producers at farmgate while prices skyrocketing for consumers.

This reality is especially pronounced for indigenous peoples’ communities as their income is vulnerable at both ends with their sources of income as smallholder producers fall to the mercy of middlemen while at the point of expenditure, indigenous households suffer from compounded markup costs for goods on account of the geographical isolation of their settlements. This led some indigenous farmers to give away, if not throw out, their produce due to the low buying prices in the market while consumers in urban areas mourn food that could have nourished their bodies at a time when a pandemic is in full swing.

Arising from these difficulties, indigenous peoples’ communities have utilized their traditional measures to ensure food security. Some mobilized community members to share food supplies among their kin and neighborhoods, while others have launched communal farming drives to ensure food supply. This has enabled many indigenous communities to remain nourished amidst the looming food crisis that accompanied the pandemic. While ‘community pantries’ emerged as an expression of solidarity among Filipinos confronting issues of hunger and malnutrition, indigenous peoples’ communities have been implementing similar measures in times of food crises since time immemorial. 

A notable adaptive practice is that several indigenous peoples’ communities engaged with social enterprises that established producer-to-consumer programs through online marketing. This takes advantage of marked changes in consumer behavior enabled by social distancing protocols wherein small businesses and social enterprises have earned a larger share in direct purchases for essential products, particularly for food. Such producer-to-consumer enterprises significantly contributed to protecting the livelihoods of indigenous producers at such a critical period when their incomes were vulnerable to low buying prices.

In response to these, the Philippine ICCA Consortium together with Cordillera Landing on You (CLOY) and the Fair Trade Alliance have engaged a number of indigenous communities in the country on their business and trade concerns. During these engagements, the communities expressed the following knowledge and capacity development needs:

Functional knowledge and skills on business planning, financial management, product development, and traditional and online marketing

Paralegal knowledge and skills on relevant laws on indigenous peoples rights and business and human rights

Familiarity with good practices on principled negotiation and business and trade

The Philippine ICCA Consortium established the Indigenous Peoples’ Business Academy to provide training on livelihood planning, financial management, and other business and trade-related matters to indigenous smallholder farmers and traders.

Objectives of the Training Course

The main objective of these training courses is to enhance the capacities of selected IP business leaders on their livelihoods in the New Normal, with focus on four key areas that IP business leaders have identified themselves. 

Specifically, the conduct of these training courses aims to:

  1. Build the confidence of IP Business leaders’ in pushing for and presenting their self-determined livelihood agenda;
  2. Enhance the knowledge and skills of IP business leaders along the various content areas:
    • Demonstrate functional skills in financial management and online marketing
    • Critical understanding of product development and livelihood planning
  3. Provide a platform for solidarity among IP business leaders in partnership with the Indigenous Peoples’ Fair Trade Alliance to address the affectation of their respective ICCs to the New Normal and to push for a green platform for their economic recovery.

Training Materials & Resources

For those interested in accessing IP Academy’s training materials and resources, kindly

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